The Good (is) the Bad and the Ugly (Heidelberg Catechism QA 62-64; Rom 1:17, 4:1-8; Gal 3:10-12)

Confession: Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 24 QA 62-64

Scripture: Romans 1:17, 4:1-8; Galatians 3:10-12

Preacher: Rev. David Inks

Sermon Outline
I. Why are Our Good Works Bad and Ugly? (QA 62)
II. If Our Good is Actually Bad, How Can God Approve? (QA 63)
III. Why Try? (QA 64)

Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 24
Q & A 62
Q. Why can’t our good works be our righteousness before God, or at least a part of our righteousness?
A. Because the righteousness which can pass God’s judgment must be entirely perfect and must in every way measure up to the divine law. But even our best works in this life are imperfect and stained with sin.

Q & A 63
Q. How can our good works be said to merit nothing when God promises to reward them in this life and the next?
A. This reward is not earned; it is a gift of grace.

Q & A 64
Q. But doesn’t this teaching make people indifferent and wicked?
A. No. It is impossible for those grafted into Christ through true faith not to produce fruits of gratitude.

Romans 1:17 (ESV)
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Romans 4:1-8 (ESV)
1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

Galatians 3:10-12 (ESV)
10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”

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