Tuesday, September 24, 2013

There Is Conviction and Consolation in the Cross of Christ

Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  (Luke 24:46-47)

Christ, in the last chapter of Luke 24:47, commands that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name.  For the Gospel convicts all men that they are under sin, that they all are subject to eternal wrath and death, and offers, for Christ's sake, remission of sin and justification, which is received by faith.  The preaching of repentance, which accuses us, terrifies consciences with true and grave terrors.  For the preaching of repentance, or this declaration of the Gospel: Amend your lives! Repent! when it truly penetrates the heart, terrifies the conscience, and is no jest, but a great terror, in which the conscience feels its misery and sin, and the wrath of God.  In these, hearts ought again to receive consolation.  This happens if they believe the promise of Christ, that for His sake we have remission of sins.  This faith, encouraging and consoling in these fears, receives remission of sins, justifies, and gives life.  For this consolation is a new and spiritual life [a new birth and a new life].

Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV(II): Of Justification, 61

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