Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law, part 106
Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Scripture Text: Hebrews 12:28-29
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
These things are also plain, that we overcome the terrors of sin and death by faith, not by love, since our love and fulfilling of the law cannot stand against the wrath of God. Paul says that we we have access to God by faith in Christ (Romans 5:2). We stress this statement so frequently because of its clarity. It shows most plainly the state of our whole case, and when carefully considered, teaches abundantly about this whole matter, bringing consolation to well-disposed minds. Accordingly, it is advantageous to have it at hand and in sight, not only so that we may be able to use it against the doctrine of our adversaries, who teach that we come to God not by faith, but by love and merits, without Christ as mediator, but also so that we may cheer ourselves and exercise faith when fear assails us.
Pulling It Together: True faith in Christ is not shaken for long, since it remembers the source and object of its faith. Faith does not seek to appease an angry God but instead, recalls that God graciously forgives sins for Christ’s sake. Because of our trust in God, we are able to worship him without fear. We are consoled by the gospel that teaches us of a loving Father. Because God has imputed Christ’s righteousness to us, we are not destroyed by his “consuming fire”; we are cleansed by it instead. Our works and dispositions do not make us clean or righteous. Christ alone makes us righteous and enables us to stand before him with reverence and awe, offering him acceptable worship (Romans 5:2).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, cleanse me with your shed blood so that I may offer you acceptable worship. Amen
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