Lex SEMPER Accusat

All Scripture, all the Church cries out that the Law cannot be satisfied. Therefore this inchoate fulfillment of the Law does not please on its own account, but on account of faith in Christ. Otherwise the Law always accuses us. For who loves or fears God sufficiently? Who with sufficient patience bears the afflictions imposed by God? Who does not frequently doubt whether human affairs are ruled by God’s counsel or by chance? Who does not frequently doubt whether he be heard by God? Who is not frequently enraged because the wicked enjoy a better lot than the pious, because the pious are oppressed by the wicked? Who does satisfaction to his own calling? Who loves his neighbor as himself? Who is not tempted by lust? Accordingly, Paul says, Rom. 7:19: The good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Likewise Rom 7:25: With the mind I myself serve the Law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin. Here he openly declares that he serves the law of sin. And David says, Ps. 143:2: Enter not into judgment with Thy servant; for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified. Here even a servant of God prays for the averting of judgment. Likewise Ps. 32:2: Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity. Therefore, in this our infirmity there is always present sin, which could be imputed, and of which he says a little while after, Ps. 32:6: For this shall every one that is godly pray unto Thee. Here he shows that even saints ought to seek remission of sins. More than blind are those who do not perceive that wicked desires in the flesh are sins, of which Paul, Gal. 5:17, says: The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. The flesh distrusts God, trusts in present things, seeks human aid in calamities, even contrary to God’s will, flees from afflictions, which it ought to bear because of God’s commands, doubts concerning God’s mercy, etc. The Holy Ghost in our hearts contends with such dispositions in order to suppress and mortify them, and to produce new spiritual movements.

Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 4, paragraphs 166-170

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