4.8.2 The relationship between faith and works

Human beings are justified through faith in Jesus Christ. Thus the works they perform do nothing to contribute to their sanctification and justification: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law" (Romans 3: 28).

Nevertheless, faith and works are closely related and cannot be separated from one another: good works are an expression of a living faith. Where they are lacking, faith is dead. Thus faith is not only an inner attitude, but also a force that prompts a person to perform certain deeds (James 2: 15-17).

Good works have their source in faith. They are, so to speak, the visible expression of faith by which the reality of one's faith can be recognised. Faith manifests itself first and foremost in love for God and in loving conduct toward one's neighbour.

Like faith and works, justification and sanctified conduct belong together and cannot be separated.

SUMMARY

The term "gospel" means "glad tidings". In the New Testament, "gospel" is always understood as God's salvific activity in Jesus Christ. (4.8)

Both the law and the gospel reveal God's will to save, however, the law is directed toward the people of Israel, while the gospel is universally valid. (4.8)

As there were already references to the gospel in the old covenant, so there is also mention of the law in the proclamation of the gospel in the new covenant. (4.8.1)

Jesus Christ summarised the always applicable and necessary elements of the Mosaic Law into the commandment of love for God and one's neighbour. So it is that the "law of Christ" adopts important elements of the Mosaic Law. (4.8.1)

Human beings are justified through faith in Jesus Christ. In this respect, the works they perform do nothing to contribute to their sanctification and justification. Nevertheless, faith and works–justification and sanctified conduct–belong together. Good works have their source in faith. They are, so to speak, its visible expression. (4.8.2)

See also