2] …[We read in Article II of the Augsburg Confession on Original Sin:] "It is further taught that since Adam's fall all human beings, who are naturally conceived, are born. From their mother's womb they are filled with evil desire and the inclination toward evil. By nature, they have no true fear of God and no true faith in God.
3] As this passage demonstrates, we teach that those who are born according to the fleshly nature have concupiscence [i.e. wicked desire]. This means people not only lack fear and trust in God, but also do not even have the power or gifts to produce fear and trust in God….
10] [But] if human nature is so strong that it is able, on its own, to love God above all things, as [many other denominations and pastors] confidently affirm, what then is original sin? Why do we need Christ's if we can be justified as a result of our own righteousness? Why do we need the Holy Spirit if we are strong enough on our own to love God above all things and fulfill God's commandments? 11] Is there anyone who does not realize that ideas [such as these that many other denominations and pastors teach] are absurd? They recognize the less serious diseases in human nature, but the more serious they do not even acknowledge. Scripture everywhere warns us, as the Prophets constantly complain, about putting our confidence in our human abilities, contempt for God, hating God, and similar faults with which we are born. ( See Psalm 13 and other passages, such as Psalm 14:1-3; 140:3; 36:1.)
23] The ancient definition of original sin is that it is a lack of righteousness. This definition, not only denies that mankind is capable of obedience in his body, but also denies that mankind is capable of knowing God, placing confidence in God, fearing and loving God, and certainly also the ability to produce such things. For even the theologians [of those other denominations and pastors] themselves teach in their schools that these are not produced without certain gifts and the aid of grace. In order that the matter may be understood, we say that these gifts are precisely the knowledge of God and fear and confidence in God. From these facts it appears that the ancient definition says precisely the same thing that we say, denying fear and confidence toward God. It denies not only the actions, but also the gifts and ability to produce these acts.
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