Full Text for Confessions 1- Volume 34 - The Relationship of AC 4-6 (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY CONFESSIONS 1 CON1-Q034 JANUARY 2005 CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY: CAPTION FIRST, INC. P.O. BOX 1924 LOMBARD, IL 60148 * * * * * This text is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. * * * * >> DAVID: Thanks. That was really helpful. Now I would like to ask how articles 4, 5, and 6 are related. >> DR. KLAUS DETLEV SHULTZ: The Articles 4, 5, and 6, David, are very closely connected when it comes to speaking about faith, how we obtain it, and how it needs to express itself. First, in Article 4, we are hearing that this faith has been given to us graciously through the grace by Christ, and that we apprehend forgiveness of sins only through faith and not any works. What does this mean without any works are merits on our part because it sounds that we are excluding from our Christian life good works? That, however, is not the case when we look at Article 6 because it clearly says that our faith must bring forth good fruits, that we are to express this faith in this world. And if we take Article 16 on civil obedience, you will notice there that we ought to perform our good works in our vocation, in the civil realm. We need to express our love. The problem is, just how should we define the necessity of doing good works. And I've mentioned here already one word, namely that they are necessary. This is what Article 6 says clearly. We must do good works because they are agreeing with God�s indelible will, or immutable will, we could say. They are never changing. God wants it to be done today and tomorrow, as long as this world exists. There is one idea, however, that we should not infuse in this article. And that is the concept of coercion. We cannot coerce from anyone good works. These are flowing out of faith and, therefore, out of the Gospel. So if you want to motivate someone to do something, we should always preach the Gospel and understand that it is faith that motivates us to do good works. The connection between faith and obedience is one of very great importance. And the distinction is crucial. We highlight faith under the doctrine of justification, whereas when we speak of good works, we speak of our sanctification. These are two important distinctions. And also we must understand that Martin Luther here serves as a precedent case of saying that faith is always alive. It is never dead. It brings forth such good fruits on its own, willingly. However, in Article 6 we hear the term it ought to be given, this good fruit from our faith. It needs to flow out of it. So the term necessity, you could say, is perhaps something more than what Luther said. But our Formula of Concord has clearly stated that the idea of necessity is an agreement with that what God himself demands in the Ten Commandments and elsewhere. He wants it to be done. It is his immutable will, and in agreement with that, we may come down to the concept of it always being demanded from us, this good fruit, these good works. But never may we say they are coerced from us.