Friday, June 11, 2010

The Limits of Human Will

"It is...taught among us that man [sic] possesses some measure of freedom of the will which enables him to live an outwardly honorable life and to make choices among the things that reason comprehends. But without the grace, help, and activity of the Holy Spirit man is not capable of making himself acceptable to God, of fearing God and believing in God with his whole heart, or of expelling inborn evil lusts* from his heart. This is accomplished by the Holy Spirit, who is given through the Word of God..." (Article XVIII, The Augsburg Confession**)

*The term lusts refers to all our human impulses to violate the will of God, encompassed in the Ten Commandments, which Jesus distilled as loving God completely and loving others as we love ourselves.

**The Augsburg Confession, published in 1530, written primarily by Phillipp Melanchthon, it attempted to explain to the world what evangelical Christians--later referred to as Lutherans, believed. It has become a basic expression of the Lutheran understanding of Christian faith.

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