The world was subject to God by the Law because, according to the command of the Law, all are indicted. And yet, by the works of the Law, no one is justified. For, by the Law, sin is perceived, but guilt is not taken away. The Law, which declared all people sinners, seemed to have done harm. But when the Lord Jesus Christ came, He forgave to all people the sin, which no one could avoid. And, by the shedding of His own blood, He blotted out the handwriting that was against us. This is what he says in Romans 5:20, "The law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more." After the whole world became subject, Christ took away the sin of the whole world, as John testified in John 1:29, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" For this reason let no one boast about works, because no one is justified by his deeds. He who is righteous has righteousness given to him because he was justified from the washing of Baptism. Faith, therefore, is that which frees through the blood of Christ, because he is blessed "whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Psalm 32:1).
Ambrose clearly denies justification to works and teaches that faith sets us free through the blood of Christ. (paragraphs 103-104)
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.