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Lord's Day 24

 

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Question 62: But why cannot our good works be the whole or part of our righteousness before God?

Answer: Because the righteousness which can stand before the tribunal of God must be absolutely perfect and wholly conformable to the divine law1; while even best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin2.

Gal. 3:10,For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Deut. 27:26, Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Isa. 64:6,But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Question 63: What? do our good works then merit nothing, while God will yet reward them in this and in the future life?

Answer: This reward is not of merit, but of grace1.

Luke 17:10, So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

Question 64: But does not this doctrine make men careless and profane?

Answer: By no means; for it is impossible that those who are implanted into Christ, by a true faith should not bring forth fruits of thankfulness1.

Matt. 7:17-18, Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

John 15:5, I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.

 
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