Kolb, Robert. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.
Augsburg Confession XVIII, “Concerning Free Will” pp. 51-52.
Apology to the Augsburg Confession XVIII, “Free Will” pp. 233-235.
Article 18 of the Augsburg Confession teaches that people have ability to choose to live “an externally honorable life” but not to “become pleasing to God, fear or believe in God with the whole heart, or expel innate evil lusts from the heart” (Kolb 2000, 51-52). This is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Melanchthon cites Augustine saying very much the same thing.
In the Apology we find that the Roman opponents agreed with this article, saying that the Pelagians gave man too much free will and the Manichaeans too little. Melanchthon expounds on the problems with the Pelagian view, pointing out that we do have a natural ability to pursue civic righteousness but that spiritual righteousness is of a different nature altogether (Ibid., p. 234).