Thursday, September 21, 2006

WCF 16 – Yuck! We Have To Look At Good Works? YES or (To This We Have Been Saved To)

WCF 16 – Yuck! We Have To Look At Good Works? YES or (To This We Have Been Saved To)

Chapter 16:
Of Good Works

16:1 Good works are only such as God hath commanded in His holy Word (Mic_6:8; Rom_12:2; Heb_13:21), and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention (1Sa_15:21-23; Isa_29:13; Mat_15:9; Joh_16:2; Rom_10:2; 1Pe_1:18).

16:2 These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith (Jam_2:18, Jam_2:22): and by them believers manifest their thankfulness (Psa_116:12, Psa_116:13; 1Pe_2:9), strengthen their assurance (2Pe_1:5-10; 1Jo_2:3, 1Jo_2:5), edify their brethren (Mat_5:16; 2Co_9:2), adorn the profession of the Gospel (1Ti_6:1; Tit_2:5, Tit_2:9-12), stop the mouths of the adversaries (1Pe_2:15), and glorify God (Joh_15:8; Phi_1:11; 1Pe_2:12), whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto (Eph 2;10), that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life (Rom_6:22).

16:3 Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ (Eze_36:26, Eze_36:27; Joh_15:4-6). And that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will and to do of His good pleasure (2Co_3:5; Phi_2:13; Phi_4:13): yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty, unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them (Isa_64:7; Act_26:6, Act_26:7; Phi_2:12; 2Ti_1:6; Heb_6:11, Heb_6:12; 2Pe_1:3, 2Pe_1:5, 2Pe_1:10, 2Pe_1:11; Jud_1:20, Jud_1:21).

16:4 They, who in their obedience attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do (Neh_13:22; Job_9:2, Job_9:3; Luk_17:10; Gal_5:17).

16:5 We cannot, by our best works, merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom, by them, we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins (Job_22:2, Job_22:3; Job_35:7, Job_35:8; Psa_16:2; Rom_3:20; Rom_4:2, Rom_4:4, Rom_4:6; Rom_8:18; Eph_2:8, Eph_2:9; Tit_3:5-7), but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants (Luk_17:10); and because, as they are good, they proceed from His Spirit (Gal_5:22, Gal_5:23); and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s judgment (Psa_130:3; Psa_143:2; Isa_64:6; Rom_7:15, Rom_7:18; Gal_5:17).

16:6 Yet notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him(Gen_4:4 with Heb_11:4; Exo_28:38; Eph_1:6; 1Pe_2:5), not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreproveable in God’s sight (Job_9:20; Psa_143:2); but that He, looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections (Mat_25:21, Mat_25:23; 2Co_8:12; Heb_6:10; Heb_13:20, Heb_13:21).

16:7 Works done by unregenerate men, although, for the matter of them, they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others (1Ki_21:27, 1Ki_21:29; 2Ki_10:30, 2Ki_10:31; Phi_1:15, Phi_1:16, Phi_1:18): yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith (Gen_4:3-5 with Heb_11:4, Heb_11:6); nor are done in a right manner according to the Word (Isa_1:12; 1Co_13:3); nor to a right end, the glory of God (Mat_6:2, Mat_6:5, Mat_6:16); they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God (Hos_1:4; Amo_5:21, Amo_5:22; Hag_2:14; Rom_9:16; Tit_1:15; Tit_3:5). And yet, their neglect of them is more sinful, and displeasing unto God (Job_21:14, Job_21:15; Psa_14:4; Psa_36:3; Mat_23:23; Mat_25:41-45).

Summary statements we are taught:

A. What Good works are (WCF 16.1)

B. The Source of Good Works (WCF 16.1)

C. Good works are good by warrant of divine commandment only (WCF 16.2)

D. Good works can spring from the inward root work of faith and true repentance in the believer (WCF 16.2)

E. Good works and their effects are (WCF 16.2):

1) the affection of the believers expression of gratitude for salvation

2) Confirming faith

3) edifying of others

4) showing faith to others

5) refuting God’s adversaries

6) Glorifying God

7) that good works are necessary

F. The believers ability to do good works comes from the power of the holy Spirit (WCF 16.3)

G. The Holy Spirit exerts constant influence in every believer WCF 16.3)

H. The believer never should deny the need to exercise diligent duty (WCF 16.3)

I. We can never do more than God requires (WCF 16.4)

J. WE never perform our duty perfectly in this life (WCF 16.5)

K. Our best works are without merit and are far from perfection (WCF 16.5)

L. Our good works are accepted and redwarded only for Christ’s sake (WCF 16.6)

M. Unbeleiver may do relevant or (Formal) good works (WCF 16.7)

N. These so called “Good works” are evil and wicked works as seen from God’s perspective (WCF 16.7)

O. The neglect of these “good works” by unbelievers are more wicked still (WCF 16.7)


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