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Revelation of Justification by Grace through Faith

Reform #3

Teaching of Justification by Grace through Faith

This was not a new teaching discovered by Luther. There were reformers prior to him that spoke and wrote of God's work of grace of being something outside of us, something we ourselves cannot effect. Rather than a discovery, it was a rediscovery of this truth of God's Word.

For Luther, this was the chief article, upon which everything depended. Freedom in our Christian lives and forgiveness of sins is all a free gift that we cannot do anything to earn. We are justified by grace without any merit or work of our own. God makes us God’s own. “On this article stands all that we teach practice…” (The Smalcald Articles, Lull, p. 357). It is well explained by Luther’s explanation of the third article of the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him.” God does the work, not us.

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