From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Human Traditions in the Church
We have above discussed at length that people are justified by faith when they believe that they are reconciled to God, not because of our works, but freely for Christ’s sake. It is certain that this is the doctrine of the gospel because Paul clearly teaches, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works” (Eph 2:8–9).
Pulling It Together: I do not have a truck payment this month. In fact, I have not had to make my monthly payments for years. By making regular payments until my debt to the bank was paid off, I received the title to the truck. I was then entitled to drive my truck, free of charge. But had I not made even one of those monthly payments, the bank would own that truck.
That is the law.
I do not have a salvation payment this month. In fact, I have not ever had to make payments. I am entitled to live at peace with God, having been reconciled to the Father through the payment of Christ. He redeemed me from the curse of the law. Jesus paid the price that I could never pay. He did so freely and graciously, not because of my deeds or payments. I am justified with God on Christ’s account.
That is grace.
Prayer: Increase in me a life of faith in you, O Lord. Amen.
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The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.
The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power” (1 Cor 6:14).