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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 210

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From the Word: For the kingdom of God is not in talk, but in power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Confession of Sin

What is Confession?

Confession consists of two parts. One is that we confess our sins and the other is that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the confessor as from God himself, in no way doubting, but firmly believing that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.

Pulling It Together: Is the power of God at work in you? God forbid that it is only talk, just religion. The power of God’s kingdom has accompanying signs. These are not the sort of signs one finds in the world; they are God signs, signals of an unfamiliar power. The power at work in his kingdom turns the world upside-down, and all of its reason with it. You will look weak and foolish to an outsider, a worldly person. But the kingdom person knows this supposed weakness is really strength (2 Cor 12:9).

Just so, the power of God produces things that seem strange and foolish and weak in the world’s estimation. The power of God, if it is working within you, produces faith and hope and love. It produces a powerful faith that hopes when it feels like there is no hope (Rom 4:18), that trusts God to the point one may even love their enemies (Luke 6:35). This is weakness to the world but it is real power because it is trusting God, instead of self.

Therefore, if the power of God is at work in you, it will produce confession of sin. Confession is a supernatural work that trusts in God instead of self. Confession and firm belief in God’s forgiveness is the very power of the gospel at work in you, a sure signal that Christ’s kingdom is here.

Prayer: Thy will be done, Lord. Amen.


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Come, Lord Jesus answers the many questions that arise when modern readers look into the book of Revelation. In this book readers will come to understand the first-century context in which Revelation was written—and readers will join the holy choir in looking forward to the fulfillment of God's plan, offering our own invitation: "Come, Lord Jesus."

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