Westminster Confession, week 26

June 25, 2016

Chapter 16: Of Good Works

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,[320]but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants:[321] and because, as they are good, they proceed from His Spirit,[322] 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.[323]

6: Notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him;[324] not as though they were in this life wholly unblamable and unreproveable in God’s sight;[325] 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.[326]

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:[327] yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith;[328] nor are done in a right manner, according to the Word;[329] nor to a right end, the glory of God,[330] they are therefore sinful and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God:[331] and yet, their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God.[332]

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