Augsburg Confession – Article 19 – The Cause of Sin

Articles 19 & 20 of the Augsburg Confession in the Book of Concord of 1580

(To read Article 18, click here.)

Regarding the cause of sin, we teach that, although God the Almighty has created and still preserves all of the natural world, sin is brought about by the perverted will in all those who are wicked and despise God, such as the will of the devil and all the godless.1 As soon as God withdraws his hand, their will inclines away from God toward evil, as Christ says in John 8, “The devil speaks lies on his own.”2

(To continue to Article 20, click here.)


1 For proof passages, see Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Psalm 33:6-19; 25:7,8; 34:8; 53:1-3; 65:9-13; 100:1-5; 136:1; 145:9; Isaiah 45:7 (perhaps more shocking in the Hebrew, where it says that the LORD is the בורא רע (one who creates [same word used of God’s activity in bringing about the universe during the first week of its history!] evil or disaster; nevertheless we must keep in mind the poetic context and the broader context of Scripture as a whole, which leads us to understand Isaiah as describing the LORD’S preservation of the universe, active role in human history, and ultimate control over and directing of all things good and evil for his own good purposes); Jeremiah 7:24; Ezekiel 8:25,29; John 8:42-47; Romans 8:28.

2 John 8:44. The German aus seinem Eigen could also be translated, “by his own doing,” or the entire sentence could be translated more paraphrastically, “When the devil lies, he is doing what comes natural to him.” Melanchthon’s point in the context is that the devil’s lies and their accompanying evils originate with himself, not with God.

About redbrickparsonage
Red Brick Parsonage is operated by a confessional Lutheran pastor serving in the South of the U.S.A.

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