Reformation 500 - The Augsburg Confession
Pastor Robin Collins, Trinity Lutheran Church, Staples
1] Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for 2] Christ’s sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. 3] This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Rom. 3 and 4 (Augsburg Confession – Article 4)
On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nails his “95 Theses” to the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany striking the spark that becomes the “Reformation”. In 1521 Luther stands before the Emperor, Charles V, in the city of Worms and boldly stands on God’s Word and what he has learned from it and taught about it.
The next big event of the Reformation comes in June of 1530 at another Imperial assembly, the Diet of Augsburg. Luther who had been declared an outlaw in 1521 cannot be present to speak. Instead, a group of theologians and lay churchmen, including noblemen, magistrates and officials, present to the assembly a document, The Augsburg Confession, as a detailed statement of what was being taught in the churches of German Saxony.
Though far from the longest article of the Confession the heart of that teaching and confession is Article 4, which simply and clearly states what the Scriptures themselves declare, what Luther had helped to restore - that no one can be justified before God by their own works, no matter what those works might be, but rather that they are justified through faith in Christ, who through His suffering, death and resurrection won forgiveness, life and salvation for all who trust in Him. This is the heart of the Christian faith - the confession of God’s mercy and grace in and through Jesus Christ, His Son, and the Savior of all mankind.
To God be the glory. Amen.