Our churches teach that people cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works. People are freely justified for Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor and that their sins are forgiven them for Christ's sake. By His death, Christ made satisfaction for our sins. God counts this faith for righteousness in His sight. - AC IV (Concordia)
The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification. He alone is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, and God has laid upon Him the iniquities of us all. All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works or meerits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood. This is ncessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law, or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us. As St. Paul says: "For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law." (Rom 3:28) "That He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (Rom 3:26) Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls. "For there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12) "And with His stripes we are healed." (Is 53:5) Upon this article everything that we teach and practice depends, in opposition to the pope, the devil, and the whole world. Therefore, we must be certain and not doubt this doctrine, otherwise all is lost, and the pope, the devil, and all adversaries win the victory and the right over us. - SA Part II, I (Concordia)
Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word;
Curb those who by deceit or sword
Would wrest the kingdom from Your Son
And bring to naught all He has done.
Lord Jesus Christ, Your power make known,
For You are Lord of lords alone;
Defend Your holy Church that we
May sing Your praise eternally.
O Comforter of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth;
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death to life! (LSB #655)