The law of God, the most salutary doctrine of life, cannot advance man on his way to righteousness, but rather hinders him… Arrogance cannot be avoided or true hope be present unless the judgment of condemnation is feared in every work.
—Martin Luther, Heidelberg Disputation (1518)
We teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits or works, but are freely justified for Christ’s sake through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor and that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, who by His death has made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God accounts as righteousness in His sight, Rom. 3 and 4.
—Unaltered Augsburg Confession, Article IV
In the Heidelberg Disputation, Martin Luther drew a striking contrast between the ever-popular theology of glory and the apostolic theology of the cross (theologia crucis). Accused of heresies actually committed by instigators of more radical reformations, in 1530 leaders of the Lutheran Reformation joined his confession of the crucified God at Augsburg in the face of opposition from the anti-Catholic sects as well as from the establishment of bishops. Consistent theologians of the cross still affirm before a hostile world the orthodox faith of the unaltered Augsburg Confession, in all its articles, because it echos the pure teaching of the Holy Scriptures.