Announcements for the Week of October 13, 2013

 

13-10-13, Pentecost 21, BA-2013C

Apology of the Augsburg Confession

VI. Justification

Whenever merit is discussed, our opponents immediately apply it not to the other rewards but to justification, though the Gospel offers justification freely because of Christ’s merits, not ours, and Christ’s merits are communicated to us by faith. Works and afflictions merit not justification but other rewards, as in these passages a reward is offered for works. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6); here the degree of the reward is evidently commensurate with the degree of the work. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land” (Ex. 20:12); here, too, the law offers a reward for a certain work.  Although keeping the law thus merits a reward, since a reward properly belongs to the law, still we must remember that the Gospel offers justification freely for Christ’s sake. We neither do nor can keep the law before we have been reconciled to God, justified, and reborn. This keeping of the law would not please God unless we had been accepted because of faith. Since men are accepted because of faith, this incipient keeping of the law pleases God and has its reward, both here and hereafter. (¶367-368)

 

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