HOW ONE IS JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD, AND OF GOOD WORKS.
1] I do not know how to change in the least what I have previously and constantly taught about justification. Namely, that through faith, as St. Peter says, we have a new and clean heart (Acts 15:9-11), and God will and does account us entirely righteous and holy for the sake of Christ, our Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). Although sin in the flesh has not yet been completely removed or become dead (Romans 7:18), yet He will not punish or remember it.
2] Such faith, renewal, and forgiveness of sins are followed by good works (Ephesians 2:8-10). What is still sinful or imperfect in them will not be counted as sin or defect, for Christ's sake (Psalm 32:1-2; Romans 4:7-8); The entire individual, both his person and his works, is declared to be righteous and holy from pure grace and mercy, shed upon us and spread over us in Christ. 3] Therefore, we cannot boast of many merits and works, if they are viewed apart from grace and mercy. As it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 1:31); namely, that he has a gracious God. For with that, all is well. 4] We say, besides, that if good works do not follow, the faith is false and not true.
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.
Lord grant you faith in His grace alone for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen