Augsburg Confession – Article 4 – Justification

Articles 3, 4 & 5 of the Augsburg Confession in the Book of Concord of 1580

(To read Article 3, click here.)

We further teach that we cannot obtain forgiveness of sins and righteousness before God through our own merit, work, and satisfaction,1 but that we receive forgiveness of sins and become righteous before God by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith, when we believe that Christ has suffered for us and that for his sake our sins are forgiven us and righteousness and eternal life are given to us as gifts. For this faith is what God wishes to regard and impute as righteousness in his sight, as St. Paul says to the Romans in chapters 3 and 4.

(To continue to Article 5, click here.)

Note

1 Satisfaction comes from a compound Latin noun – facio, “to do,” and satis, “enough.” Here it means that we are not able to atone, pay, or make up for our own sins; only Christ can and did.

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Quote of the Week – Sin, Death, and Hell Swallowed Up

I apologize for not sharing any quote last week. This week’s quote is taken from Martin Luther’s Tractate on Christian Liberty (1520). Luther originally intended this tractate as a devotional work to accompany a conciliatory letter to Pope Leo X, at the suggestion of papal nuncio Karl von Miltitz. Luther’s own German translation, On the Freedom of the Christian Person, is more widely read, but the original Latin is clearer and more complete (cf. LW 31:329ff).

[S]ince Christ is God and man, and is so in a person who has not sinned nor dies nor is condemned, for that matter is unable to sin, die, or be condemned, and his righteousness, life, and salvation is unconquerable, eternal, and omnipotent; since, I say, such a person shares in his bride’s sins, death, and hell, and on account of his ring of faithfulness even makes them his own and situates himself in them in no other way than as if they were his own and he himself had sinned – suffering, dying, and descending to hell that he might conquer them all – and sin, death, and hell are unable to swallow him up, then by necessity they have been swallowed up in him in an amazing battle. For his righteousness is greater than the sins of all people; his life is more powerful than all death; his salvation is more invincible than all hell.

Source
Weimarer Ausgabe 7:55