Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Objections to Righteousness Without Good Works

Date: AM
Text: Romans 6; Lord's Day 24
Psalters: 51, 101, 260, 397
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2016-18)
  1. Not good enough.
    1. Sinful human nature (sinful pride) always wants to say that good works deserve some recognition from God.
    2. The Bible and the Reformed faith maintain that man’s works cannot and do not merit with God.
      1. First, God Himself is perfectly righteous and He only approves what is absolutely perfect.
      2. Second, even perfect man is an unprofitable servant to God because he is only doing what is required of him (Luke 17:10).
      3. Third, spots adhere to the best works of the saints (Canons V-2).
      4. Fourth, good works are the fruit of salvation, not the reason or basis for salvation.
  2. Because the Bible says that God rewards our good works, then why don’t our good works merit and deserve to be rewarded?
    1. One who gives a cup of cold water in the name of Jesus will not lose his reward (Matt. 10:42; 16:27 Heb. 11:26; Rev. 14:13).
    2. God does reward, but the reward is of grace, not because of any merit.
      1. First, Scripture teaches that the power to do good works is of the Lord.
      2. Second, God does reward His people for their good works (Heb. 11:26).
  3. Finally, the concern is that the teaching that salvation is without any works of man will make men careless in their walk.
    1. Righteousness by grace alone does not make the Christian careless about doing good works.
    2. Salvation puts each elect into communion with Christ. As the vine and He makes us branches to be spiritually alive and fruitful.
    3. Also, those saved by grace (undeserved love) will never be careless and profane about their relationship to God.
    4. Because we also have our old man, we need God’s commands, admonitions, threats, and promises.
    5. Finally, God treats us as children (not slaves) giving us wonderful incentives to encourage us in our godly walk.