Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Calvin's Catechism: How the Righteousness of Good Works and the Righteousness of Faith Fit Together

Calvin's Catechism (1538)

19. How the righteousness of good works and the righteousness of faith fit together.

There is no doubt that good works which proceed from such purity of conscience are acceptable to God. Since he recognizes his righteousness in them, he cannot but approve and commend them. Yet we must beware of becoming so puffed up with vain confidence as to forget we are justified by faith in Christ alone. Surely in the Lord’s sight there is no works-righteousness save what corresponds to his righteousness. Therefore, one who seeks to be justified by works does not do enough by merely performing one work or another, but has need of reaching perfect obedience to the law, from which those who completely surpass all others in keeping the Lord’s law are as yet very far away.

Then, even if it were possible to satisfy God’s righteousness by only one good work, the Lord could not find a single work in his saints to credit with righteousness on its own merit. For even though this fact could seem incredible, it is nonetheless very true: no work at all leaves our hand accomplished with complete perfection, and unmarred by some defect. Accordingly, since we are all sinners and sprinkled with very many traces of vices, we must needs be justified outside ourselves. Namely, we always have need of Christ, by whose perfection our imperfection is covered, by whose purity our uncleanness is cleansed, by whose obedience our inquity is wiped out, finally on account of whose righteousness, righteousness is freely imputed to us, without any reckoning of our works, which are in no way great enough for us to stand up in God’s judgment. But when our spots, which otherwise could have befouled our works in God’s sight, are thus covered, the Lord sees in them nothing but the highest purity and holiness. Accordingly, he honors them with preeminent names. For he both calls and regards them as acts of righteousness, and promises for them the fullest recompense. To sum up, we must conclude that fellowship with Christ has such great power because on its account we are not only freely reckoned righteous, but our works are also imputed to us as righteousness and will be recompensed with an everlasting reward.

From: Merit in the Reformed Confessions

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