What are the protestant doctrines on Good works?

I know that some protestants speak about santification, but I wonder, what they teach about doing good works.

[quote=Daniel Marsh]I know that some protestants speak about santification, but I wonder, what they teach about doing good works.
[/quote]

Daniel,

That varies from Protestant to Protestant. Most Evangelicals will tell you that good works are not necessary for salvation (by which they mean getting into Heaven), but when pressed they will agree that one cannot “live like the Devil and get into Heaven.” They also say that what we call “good works” (meritorious works, more properly, I think) flow naturally from one’s state of having “been saved.” In that, they are in large agreement with Catholic teaching. In fact, there is a lot more agreement between Evangelicals and Catholics on this matter than most people recognize or admit to.

  • Liberian

Thank you Liberian, I am wondering if the solas of today match the solas as taught by the reformers themselves.

We know for instance that the reformers accept all the councils upto the reformation as authoritive, that they read the church fathers in orginal languages, and studied the orginals languages of the bible too.

Let’s face it, most protestants today are limited to the English or their native language translation of the bible and have not dug into history, church fathers, creeds, and biblical languages.

Thus I see that lack of depth as the cause or correlation to a possible misunderstanding of the solas.

Baptists love to quote Eph 2:8-9, but ignore verse ten completely – which makes me wonder if they have a trunctated form of theology.

[quote=Daniel Marsh]Thank you Liberian, I am wondering if the solas of today match the solas as taught by the reformers themselves.

We know for instance that the reformers accept all the councils upto the reformation as authoritive, that they read the church fathers in orginal languages, and studied the orginals languages of the bible too.

Let’s face it, most protestants today are limited to the English or their native language translation of the bible and have not dug into history, church fathers, creeds, and biblical languages.

Thus I see that lack of depth as the cause or correlation to a possible misunderstanding of the solas.

Baptists love to quote Eph 2:8-9, but ignore verse ten completely – which makes me wonder if they have a trunctated form of theology.
[/quote]

I wrote a huge thing about these three verses. Verse 10 changes the meaning entirely to the point where it is possible to show that salvation=good works. (This may sound pelagian, but it’s not obviously I am just giving a very quick statement here, the entire thing is orthodox to be sure :slight_smile: )

I will tell you my view as an Anglican:

I am saved by the grace of God through the death of Christ on the cross. In order to do anything on my part, since I am naturally dead in my trespasses and sins, I must first be made alive by the power of the Holy Spirit in the act of regeneration. Once made alive, I, like Lazarus, come forth and exercise my God-given faith and repent of my sins and ask forgiveness. In that act of repentance, I vow to live a life pleasing to God which involves walking in the good works which God prepared before hand for me to do.

As Paul says, it is God who works in me both to will and to do for his good pleasure, however, I also work out my salvation in fear and trembling. The sovereignty of God and my human responsibility run side-by-side.

Thus, if I am not doing good works, I have reason to question my faith, and thus my salvation. In other words, I must ask myself, “Am I persevering in my salvation?” He that perseveres to the end will be saved.

Now like others have said before it varies from church to church but, from my talks with them it is that Good Works are “Proofs” That you have “Saving Faith” and all the verse that a Catholic would use to say Good Works are slightly more than proofs are interpreted wrong (though I have never been able to get them to show me how) and that they are in fact talking about good works as merely “Proofs”.

Though again this is proboly not how all protestants beleive but, I know that that is one of their odd ball therorys.

Edit: To see that kind of argument see. cbworldview.cesbooks.co.nz/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30 It is rather incomplete (on both sides proboly) but, it does show one of the Protestant views lined up with ,however inadaquetly presented by yours truly, ours and good Catholics, I think (I hope I got our postion right).

[quote=Daniel Marsh]I know that some protestants speak about santification, but I wonder, what they teach about doing good works.
[/quote]

This will really set the Protestants hair on fire!

Daniel, if the RCC is the church established by Jesus and the apostles, then any Protestant church is man-made.

Man, in his fallen state of grace, has certain attributes or tendencies, one of which I call the “Day off with pay” syndrome. Everybody loves a day off with pay, or in other words, to recieve a day’s wages without performing the labor. So, it is the basic tendency of fallen man to want to profit easily without enduring labor. If, as I have stated above, the Protestant churches are made by men who are in this fallen state of grace, then the idea of profit without effort will be noticeable in their doctrines.

So, consider what you are asking… “What are the Protestant doctrines on good works?” Basically, that works are nice, applaudable, or perhaps the result of faith and grace, but not necessary to salvation. (the profit of salvation is had without the labor of work[s].)

Forgiveness is given without confession to the priest or penance. (the profit of forgiveness is a given, no effort is attached.)

One goes straight to heaven, no purgation. (that would constitute an effort or an inconvenience. To a man in such a fallen state, such things are to be avoided.)

Righteousness and justification are “imputed,” they cannot be merited. (Righteousness and justification are “taken,” but no effort can earn them so no effort is given.)

Once saved always saved. (I have the profit of salvation in my back pocket today, I cannot lose it, therefore I need do nothing more… anything I do from this point on will occur of its own accord.)

If you keep in mind this tendency of fallen man to profit without working, you will see it manifest itself in almost every Protestant doctrine you can think of.

Especially regarding good works.

Thal59

[quote=Montie Claunch]Now like others have said before it varies from church to church but, from my talks with them it is that Good Works are “Proofs” That you have “Saving Faith” and all the verse that a Catholic would use to say Good Works are slightly more than proofs are interpreted wrong (though I have never been able to get them to show me how) and that they are in fact talking about good works as merely “Proofs”.

Though again this is proboly not how all protestants beleive but, I know that that is one of their odd ball therorys.

Edit: To see that kind of argument see. cbworldview.cesbooks.co.nz/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30 It is rather incomplete (on both sides proboly) but, it does show one of the Protestant views lined up with ,however inadaquetly presented by yours truly, ours and good Catholics, I think (I hope I got our postion right).
[/quote]

THIS IS A REPLY TO BOTH MONTIE AND THAL59:

This “ODD BALL THEORY” comes from the idea that ANYTHING Man does of HIS OWN efforts --without attributing the fact that the desire was a God-given one, and the grace to perform being also of God, is “as filthy rags” to the Lord. (See Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will GIVE you the desires of your heart.” Interpretation of “give” means “show” or “implant in you”. ) Why? Because the FRUITS of the SPIRIT are LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, GOODNESS, KINDNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF-CONTROL. You see? The Protestant is simply saying TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR ALL THE GOOD THAT I DO! Too many are working for their own glory.

It is not to say that we should sit on our butts and expect that we should do nothing for others. The Protestant who truly knows the Lord, and Loves Jesus, will obey His commands, know His voice, and the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in their lives. They will obey, most importantly, the command to love the Lord, and to love one another. Therefore, the Spirit will move them toward works that are on God’s agenda and not our own.

In Christ’s Awesome Love,
D. Gibbs

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