Our adversaries attack Martin Luther because he wrote that "original sin remains after Baptism." They add that this point was justly condemned by Leo X. But His Imperial Majesty will discover a clear slander on this point. Our adversaries know in what sense Luther intended this remark that original sin remains after Baptism. Luther always writes that Baptism removes the guilt of original sin. However, the material, as they call it, of the sin (concupiscence) remains. He also adds that the Holy Spirit, given through Baptism, begins to put to death the concupiscence and begins to create new movements within a person. Augustine speaks in the same way when he says, is forgiven in Baptism, not in such a way that it no longer exists, but so that it is not charged." Here he confesses openly that sin exists. It remains, although it is not counted against us any longer. Augustine's judgment was so agreeable to those who came after him that it is often quoted in the decrees of Church councils. Augustine says:
The Law, which is in the members, has been overturned by spiritual regeneration and remains in the mortal flesh. It has been overturned because the guilt has been forgiven in the Sacrament, by which believers are born again; but it remains, because it produces desires, against which believers struggle. (paragraphs 35-36)
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.