From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
The adversaries deprive the Church of great blessings when they condemn and try to blur the doctrine of the righteousness of faith. Therefore, let all well-disposed minds beware of consenting to their godless counsels. For they make no mention of Christ in justification, how we ought to set him against the wrath of God, as though, indeed, we were able to overcome the wrath of God by love, or to love an angry God.
Pulling It Together: What a blessing it is to be assured of eternity. Jesus gave us this assurance by saying that whoever believes his word and in the one who sent him has eternal life. Were we to think that eternity depended upon us, on our works canceling out our sins, we would never be confident. We would always wonder if God were angry with us, then conceive of some greater deed that we might do to appease him. But when we believe that Christ is the one who satisfies God, who has made him “well pleased” (Matt 3:17) by canceling our debt of sin (Col 2:14), then our hearts are set at joyful rest. Then we seek to please God for the sheer sake of honoring him. We no longer try to heap up deed after deed in the effort to gain an angry God’s favor. We rely instead, on that one work of a loving God, who in Christ has finished the work of our reconciliation to himself (John 19:30).
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for raising me from spiritual death and for giving me the hope of resurrection. Amen.
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The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, that refer to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.
The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power” (1 Cor 6:14).