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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
Our adversaries uphold these godless, unscriptural opinions concerning works. But to ascribe atonement to our works, to claim that our works merit the forgiveness of sins and grace, instead of being accounted righteous before God by faith in Christ as propitiator, what else is this than to deny Christ the honor of mediator and propitiator?
Pulling It Together: If you pay attention to the sports headlines, you will hear an odd assertion from time to time, especially during professional basketball season. A very talented player will either claim or a reporter will state that the athlete was a one-man team. The other four players seemed to make no difference. He carried the team on his back. Yet, as good as some players are, they cannot win the first game without the other members of the team. However, Christianity is not basketball.
Jesus accomplished what the rest of the team could never do. He atoned for the sins of the entire world. No one assisted him. Neither you nor I will be interviewed as one of his teammates who helped him conquer sin and death. We cannot add one work to his victory. Our works add nothing to the salvation he has won for those who believe. The honor belongs to Christ. It is God alone who justifies.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for saving me. Amen.
Examining Our Core Beliefs explains in straightforward terms the core of what we believe—from a biblical, theological, historical, and confessional point of view. A 30-page study guide is included in the back of the book.
Source: Daily Devotions in the Lutheran Confessions