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A Reading from the Book of Concord
1 year series

February 20, 2011 - Septuagesima

The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16 for the Septuagesima, February 20, 2011.

It is from The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article V.

Does God reward good works? Certainly! However, rather than count the reward in proportion to those good works, faith seeks the forgiveness of sins given equally to all in Christ Jesus so that they may do the good works prepared for them to do for the sake of others.

The attached reading is formatted for the back of a standard CPH bulletin.

Pastor Kurt Hering
Layton, Utah

A READING FROM THE BOOK OF CONCORDSEPTUAGESIMA
THE APOLOGY OF THE AUGSBURG CONFESSIONLOVE AND FULFILLING THE LAW

73 [194] . . . We teach that rewards have been offered and promised for the works of believers. We teach that good works have merit, not for forgiveness of sins, for grace, or for justification (for these we receive only through faith), but for other rewards, bodily and spiritual, in this life and after this life. For Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:8, "Each will receive his wages according to his labor." 74 [195] There will be different rewards according to different labors. But forgiveness of sins is given alike and equal to all people, just as Christ is one, and is offered freely to all who believe that for His sake their sins are forgiven. Therefore, forgiveness of sins and justification are received only through faith, not because of any works. This is clear because of the terrors of conscience, because none of our works can turn away God's wrath, as Paul clearly says in Romans 5:1, "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith." Because faith makes sons of God, it also makes coheirs with Christ. 75 [196] Because by our works we do not merit justification, through which we are made sons of God, and coheirs with Christ. We do not merit eternal life by our works. Faith receives it because faith justifies us and has a reconciled God. But eternal life is due to the justified, according to the passage in Romans 8:30, "Those whom He justified He also glorified." 76 [197] Paul (Ephesians 6:2) tells us the commandment about honoring parents, by mentioning the reward added to that commandment. He does not mean that obedience to parents justifies us before God. But when obedience happens in those who have been justified, it merits other great rewards. 77 [198] God puts His saints to work in various ways and often holds back the rewards of works-righteousness. He does this so that they may learn not to trust in their own righteousness and may learn to seek God's will rather than the rewards. This can be seen with Job, Christ, and other saints.



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



These are excerpts from the Book of Concord.



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