Robert Schneider wrote:
> Mike writes:
> "Nevertheless, Jesus clearly indicated that He will judge the
> > reality and the quality of our faith by the good works it produces." And
> he goes on to cite the parable in Matt. 25:31ff.
> I agree, and I add to that important passage Eph. 2:10. So often I hear
> Eph. 2:8-9 quoted, without 10, as a passage against good works, as if they
> are something a Christian shouldn't do. I mean it. Some of my former
> conservative and fundamentalist students would talk about works as if they
> thought works were radioactive. But verse 10 is an integral part of the
> thought of Paul here, and completes the thought: "For we are what he has
> made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared
> beforehand to be our way of life." If Christianity is the Way, it is a way
> of good works.
There's an old joke about a Lutheran pastor on his deathbed
who said that
he was sure that he was going to heaven because in his entire life he had never
done a single good work!
Nevertheless, a crucial distinction is necessary. Good works are not
necessary for salvation,
but Christians are saved in order to do good works. Neither I nor
God needs any
works of mine in order for me to be justified, but my neighbor needs works from
me and God wants me to be the instrument through which my neighbor is aided.
God prepared good works as the way for us to walk in, but God does not
put us on that way by virtue of our works. v.10 must indeed be read
but must not
simply cancel out vv.8 & 9. Antinomianism is indeed a danger but not nearly as
much of one theologically as works righteousness, which effectively cancels the
gospel - cf. Galatians.
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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