“You have made us for Yourself,
O Lord, and our hearts find no peace
until they rest in You.” – St. Augustine

Good Works and the Holy Life

We believe that when we are justified and forgiven of our sins for Christ’s sake, we are also sanctified (made holy) (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20).  Our lives are renewed to live for the glory of God and to serve our neighbors in love by doing the tasks God has called us to do in the stations He has placed us (Ephesians 2:10). Our good works do not justify and save us.  They are simply the natural fruits of faith (Matthew 7:17-18; John 15:1-4).

Our teachers are falsely accused of forbidding good works.  Their published writings on the Ten Commandments, and other similar writings, bear witness that they have usefully taught about all estates and duties of life.  They have taught well what is pleasing to God in every station and vocation in life. (Augsburg Confession, article 20, paragraphs 1 & 2)

Furthermore, we teach that it is necessary to do good works.  This does not mean that we merit grace by doing good works, but because it is God’s will (Ephesians 2:10).  It is only by faith, and nothing else, that forgiveness of sins is apprehended.  The Holy Spirit is received through faith, hearts are renewed and given new affections, and then they are able to bring forth good works.  Ambrose says: “Faith is the mother of goodwill and doing what is right.” (Augsburg Confession, article 20, paragraphs 27-30).

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