Why are the Protestants so misinformed with "works"?

Actually It does. It demonstrates that he was “Filled with Grace”, not covered over, not imputed. Grace of justification. In imputed Justification one is not “filled with grace” but is covered over but still totally depraved. Unless all those who have argued this here before are wrong. Are they wrong?

Actually it is also the doctrine of the church…Those who through no fault of their own… It is also why trinitarian baptism is accepted by the church, since it is God who infuses people in baptism and puts them in a right relationship with Him whether they believe it or not. God is the one taking the action.

Peace and God Bless

In addition to the other reasons mentioned, I’d say there are far too many badly instructed Catholics who misunderstand or misphrase the Church’s teachings in ways that seem to justify Protestant suspicions.

Right, if and if you follow Paul’s argument, his conclusion is that no one follows the law, all are unrighteous according to the law and are justly condemned by it. Which is why he offers us the means by which we are justified instead of condemned, which is by faith in Christ who is the propitiation made for us under the law.

Except that when Paul speaks of justification he speaks of it in the past aorist tense, as in the means by which we are justified is already completed. And when Protestants speak of being justified by faith alone, they are speaking as Paul did, by setting up the contrast between justification by works and justification by faith, which is precisely what Paul reiterates three times in Romans 3.

Feel free to show me where where works of love are mentioned by Paul in regard to justification. Works of love, which comes from 1 Corinthians is speaking about how Christians act in such a way as to worship in unity, by submitting to one another. This is not a passage addressing the topic of justification.

And this passage speaks directly to what we are saying with regard to the difference between sanctification and justification. All of which are also in the aorist tense (finished work).

Which fits exactly into what I was saying earlier. We are justified by faith (stated emphatically three times in Ephesians 2:1-10) as opposed to works (stated explicitly in verses 8-9). However, as I stated earlier, we were saved for a reason, which is to walk with God doing the works he prepared. Once again though, Paul has explicitly stated you are not saved by works but by faith. So works are necessary in the Christian life. Not for justification, but because it is the manifestation of faith outwardly working God’s purpose in the world. Which again, our confessions affirm. Have you read the Augsburd Confession, which I suggested earlier? I feel like you don’t understand what we profess.

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I just want to know, how can the sacraments be considered “works?” They are gifts from Christ to us.

No it doesn’t. It acknowledges the fact that our righteousness is not my own, but the righteousness of Christ who fulfilled the requirements of the law perfectly, and paid the penalty for my sin. Impute means to credit to ones account. Kind of like God credited righteousness to Abraham by faith, Paul’s explicit example in both Galatians and Romans. And again, this passage is not referring to Stephen’s being justified but the Holy Spirit working through Stephen equipping him to proclaim the gospel.

I completely agree that God is the one carrying out the action in baptism, in justification, and in sanctification. This is why we hold to the confession that we do. We (Lutherans) are divine monergists, and believe in the sacramental nature of Baptism and Holy Communion. Coincidentally, Lutherans believe that even in Paedobaptism faith is involved on the part of the child in that we believe that through baptism, faith is given by grace to the child. At no point is one saved by works apart from faith. If you have questions on this, I think the Babylonian Captivity of the Church does a good job explaining what we believe with regard to Baptism. You would have to start with the section on Holy Communion which explains Luther’s understanding of a covenant, which he explains more fully in that section, then progress to the section on Baptism.

Yes I understand and that is again what separates us. To credit to ones account is a legal mechanism vs. infusion which changes the character of the soul of the individual. Again it says “filled with Grace” not covered over with grace. Unless I’m mistaken is it not the position of the Lutherans that justification is a grace? So in your last sentence Stephen had actually nothing to do with it, (synergism) he was forced to say those things by God i.e. regardless of whether or not the person cooperates with Him. (Monergism.)

That’s not really loving God is it? Is it love when someone (God) forces you to love them?

Isn’t it the Lutheran position that there is monoergist salvation and synergist damnation? (Essentially all Catholics, Orthodox and Methodists are damned). (I get this is fairly charged, however it’s not meant to antagonize, so don’t take it that way.) In short it believes those three groups are semi palegian.

Everybody agrees on that.

Thanks, I’ll have to take a look at Luther’s understanding of a covenant. I never really thought of it before. I have the Lutheran shorter catechism, is it in there or somewhere else?

Peace and God Bless


FWIW before this deteriorates (which I hope it doesn’t) Lutherans are the closest to Catholics outside of Orthodox in day to day life. I have a lot of good Lutheran friends and I know they have been infused with Gods grace whether they believe it or not.

Peace and God Bless

Yes. In fact to rightly claim “faith” should be an assurance that one’s life is filled with good works. If it is not, then the claim of “faith” is suspect.

If you refer to 2 Peter, all prophecy is directed by the Holy Spirit. Notice that the Holy Spirit gets the credit, not the person. We don’t believe that someone like Stephen is an automaton, and as Paul states Stephen is someone who is being conformed to the likeness of Christ. However, you are confusing the issue. Stephen is already justified by God. What you are talking about here is a matter of sanctification. We don’t conflate the two things. Grace simply means that God is freely giving of the Holy Spirit to outfit Stephen to fulfill the work he is being led to perform. This isn’t his attribute apart from Christ or the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit working through him in sanctification. The entire book of Acts is about the Holy Spirit leading the Church to fulfill the great commission. The Holy Spirit is the one who gets the credit in Acts. However, none of this happens without God’s free gift of his Son, or the Holy Spirit calling me to faith and sustaining me in the faith. The explanation of the Third Article of the Apostle’s Creed in the small catechism would help explain what we believe about the work of the Holy Spirit if that helps.

No. Salvation is by divine monergism. But you are responsible for your own damnation.

The Large and Small catechisms both address it, but I think the clearest articulation of what we believe about how baptism or Holy Communion works is in the Babylonian Captivity of the Church. It is worth the read. Keep in mind it is a polemical response to attacks on Luther’s theology, so sometimes he is very blunt, but if you read to understand his theology behind the sacraments I think you will find he is dead on.

If I’m not mistaken, Dr David Anders reminded his radio audience on this topic that everywhere Christ talks about judgment, it will be for our works.

They must be important for that reason and because we are so often urged to perform good works.

I haven’t read all the comments, but I think that with protestants it is important to be able to quote scripture as much as possible.

Now, here I’m not doing what I just said, but, anyway, the Protestant revulsion with works probably arises owing to St Paul’s remarks about not being saved by the works of the Law. That seems to be a very selective, “proof-text” approach to scripture, as opposed to the Catholic "canonical approach where we look at all of scripture before we answer the question about works.

It’s very clear that Paul rejects the ideas that Gentile converts should perform works of the Law, like circumcision, whereas some of Christ’s most famous sayings include action words like “go” “teach” “baptize” “make disciples” etc. Those are “works” in my book.

Are we saved by these works? Well, we will be judged by them. What do you think?

Mission work often or even primarily stealing Catholics.

I see no charity in misguidedly leading souls away from Christ.

  1. Who on earth picks apart the scriptures, verse by verse, and stumbles along as if in a fog? Is this not nonsensical? The scriptures are, in the fashion of Jesus’ garment, a seamless whole. Pick them apart and you make yourself the blind leading the blind. Not even Jean Cauvin did that.
  2. False dichotomy! The second Protestant Pope, Philipp Melanchthon, wrote an extensive apologia harmonizing James with the writings of Saint Paul. There is no conflict.


Agree totally.

Totally agree - no conflict. Feels like we’re in violent agreement. Always good - unless of course you’re agreeing about directions in a car about to go over a cliff.

Just humble yourself. Go before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Be as patient with Him as He has been with you. And when you receive your consolation, you will be changed.

Word made Flesh.


Jesus’ two great commandments argue that we need faith and works.

I usually tell Protestants that good works are the fruits of our faith. Why stop at faith? even demons have faith.

Thanks. I appreciate your kind words.

Pride is a sin I pray for help with every day. Unfortunately, the Holy Spirit seems to be working me over on patience lately. Which I’m terrible with as well. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sorry at it all. Depraved really. :slight_smile:

And we would agree. We would say that the Holy Spirit living within us gets all the credit for any and all good works that we do.

Go straight to the Divine Physician! Just as I said. What are you afraid of? You will not believe some of the miracles that have occurred there. I can attest to a few of them myself.

Thanks for agreeing, but I know Protestants who don’t and who claim that having faith is enough.

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