Friday, January 22, 2010

Daily Devotional Thought--From the Confessions

We we continue our Friday series on the Augusburg Confession. Today we consider Article IV -- Justification.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

To put it plainly, Article IV of the Augsburg Confession proclaims the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. As the Gospel will always to, AC IV points us away from our own strength, merits, or works to see Jesus' death as the payment and satisfaction for our sins. The person that believes this is the person that has a saving faith, for he trusts in God alone for his salvation.

Within Lutheranism, Justification has been said that "the Church stands or falls on the article of justification." And why do Lutherans say this? Because the doctrine of justification confesses that in Christ alone are we declared righteous before God, and apart from this understanding, there is no Gospel, no need for Christ, and ultimately, no forgiveness, life or salvation.

The article is not long, but it does say a lot. The article doesn't use many words, but its few words clearly communicate the deepest of theology. The article was written long ago, but the Gospel it confesses is timeless, and leads to eternity.

So, here is Article IV of the Augsburg Confession:
Article IV: Of Justification.
1] Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength,
merits, or works, but are freely justified for 2] Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. 3] This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Rom. 3 and 4.

Salvation unto us has come By God’s free grace and favor;
Good works cannot avert our doom, They help and save us never.
Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone, Who did for all the world atone;
He is our one Redeemer. (Lutheran Service Book, 555)

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