body { font-size: 16px; } .small { font-size: 12px; /* 75% of the baseline */ } .large { font-size: 20px; /* 125% of the baseline */ }

The Richest Consolation

Holy Scripture

Genesis 44:1-34   Joseph Tests His Brothers

Mark 12-44            The Great Commandment

A catechetical instruction from the  Book of Concord

Theme: Christian faith receives benefits from the Lord because of His mercy.  This is the richest consolation in all afflictions

 And throughout the prophets and the psalms this worship, this latreiva, is highly praised, although the Law does not teach the gratuitous remission of sins. But the Fathers knew the promise concerning Christ, that God for Christ's sake wished to remit sins. Therefore, since they understood that Christ would be the price for our sins, they knew that ourWORKS are not a price for so great a matter [could not pay so great aDEBT]. Accordingly, they received gratuitous mercy and remission of sins by faith, just as the saints in the New Testament. 58]HERE belong those frequent repetitions concerning mercy and faith, in the psalms and the prophets, as this, Ps. 130:3 sq.: If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Here David confesses his sins, and does not recount his merits. He adds: But there is forgiveness with Thee. Here he comforts himself by his trust in God's mercy, and he cites the promise: My soul doth wait, and in His Word do I hope, i.e., because Thou hast promised the remission of sins, 59] I am sustained by this Thy promise. Therefore the fathers also were justified, not by the Law, but by the promise and faith. And it is amazing that the adversaries extenuate faith to suchA DEGREE, although they see that it is everywhere praised as an eminent service, as in Ps. 50:15: Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee. 60] Thus God wishes Himself to be known, thus He wishes Himself to be worshiped, that from Him we receive benefits, and receive them, too, because of His mercy, and not because of our merits. This is the richest consolation in all afflictions [physical or spiritual, in life or in death, as all godly persons know]. And such consolations the adversaries abolish when they extenuate and disparage faith, and teach only that by means of works and merits men treat with God [that we treat with God, the great Majesty, by means of our miserable, beggarly works and merits].  - Defense of the Augsburg Confession IV (II) 57-60