Good works and justification


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

I have a question about good works and justification. I am Catholic and understand the truth taught by the church regarding justification. I was wondering though what exactly is good works?

Besides the obvious of helping the poor and fellow man etc, would living a life resisting temptation and rejecting mortal sin be considered a good work? In other words would following the commandments and remaining in a state of grace be considered a good work?

I ask as I am trying to reconcile with James 2:24. To be honest at this point in my life I want to do more yet I don’t help others much, yet I strive with all my might with God’s grace to remain in a state of grace. Am I doing good work by cooperating with God’s grace to remain in his friendship?

God bless.


Is following the Commandments sufficient?

Yes. You enter into a state of justification through faith. After having done so, obeying God’s Commandments is all that’s required to remain in a state of grace.

And behold, one came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?” And he said to him…If you would enter life, keep the commandments." He said to him, “Which?” And Jesus said, “You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mt 19:16-19, RSV)

The Ten Commandments state what is required in the love of God and love of neighbor. The first three concern love of God, and the other seven love of neighbor. (CC 2067)

The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; the Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord…the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments. (CC 2068)


Thanks PS3510. This makes sense and what I believe. Thank you for the further clarification.

God bless.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit