Monday, April 09, 2012

Col 2:14 in the Apology of Augsburg Confession

In the last post mentioned below, we had a discussion on how Col 2:13-14 should be interpreted. Below I offer as further evidence of my contention that the blotting out of the accusation of the Law happens at the point of faith and not unconditionally nor automatically when Jesus was crucified at the Cross. Here I offer the evidence found in the Apology, Article XII. I quote in color the pertinent exposition below:

48] And then in Col. 2:14 it is said that Christ blots out the handwriting which through the Law is against us. Here also there are two parts, the handwriting and the blotting out of the handwriting. The handwriting, however, is conscience, convicting and condemning us. The Law, moreover, is the word which reproves and condemns sins. Therefore, this voice which says, I have sinned against the Lord, as David says, 2 Sam. 12:13, is the handwriting. And wicked and secure men do not seriously give forth this voice. For they do not see, they do not read the sentence of the Law written in the heart. In true griefs and terrors this sentence is perceived. Therefore the handwriting which condemns us is contrition itself. To blot out the handwriting is to expunge this sentence by which we declare that we shall be condemned, and to engrave the sentence according to which we know that we have been freed from this condemnation. But faith is the new sentence, which reverses the former sentence, and gives peace and life to the heart.

I have highlighted a very important statement made by the Apology. Please note firmly what the author of the AP said about faith. It is faith - the new sentence, that reverses the first sentence of accusation, namely, it cancels out the original sentence of condemnation.

I offer this evidence that what St. Paul meant in the cancellation of the Law's demands and effects happen at the point of justification which in context at our Baptism. In fact this jives well with what St. Paul wrote in
Romans 614For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace


Brett Meyer said...

Excellent point and well stated. All Christians can point to the Confessions as the Normed Norm and beat back the accusations and false teachings of the world.

LPC said...

Thanks Bro. Brett,
We can not impose our own thinking on what Scripture is saying but we must simply allow it to impose its own teaching upon us.

God's blessings.


Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel said...


I just quickly read most of Colossians after reading this posting. And, by re-reading it, I am impressed about its exhortation to live according to the new nature. Colossians makes it clear what God has done in the believer's life, - but it in no way negates the basic "element" of "faith." I think key to the whole book and also to Chapter 2 and the "blotting out" passage, is Col. 1:23. But before reading Col. 1:23 - note what precedes it - the context, and then the "If:"

".......If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel,...... - Col 1:23

Now, fast forward to Chapter 2 and note what the Scripture says before the "blotting out the handwriting of the ordinances" Scripture. [Col. 2:14] Notice again, the emphasis on faith. No wonder the Apology makes the statement it does. Here's Colossian's emphasis on faith, again:

"For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." - Col. 2:5-7

Unless I missed it, this aforementioned Scripture is the last of Colossians mentioning "faith," besides that Of Col. 2:12.

But, as I basically stated earlier, Colossians is a book that hails the new nature and God's exhortation to live that new nature. It's instuctive of how faith should flow (be lived). So after Col. 2:12 there is no reason to emphasize faith as it's importance has already been mentioned (established) earlier in the book.

Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel

LPC said...

Pr. Nathan,

The remarkable point is that UOJers cry up in smoke that one believes in Limited Atonement when one posits that a person is only forgiven upon faith. I too re-read the passage and Paul clearly states that a person who has faith in the merits of Christ has his sins blotted out. St Paul is quite consistent in his teaching, surely what he says is true and within reason too, for if one's sins is blotted out already without faith in Christ, then what is the reason for God sending the unbelievers to perdition?