Saturday, May 24, 2008
The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XII Repentance (paragraphs 75-77)--Philip Melanchthon
"But if the Law is enough for receiving the forgiveness of sins, what need is there of the Gospel? What need is there of Christ if we receive forgiveness of sins because of our own work? We, on the other hand, call consciences away from the Law to the Gospel, and from confidence in their own works to confidence in the promise and Christ. We do so because the Gospel presents Christ to us and freely promises the forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake. In this promise it asks us to trust, namely, that we are reconciled to the Father for Christ's sake, not for the sake of our own contrition or love. For there is no other Mediator or Atoning Sacrifice than Christ. Neither can we do the works of the Law unless we have first been reconciled through Christ. If we would do anything, we must believe that for Christ's sake, as Mediator and Atoning Sacrifice, we receive the forgiveness of sins, and not for the sake of these works.
Yes, it is a disgrace to Christ and a repeal of the Gospel to believe that we receive the forgiveness of sins because of the Law, or any other way than through faith in Christ."