Full Text for Dogmatics 2- Volume 65 - Participation in One's Salvation (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY CUENet AUDIO TRANSCRIPTION DOGMATICS 2 LESSON 65 Captioning Provided By: Caption First, Inc. 10 E. 22nd Street Suite 304 Lombard, IL 60148 800-825-5234 *** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. *** >> Hi, Dr. Maxwell. My name is Nick and I'm from LA. Like Eric I've already begun my readings for this class. And I have a question which relates to my work here in southern California. Why does Article IV of the Augsburg Confession say that this righteousness does not come through our merit, work or satisfaction? I'm asking because I suspect your answer may help me to work with people among whom I minister who come from a wide variety of denominations, including Baptist, Pentecostal and more. I often get a sense that they think there is something that they should do to participate in their salvation. But that's not what the Confession says, is it? >> DR. DAVID MAXWELL: Well, that's right, Nick. And I've had the same experience working with people from those backgrounds. I remember once when I was a seminary student actually we were doing door-to-door evangelism. And I talked to one man who flat out told me "I can't go to church because I'm a sinner." And this was such a deeply ingrained attitude in him. And I believe he was from a Baptist background or at least the neighborhood was heavily influenced by that. And it was such a deeply ingrained attitude for him that first he needed to get his life in order and then he could approach God. And there was nothing I could do or say to convince him that sinners belong in church. So I sympathize with your plight in dealing with this situation. But here is where I think that Lutheran theology has a great advantage. And that is our distinction between law and Gospel. Now, we've talked about the distinction of two kinds of righteousness. And I would say that law and Gospel is the other major distinction we want to be sure to cover. Because this really structures the way that Lutherans think and the way that we approach theology and the way, in fact, that we approach the scriptures. And I would like to read a -- this is a comment from CFW Walther in his book "The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel." And it's a comment about the scriptures which I think at first glance will sound surprising and even irreverent to people. But I think that there's a very profound point that he's making about the scriptures. He says comparing holy scripture with other writings, we observe that no book is apparently so full of contradictions as the Bible. And that not only in minor points but in the principle matter in the doctrine how we may come to God and be saved, in one place the Bible offers forgiveness to all sinners. In another place, forgiveness of sins is withheld from all sinners. In one passage, a free offer of life everlasting is made to all men. In another, men are directed to do something themselves towards being saved. This riddle is solved when we reflect that there are in the scriptures two entirely different doctrines, the doctrine of the law and the doctrine of the Gospel. So from Walther's comment -- and I think he's absolutely right about the nature of scripture that you see these passages that are extremely hard to fit together. They seem to teach two different things. And rather than try to force them to fit together, what Lutheran theology does is it lets them stand. Even when they are apparently paradoxical or even apparently contradictory. And that means that the way Lutherans think and the way that we do theology is not the same as the way other Christians from other denominations think or do theology. I would say that even though we use the term systematic theology sometimes that Lutheran theology isn't so much a system where everything has its place and everything fits together very nicely. I think Reformed theology is that way where everything has its place. But rather, Lutheran theology is a little bit more like a computer program if I may use that analogy. And that is that we are not so much concerned that we have an explanation for everything. What we are concerned about is that we know how to approach pastoral situations. And so we have -- God has two messages. He's got the law and he's got the Gospel. And in some cases the law is appropriate. In some cases the Gospel is appropriate. And so the key in Lutheran theology is not to know the answer. I mean, in some ways that's easy. You know, you can just learn answers out of a book. But the key to Lutheran theology -- and especially when it comes to parish ministry -- is to know how to apply these two different words that God has. How do you know when to use one and how do you know when to use the other? And so Lutherans think in those terms more than in terms of trying to get the right answer. Because, in fact, in Lutheran theology, there's really two answers to every question. There's a law answer and a Gospel answer. Now, when we talk about law and Gospel -- I suppose I should pause for a moment and give you a definition of these terms. We might define law as the law is the commands of God, what he tells us to do and not to do. Whereas the Gospel is the promises of God. Especially God's promise that he forgives our sins for the sake of Christ. And so as I said, in every situation, you've got two kinds of answers. Now, let me give you an example of this. Let's say you're a parish pastor and someone comes to you and asks the question, "Pastor, can a murderer go to heaven?" Now, you might be tempted to try and figure out what "the answer" is. And you might think to yourself, "Well, the Bible offers forgiveness of sins to everyone. And so I suppose the answer to that question is yes, it is possible for a murderer to go to heaven." So the guy says, "Thank you, Pastor." And he goes out and he kills someone. Okay. What you've done is given him an excuse to go kill someone. When, in fact, there are other Bible passages which you could have thought of that say, "A murderer has no life in him." For example, in I John. The Bible is very clear in a number of passages that murderers don't go to heaven. Okay, now if you flip the situation around and someone says, "Pastor, can a murderer go to heaven?" and it turns out that this person is someone who actually had committed a murder and was terrified and penitent because of it, in that case you want to go to those passages that do offer forgiveness for everyone. And then the answer is yes. So there's not one answer. You have to know why someone is asking the question. You have to know that. Otherwise, there's no way for you to know which answer of God to apply to the situation. Because there's two answers. The law answer is for the secure sinner, the one who is planning to go commit a crime or a murder. He's planning to go sin. This person needs to hear "You can't get away with that. That God says that sin is not compatible with God's holiness. And if you do that, you'll lose your faith." On the other hand, someone who has sinned to someone who is troubled by their sin, who admits their sin, they don't need to hear those passages. It would do them harm to hear that there's no hope for them. What they need is the Gospel, which is that God forgives their sins. So you have to know why someone is asking a question. Now, in distinguishing between law and Gospel, I would like to be clear here on some things that I don't mean by the distinction between law and Gospel. And here is -- here is at least one big example of how this distinction gets misunderstood. It's not the case that the Old Testament is law and the New Testament is Gospel. I mean, sometimes you hear that. Sometimes people will think that the Old Testament is all about God's wrath. The God of the Old Testament is an angry God and the God of the New Testament is a loving God. And this, in fact, was the position of a heretic in the early church named Marcion. Because Marcion actually thought that there were two different Gods. That the God of the Old Testament is not, in fact, the same God as the God in the New Testament. Now, think about what would the implications of that be for the church? For the scriptures? Well, Marcion's approach to scripture was to throw out the Old Testament. Of course you throw it out. Because the God of the Old Testament is this inferior angry God. And then moreover, not only do you throw out the Old Testament, but then you have to modify the New Testament and take out those parts of the New Testament that sound too much like the Old Testament. So he ends up editing the New Testament severely and throwing out all kinds of material. So that's ultimately where that error leads is that the Old Testament then becomes irrelevant for the church and much of the New Testament gets thrown out, as well. So it's not the case that the Old Testament is all law and the New Testament is all Gospel. I mean, anyone who has read either Testament recognizes immediately that this is not true. Because the Old Testament has promises of God to send the Messiah, promises that he will forgive our sins, which Dr. Scaer outlined in his portion of the course for us. So the Old Testament has plenty of Gospel in it. Whereas the New Testament -- well, Jesus says some pretty harsh things in the New Testament. You know, if you hate your brother, you're a murderer. Don't fear him who can kill the body but fear him who can kill body and soul in hell. These are very strong statements of the law. So don't assume that the God of the Old Testament is an angry God and the got of the New Testament is the loving God. It's the same God. And the same God has both words. He has the angry word of law and he has the loving word of Gospel. But there's only one God. Just as the Old and New Testament fit together in one Bible. Now, having discussed the distinction between law and Gospel, I would like to go on to deal with what we mean by sin. Because as I said at the very beginning of this section of the course, sin is really the issue that the doctrine of justification addresses. Sin is condemning power. And so I want to talk about what sin is. Because I think people sometimes get a kind of a superficial distinction between -- or I should say a superficial idea of what sin is. Sin is those things that I know I shouldn't do but I do them anyway. You know, so it's just me doing the wrong things. It's a mistake. But, in fact, sin is much more fundamental than that. Sin is something that goes very deeply into my person. It affects who I am. It affects my identity. If I may return to a computer analogy, it's not just that I'm running the wrong program. It's that my operating system is fundamentally flawed. Everything that I do is shot through with sin. And in dogmatic theology, we use the terms original sin and actual sin to describe this. Original sin is the sin that I have from the fact that I originate from Adam ultimately. That we are all descended from Adam, we inherit his sin. So the original sin is that sin that fundamentally defines us as sinners. And then actual sin is the activity that then results from that identity. Actual sin is the things that we do or don't do. Now, you may have noticed that as I use this language of identity and action before when I described the two kinds of righteousness. And I would like to develop that idea now as it applies to sin and correlate sin with the two kinds of righteousness a little bit more carefully here. And in order to do so, I need to introduce you to a phrase that's often used in dogmatic theology to define sin. And that phrase is a Latin phrase. So let me warn you. And I think it's important that we use some Latin terminology here in this kind of a course. Because you are in a long tradition of theology, of reflection on the scriptures. The tradition that you stand in spans many centuries. It spans many cultures. And it spans many languages. And so we're going to learn a few Latin phrases and phrases from foreign languages. And I think that's good for us. Because it helps us realize that this isn't just something that happens in English. This isn't something that's unique to our culture. But the tradition of theological reflection we are in actually is very long. And for about a thousand years of that or more, this theological reflection at least in the west was done in Latin. And so we will be using a few Latin terms here. And the term I want to introduce is homo ***incurvatis ipse. And this means a man turned in on himself. This is one way to describe sin. And the truth that this description of sin gets at is that one of the characteristics of sin is that we want to make ourselves God. We want to make the universe to be all about us. So it's a man turned in on himself. This is something who thinks that everything is about him or her. Now, this works itself out in both kinds of relationships, both the vertical relationship and the horizontal relationship of God. I think it's easy to see this in a horizontal relationships with our neighbors. That when everything is about me, that means that other people exist to serve me. I don't exist to serve them. They exist to serve me. That's the attitude of sin. But sin also has an application in the vertical relationship. And that is that instead of trusting in God for all good things, for my life, for fulfillment, for my eternal happiness, I'm going to trust myself. See, again it's turned in on yourself. So there's a way in which sin turns you in on yourself in relation to your neighbors but also in relationship to God. Because you're not going to let your future depend on God. You want to take care of that yourself. So that's what we do when we're turned in on ourselves in sin. And that's why the righteousness of God then is the answer to both kinds of sin, to both directions of being turned in on ourselves. Because what God does is he makes us -- he makes our lives happen outside of ourselves. Luther makes the statement that a Christian's life is lived entirely outside of himself, outside of himself by faith in God and outside of himself by love in the neighbor. So when we trust in God now for our fulfillment for all good things, that is a way in which we are living outside of ourselves. And we call that faith. And when we serve our neighbor in -- that's another way of living outside of ourselves. And we call that love. And so faith corresponds to justification. Love corresponds to sanification. So I just wanted to describe sin in this way. Because I think it's helpful. Because it sort of correlates with what we were talking about before with these two kinds of righteousness. Now, the law has a number of uses regarding sin. The law is given because of sin as the Gospel is, too. And the law has a number of uses that I would like to describe. The first of these -- and this is something you probably learned in confirmation. The first of these goes by the shorthand title "The Law is a Curb." And if you think about what a curb is, it's on the side of the road. And if your car is sort of veering off, it's going to hit that curb. And it's going to be kind of jarring. But it's going to keep you on the road. It's going to prevent you from going off the road. And this is exactly what the law of God does for us. That God lays down his law. He lays down his threats. That if you disobey this law, he threatens to punish the transgressors both in this life and in eternity. And because of those threats, it prevents us from going off and just totally leading a life abandoned to sin. And that actually works even in the government if you think about it. This is one of the reasons that we have -- well, one of the rationales behind the penal system is that if there's this threat of punishment, it's going to make people less likely to commit crime. Well, that's what Lutherans mean when we talk about first use of the law is it restrains course outbursts of sin. And it prevents people from ruining their lives and ruining the lives of our people by riding off the rails and just leading a life that's totally abandoned to sin. Now, the second use of the law is -- and this is by far the most important use of the law -- is that it reveals and accuses and crushes sin. And you probably learned this in confirmation as this is the mirror. So the first use is curb. The second use of the law is a mirror because it shows us our sin. Now, I have to say I think mirror is just a little bit weak as a description of what we mean by second use of the law. Because it's not that it shows sin but it actually condemns sin, accuses us, crushes us so we have no other recourse besides Christ. It shuts down all other options. And this is the true -- sometimes called the theological use of the law. Because this is the use of the law that forces us to rely on Christ because it takes out any other possibility that we have. And so this is why Lutherans are very much at home in the second use of the law. And this is what we emphasize most strongly. Now, there is actually -- in the Formula of Concord, there's formulated a third use of the law, as well. This is in Article VI of the Formula of Concord. And this is often called a guide or a rule. And this use of the law is a little bit different than the other two. Because the other two have to do with the law's threats. The rule, though, or the guide use of the law, assumes the Gospel. So it assumes that you've got a Christian living life in the forgiveness of sins. And so then the question is: All right. We want to do good works. Well, what should we do? Should we go on a pilgrimage to Rome? Should we climb up 50 steps on our knees? Should we quit our jobs and go off into a monastery and pray? What should we do? So the third use of the law gives us a description of those things that are God pleasing. And God does this in the Ten Commandments. So the answer is no, when you want to please God, you don't have to go on a pilgrimage. You don't have to impose on yourself certain forms of asceticism like climbing 50 stairs on your knees. In the Middle Ages they would go to pilgrimages wearing suits of armor because it was very uncomfortable and heavy. It's not that kind of thing. It's things like honor your father and mother. Don't kill. Don't steal. Those kind of things. Those are what are God pleasing. And so the third use of the law then functions to tell us those things. So those are the three uses of the law: The curb, the mirror and the rule. As long as we're talking about the law, I would also like to add another way of describing a law. And that is the way that the Ten Commandments are divided. So we're not talking about the three uses of the law at this point but just how do you divide the Ten Commandments? And often you will see pictures say on banners in church with two tablets, because Moses had two tablets, and it Ten Commandments are written on them. And now the Exodus account of the giving of the Ten Commandments does not actually say which commandments were on one tablet of the law and which ones were on the other. But there's a tradition in the church of identifying the first table of the law as the first three commandments. So that's not having other gods, not using the name of the Lord in vain and remembering the Sabbath Day. And then the other table of the law is Commandments 4 through 10. So it's kind of asymmetrical. It may catch your eye in church and cause people to wonder "Well, wouldn't it make more sense to say put five commandments on one table and five on the other?" Well, there's actually a theological reason why it's divided the way it is. The first three commandments have to do with the relationship to God. They deal with the vertical relation of human life. And then the Commandments 4 through 10 have to do with our relationship with our neighbors. So that's more of the horizontal dimension of human life. So God's commandments cover both dimensions. And that's -- and so sometimes you will run across the phrase first table of the law, second table of the law. And that's what that refers to is just this way of dividing up the Ten Commandments. Now, my final point in the discussion of the law is: How do you recognize the law? And this is an important point. And generally speaking, the law is recognizable by the fact that it tends to be phrased in imperatives. And I'm thinking about the law as found in scripture. Now, God tells you to do something or he tells you not to do something. So if you find an imperative in the scripture, you more likely than not you might be able to make the statement that "Well, that is part of God's law." Now, I say more likely than not because the things I'm giving you here are kind of rules of thumb. They are not applicable in every case. Because there are imperatives like when Jesus goes to raise Lazarus from the dead and he says, "Lazarus, come out" well, grammatically that's an imperative. But it hardly makes sense to say that Jesus is issuing a law to Lazarus. You know, and he's giving Lazarus a command that Lazarus has to get up. Lazarus is dead. I mean, he's not going to be able to follow a command. So just because something is an imperative doesn't mean that it has to be law. In this case, this is Jesus giving the Gospel to Lazarus. He's giving him life through these words. But I would say more often than that if something is in an imperative grammatically, that it is probably safe to classify it as law. Although, as I said, not in every case. Another characteristic of law that I think is very helpful to keep in mind is that the law operates by means of measurement. You know, afterall, God has standards that he makes explicit in the Ten Commandments. And the whole point of the law is that we need to measure up to those standards. So any time you hear language that has to do with measurement or even quantity, that's probably going to be the law. And I'm not talking only about Bible passages here. But I'm talking about the way that Christians speak. It is possible to speak in such a way that you turn things into the law without even realizing it. So you talk about do you believe strongly enough? We're not just talking about faith now. We've introduced this notion of quantity. Is it enough? Does it measure up? So we're in the realm of the law. Because we've got quantity and measurement going on. If you tell someone that, you are implicitly accusing them. Because what you are doing is you're asking them to look inside of themselves and see if they measure up. Or do you pray sincerely? There again, if you tell somebody that, be aware that you are asking them to look inside themselves and see if they measure up. I pray. But maybe I'm not sincere enough. There's the quantity. There's the measurement. Now, this is extremely important for you in your ministry because you have to realize what you are telling people. Now, there are cases where you need to tell people the law. But you need to know when you're doing it. You know, and you may think, "Well, I'm going to talk about praying sincerely and I don't really mean to accuse anyone." But if you start asking them to measure themselves against a standard like that, there is an implicit accusation there. It is law. Okay? Now, I'm not saying that you would never do that. Because as I said, sometimes law is appropriate. But be aware of what you're doing. Now, I think it's also helpful -- and this was really your question, Nick, was why does the Augsburg Confession not talk about having our forgiveness of sins come through merit or work? And that is because we do not receive those things through the law. We receive them through the Gospel. So I think it's appropriate now for me then to transition into a discussion of well, what is the Gospel? And we've said a lot of things about the law. Well, what's the Gospel? The term Gospel itself actually simply means good news. Now, one of the things that I think we have to recognize or at least deal with is Luther. We talk about the Gospel becoming clear to Luther. And one of the things that Luther does is Luther is very much aware of his sin and his understanding of the Gospel. Once the Gospel becomes clear reflects that because the Gospel is about Christ's promises to us. And our salvation is dependent upon Christ and not anything we do. Because Luther is very much aware that anything he does or that's left up to him will come to ruin. Now, that raises the question whether or not Lutheran theology is somehow dependent on Luther's scrupulosity. That is to say, "Well, maybe Luther had an overactive conscious and that maybe normal people don't need to take their faults and flaws so seriously. Maybe Lutheranism is not for normal people." You know, "Maybe you have to be a little bit strange to be a Lutheran." You know, I mean, I actually encountered this. I was sitting in a class on medieval theology, in fact, with Catholic students. And we were reading "Gertrude of Helfta," who is a medieval mystic. And Gertrude went on and on about how sinful she was. And one Catholic student in the class said, "Well, this is really strange." And my response was "Well, it sounds a lot like what I grew up with. The old TLC confession of sins. 'I'm a poor miserable sinner.' Confess to you all of my sins and inequities." So there is a since in which Lutheranism does, in fact, take sin very seriously. Which is why we're so adamant when it comes to the Gospel that it doesn't depend on us. Because we know that if it depends on us, there's no hope. It depends totally on Christ. But does that mean that Lutheranism is based on like some sort of psychological disorder? Or put another way: Do Lutherans have to replicate the psychological experience of Luther in order to be Lutheran? And I think the answer is clearly no on both counts. Because if you just look at the Lutheran fathers, plenty of them did not have the same psychological profile as Luther. I mean, take Melangthon for example. He is very different. Did not have the same kind of anxiety that Luther did. And nevertheless, really bought into Luther's reading of the scripture. So historically it just doesn't make sense to say that Lutheranism is somehow based on Luther's psychology. If it was based on Luther's psychology, Luther would have been the only one who believed it. But, in fact, many people have followed his Confession as the correct reading of scripture. But I think it is true that it's a unique characteristic of Lutheranism to take sin and the threats of the law so seriously. That when we have an identity crisis, so to speak -- and I'm here using identity in the sense that we discussed it under the concept of alien righteousness. When we have an identity crisis, when who we are before God is in peril, what we need is a certain point of reference from the outside to correct that. To give us a new identity before God. To give us a certain hope that we will not be condemned. Because afterall, if you take the threat of hell seriously, that is going to be front and center in your mind. I mean, I really do not understand how other Christians can say they believe in hell and say they believe in the threats -- God's threats of hell without taking it seriously and letting it impact the way they think about sin and the seriousness with which they take their own sins and their own faults. So then the Gospel -- one way of identifying the Gospel is to ask the question: Where does the burden fall? Does the burden fall on us? Or does the burden fall on Christ? And here again, this is very important to you in your preaching and in your teaching in a parish setting. Because you need to know when you're saying law and when you're saying Gospel. And one of the ways that you can tell or identify Gospel is to ask the question: Is the burden on Christ or is it on us? So when the burden is on Christ, you're talking about what Christ is doing for us, then that's Gospel. If it's something that's laying a burden on us, telling us what we should do or not do, then that's law. Now, as we discuss distinguishing law and Gospel and knowing where the burden falls, I think it's also important to be clear in our definition of Gospel. That Gospel is not just God's general goodness. Sometimes the word Gospel can be used to describe the entire message of the scripture. But in dogmatic theology what we do, we tend to use words in a more specific sense. And when we use the word Gospel, we are referring specifically to the deliverance from sin. Because there's a lot of things that God does that are good. God shall reign on the just and the unjust, for example. That's not Gospel in the narrow sense which is -- which refers to God's deliverance from sin. So we need to be clear that when we use the word Gospel, it's not just goodness in general but it's forgiveness of sins. And this forgiveness of sins is of course won for us by Christ and what he did on the cross. And Dr. Scaer has already discussed Christ's work on the cross and atonement. And perhaps we'll have a chance to maybe say a little bit more about that later. But when we speak of the Gospel and when we speak of justification, we are referring then specifically to receiving the benefits of Christ. So we can think of what Christ did on the cross, that's one issue. But then the other is how it comes to us. How do we get the benefits of that? And that's what the term justification refers to. Is that in justification, the Holy Spirit brings to us the benefits that Christ won for us on the cross. And so for example, Luther will say that if you want forgiveness of sins, don't go to the cross. Because that's where forgiveness of sins was won for us. But that's not where it's distributed. It's distributed in the means of grace. So we also include the means of grace in a discussion of Gospel. Because those are the ways in which God brings to us the forgiveness of sins. And by means of grace, I'm referring to the word of God, especially the preached word, which would include sermons. It would also include holy absolution. And it would include also the sacraments, which you can include holy absolution there, as well, as well as baptism and the Lord's Supper. Sometimes absolution is not counted as a sacrament because it doesn't have a visible element. But it still counts as a means of grace because it delivers the forgiveness of sins. So we want to include those things, as well, in our discussion of Gospel. Because that's how the Holy Spirit brings to us the benefits of Christ. Now, if we -- let's just pause for a moment and step back and reflect on why is it helpful to have a distinction between law and Gospel? And we've already touched on this a little bit before. But practically speaking, this is very important. Because people who are aware of their sin and people who are troubled by their sin don't need to be beaten up. They don't need to have their faces rubbed in it more. What they need is a word of forgiveness. On the other hand, people who are secure in their sins, who aren't worried about their sins, who think that they are really not such bad people afterall, those are the people that need to hear the message of law; that need to hear that God is holy and will not tolerate sin. As John says in his first epistle, "God is light and in him there is no darkness at all." Those are -- so the distinction of law and Gospel is extremely important for getting the correct message to the correct people. It's not that you're going to say the same thing to everyone. It's that you are going to have two different words. And you apply one or the other, depending on circumstances. Now, let's have a little practice at this, identifying law and Gospel. What I'm going to do is give you some examples of ideas that are fundamentally law oriented. And the first one of these I think is pretty crass. So it's an idea that comes out of the Middle Ages. And that is "I can get close to God if I own a relic." So if I actually own the left foot of St. Andrew of which there were supposedly six left feet of St. Andrew floating around in the Middle Ages -- but that's a different issue. But if I own a relic like the left foot of St. Andrew, then that means that I'm going to be closer to God. That would be a legalistic way of thinking about approaching God. That is to say that it's something that I can buy and possess which amounts to something I do will get me closer to God. So that's I think really an easy example for us to reject on the basis that this is assuming that forgiveness of sins or getting close to God comes through our merits or our works and our satisfaction. And this is precisely what Article IV of the Augsburg Confession denies. But let me give you a more refined example. And this I think is still an example that you will probably be able to easily recognize and judge correctly. But that is the idea that "I will go to heaven because I'm a pretty good person." Now, I think Lutherans are pretty used to recognizing that this is just not true. That being a good person does not mean that you're going to go to heaven. But if you talk to people in the general society, this is a ubiquitous opinion. Many people will think this way, that "Well, I haven't killed anyone." You know, "I haven't committed adultery." "I haven't done" any number of crimes that they can think of. And so "Therefore, I will be all right in the end. I'm a pretty good person." See, this also is a denial of the doctrine of justification because it takes the law and imports it into the doctrine of justification saying that the thing that will make me right with God is my good behavior. And this is precisely what the Augsburg Confession is intended to prevent when it says that we obtain forgiveness and righteousness not through our own merits, works and satisfactions. A third example -- and this is perhaps even more of a refined example. And this is one that you will hear many Christians say. And that is that "I can become close to God" -- or the way it's generally put is "I became a Christian by inviting Jesus into my heart." Now, the idea here is that the way that you become a Christian is you say a particular prayer in which you ask Jesus to come into your heart. And by that act, by that prayer that you say, you are becoming a Christian because it's your prayer that opens the door of your heart and that allows Jesus to come in. That would be yet another example of importing the law into the doctrine of justification. Because it makes our conversion or our drawing near to God to be on the basis of our own merit, work or satisfaction. That is to say we open our hearts. And in response to that, Jesus comes in. *** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. ***