While our soul is regenerated by God’s inspired Word and, therefore, fully convinced of truth and grace, the corruption in our human nature always contradicts that. Doubt is an inescapable and relentless characteristic of the corruption in us that opposes God. Therefore, God gives confirmation (physical evidence) of His grace toward us through the sacraments. In each of the three sacraments, God joins a physical element to His Word:
- Once in our lifetime a pastor (in public) or another Christian applies water with God’s promises and a baptism has taken place.
- Every Sunday (or more often), bread and wine are consecrated by God’s Word and are then given to provide physical, objective, and repeated evidence that God’s promises are upon us and within us.
- Any time doubts bother us, we may confess these doubts and any other kind of failure that upsets us to another Christian who is ready, on behalf of God, to remind us, with words spoken or written, that our sins have been and remain forgiven.
“Confirmation,” in the biblical use of the Word, is always God’s work. God’s work and dependability is another aspect of the goodness of the good news.