07 May 2015

This morning's Treasury...

...contained the definition of repentance in the strict sense from the Solid Declaration. It embraces three things:

1. Acknowledging our sins
2. Being heartily sorry for them (same language is picked up in the Confession of Sins in DS III - sorry, Dr. Korby, but that's the language of our Symbols!)
3. Stopping them

That last bit reminds me very much of the discussion in, I think, the second story in Hammer of God, where the question is put to the pastor about how one knows one is truly repentant for sin, and the pastor answers without hesitation: when you're willing to quit them. If you're not, stop pretending you're sorry.

Hard law, indeed. And it remains true that until we die, this determination to "stop them" is always weak, fragile, fickle. But it is most certainly of the very essence of repentance and without it, there simply is no repentance.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

“And it remains true that until we die, this determination to ‘stop them’ is always weak, fragile, fickle. But it is most certainly of the very essence of repentance and without it, there simply is no repentance.” And presumably without repentance there is no forgiveness. Or is it possible to still be forgiven even as one repeats a sin while one’s determination to stop this sin is “weak, fragile, fickle”?
“…the pastor answers without hesitation: when you're willing to quit them. If you're not, stop pretending you're sorry”. Fundamental to the Gospel is that we will always sin, and God will always forgive. Even if we repeat the same sin. If you cannot stop sinning even when you want to, that does not mean you are simply pretending to be sorry. Is this not what St. Paul is saying when he writes, Romans 7:15, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate,” and later, v. 18, “I can will what is right, but I cannot do it”. But no one accuses St. Paul of pretending.
The Gospel does not conform to human reasoning, which is based on yearning for the Law. Someone is constantly at work making new laws that ultimately subvert the Gospel and make it into Law, while it pretends to be the Gospel, but is not. Will, I don’t mean you, but Bo Giertz, may he rest in peace. And he obviously did not do it all the time, but in this case he definitely did.
Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

Paul said...

What was Korby's view of the Formula of Concord?