Spirit-worked faith in the good news that God has provided forgiveness and eternal life to us through Jesus opens to us every promise the Father has made. In the paragraphs that follow, Philipp Melanchthon invites us to celebrate that truth.
The Savior came to forgive us
The words in Genesis [3:15]: “The Seed will crush the head of the serpent,” signify nothing other than the same thing which John says: “For this the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil” [1 John 3:8].
Adam understood the promise in this way. Thereafter all the patriarchs believed that on account of this promised seed their sins were forgiven them, and that they would be set free from sin and from eternal death. Through this faith they were righteous, not through fulfillment of the law.
The Savior came to bless us
By this faith they were raised up in all dangers and terrors. Indeed they knew that this Lord was present with them, as Jacob plainly says, in Genesis 48[:16]: “The Angel who set me free from all evil bless these boys”; for he proclaims him Lord who had set him free from all evils, and asks of him that he would bless his descendants. These things can be understood in no other way except as pertaining to the Son of God.
Paul also says that the Son of God accompanied the camp of the Son of God. Paul also says that the Son of God accompanied the camp of the people of Israel [1 Corinthians 10:4].
John [1:5] also says that all things were made through this Son, and that the Light shines on the darkness. All triumphs against our adversary, the devil, are imparted through this Son.
The Savior came to free us
Noah was preserved, Abraham defended, Joseph brought out of prison, the people freed from Egypt, and Daniel also spoke with him. Thus the gospel of the apostles preaches Christ, and testifies that he is the sacrificial victim, liberator, and Savior, and commands us to trust this leader and liberator, as also many statements of the prophets teach. As Psalm 2[:12] says: “Kiss the Son … blessed are all who trust in him.”
Without this faith, i.e., trust in the mercy promised because of the Son, there is no true invocation of God, no true worship. For through this Priest we have access to the Father, as we often find written [in the Scriptures].
Source: Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560) was a contemporary and compatriot of Martin Luther. He was the author of the Augsburg Confession.