A horrible decree has been prepared against us, which would terrify us still more if we were arguing about doubtful or silly subjects. Our consciences understand that the adversaries condemn the clear truth, whose defense is necessary for the Church and increases Christ's glory. Therefore, we easily look down on the terrors of the world, and we will bear with a strong spirit all suffering for Christ's glory and the Church's benefits. Who would not joyfully die in the confession of these articles, that we receive the forgiveness of sins through faith freely for Christ's sake, and that we do not merit the forgiveness of sins by our works? The consciences of the pious will not have sure enough comfort against the terrors of sin and of death, and against the devil tempting with despair, if they do not know that their confidence lies in the forgiveness of sins freely for Christ's sake. This faith sustains and enlivens hearts in that most violent conflict with despair.
The cause is so worthy that we should refuse no danger. To every one of you who has agreed to our Confession, "Do not yield to the wicked, but, on the contrary, go forward the more boldly." Do not yield when the adversaries, by means of terrors and tortures and punishments, try hard to drive away from you that comfort presented to the entire Church in our article. (paragraphs 83-86)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.