The Judgement of Works

Eph 2:8-19; 1 Cor 3:5-15

What is the place of works in the Christian life? What is the motivation behind all you do in the name of Christ? Each true believer has an appointment before God’s throne when he will stand alone, called to give an account of his Christian service. Will that day be a day of reward for you or a day of sadness and loss?

Friday Round Up

(1) There’s a variety of resources in this week’s Friday Ligonier $5 sale worth considering. They can be found here.

(2) The Place of Works – some quotes:

J.I. Packer, “Bare assent to the gospel, divorced from a transforming commitment to the living Christ, is by biblical standards less than faith, and less than saving; and to elicit only assent of this kind would be to secure only false conversions.”

James Boice, “The idea that one can be a Christian without being a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ is a tragic error. It reduces the gospel to the mere fact of Christ’s having died for sinners, requires of sinners only that they acknowledge this by the barest intellectual assent, and then assures them of their eternal security when they may very well not be born again. This view bends faith beyond recognition and promises a false peace to multitudes that have given verbal assent to this reductionist Christianity but are not truly in God’s family.”

Martin Luther (1483-1546), “When we have thus taught faith in Christ, then do we teach also good works. Because you have laid hold upon Christ by faith, through whom you are made righteous, begin now to work well. Love God and your neighbor, call upon God, give thanks to Him, praise Him, and do good to your neighbor. These are good works indeed, which flow out of this faith.”

George Whitefield wrote in his journal on Aug 6, 1739, “Good works are the fruits of faith. Good works cannot put away our sins or justify us, yet they follow after justification, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree is discerned by the fruit.”

Augsburg Confession (1530), “It is necessary to do good works, not that we may trust that we deserve grace by them, but because it is the will of God that we should do them. By faith alone is apprehended remission of sins and grace. And because the Holy Spirit is received by faith, our hearts are now renewed, and so put on new affections, so that they are able to bring forth good works. For thus saith Ambrose: ‘Faith is the begetter of a good will and of good actions.’”