Posted by: St. Mark Lutheran Church | October 8, 2009

Quotes from Concord — Grace as Gift or Debt

So Daniel teaches us in praying to seize mercy, that is, to trust in God’s mercy and not to trust in our own merits before God.  We also wonder what our adversaries do in prayer, if the ungodly people ever ask anything of God.  If they declare that they are worthy because they have love and good works and ask for grace as a debt, they pray precisely like the Pharisee who says, “I am not like other men” (Luke 18:11).  He who prays for grace in this way does not rely upon God’s mercy and treats Christ with disrespect.  After all, He is our High Priest, who intercedes for us.  So prayer relies upon God’s mercy, when we believe that we are heard for Christ’s sake.  He is our High Priest, as He Himself says, “Whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).  Without this High Priest we cannot approach the Father.

— Apology to the Augsburg Confession, Article V (III): Love and Fulfilling the Law, paragraphs 210/331-212/333 (Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, Reader’s Edition)

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