Good Works

Serapion once gave his cloak to a poor man and as he walked on and met another who was shivering, he gave that one his tunic, and then sat down naked, holding the holy Gospel, and on being asked, "Who has taken your clothes, father?" he pointed to the Gospel and said, "This is the robber." Another time he sold the Gospel to give an alms and when a disciple said to him, "Father, where is your Gospel?" he replied, "Son, believe me, it was the Gospel which said to me 'Sell all you have and give to the poor,' so I sold it and gave to the poor that on the day of judgment we may have freer access to God." - a work written about St. Serapion of Thmuis (4th century A.D.)


"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:10

"Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." - 2 Corinthians 11:15

"Who will render to every man according to his deeds." - Romans 2:6

"[This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men." - Titus 3:8

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works..." - Hebrews 10:24

"Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." - 1 Peter 2:12

"What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." - James 2:14-26

"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come,  ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." - Matthew 25:31-46

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." - Revelations 20:12

"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." - Revelations 22:12


What the Catechism of the Catholic Church says on "Good Works:"

1821. "We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. [Cf. Rom 8:28-30 ; Mt 7:21 .] In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere 'to the end' [Mt 10:22 ; cf. Council of Trent DS 1541.] and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for 'all men to be saved.'[1 Tim 2:4 .] She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:  Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end. [St. Teresa of Avila, Excl. 15:3.]"

2008. "The merit of man before God in the Christian life arises from the fact that God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace. The fatherly action of God is first on his own initiative, and then follows man's free acting through his collaboration, so that the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful. Man's merit, moreover, itself is due to God, for his good actions proceed in Christ, from the predispositions and assistance given by the Holy Spirit."

2009. "Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God's gratuitous justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us 'co-heirs' with Christ and worthy of obtaining 'the promised inheritance of eternal life.' [Council of Trent (1547): DS 1546.] The merits of our good works are gifts of the divine goodness. [Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1548.] 'Grace has gone before us; now we are given what is due.... Our merits are God's gifts.' [St. Augustine, Sermon 298, 4-5: PL 38, 1367.]"


CHURCH BELIEFS & ISSUES

Abortion

Baptism

The Bible

 

Celibacy of the Clergy

The Church

Church Attendance

Contraception

Degrees of Sin

Divorce

The Eucharist

Fasting During Lent

Good Works

Homosexuality

Money for the Church

"Once Saved, Always Saved?"

The Papacy

Papal Infallibility

Pre-marital Sex

Purgatory

Quick & Easy Catholic Apologetics

The Reformation

Ritual Prayer

The Sacrament of Penance

The Saints

The Trinity

The Virgin Mary

 

 

 


WHAT THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVED

BIOGRAPHIES OF THE CHURCH FATHERS QUOTED IN THIS SECTION

Abortion

Against Heresy

Apostolic Succession & Tradition

The Catholic Church

Contraception

Degrees Of Sin

Divorce

The Eucharist

Good Works

Homosexuality

Infant Baptism

The Mass

The Papacy

Old Testament Canon

Purgatory

Unity Of The Church

The Virgin Mary

 

 

 


Links

Reference Materials


Biblical quotations on this web site are either from the King James Version or the Douay-Rheims Version of the Bible.

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