Kolb, Robert. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.
Augsburg Confession XX, “Concerning Faith and Good Works.” pp. 55-56
Apology to the Augsburg Confession XX, “Good Works.” pp. 235-237
Article 20 of the Augsburg Confession affirms that good works are positive, as opposed to the works which had become shows of religiosity. Because of some confusion the Confession clarifies, “our works cannot reconcile us with God or obtain grace” (Kolb 2000, 55). Salvation is by faith, with no involvement of our works. “All who know that in Christ the have a gracious God call upon him and are not, like the heathen, without God” (Ibid., 56). Faith, then, is confidence in God. Good works must be done, but they do not provide salvation. They are very good for society. The Apology to the Augsburg Confession observes that this article was condemned by the opponents. In the Apology we are reminded of the Scriptural argument that Christ is our sacrifice (Ibid., 235). Our works cannot receive the honor of Christ. The Confutation used 2 Peter 1:10 to require works, rather than belief, to be certain of election in Christ. This is not a fair reading of the text. Other texts were adduced but the Apology does not cite them.