Response To A Treatise On Good Works

Response To A Treatise On Good Works

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In this essay Martin Luther comments upon the role of good works in a Christian's life and the overall goal of a Christian in his or her walk. He writes seventeen different sections answering the critics of his teachings. I will summarize and address each one of these sections in the following essay.
In the first and second section, Martin Luther exclaims that if you want to know what good works to do, know the commandments and follow them accordingly. He also says not to judge works by their magnitude, number, or appearance. I like the way Luther uses biblical evidence when arguing a point. I think that is missing more these days, most pastors just preach sermons on saving money, and treating others with respect without giving biblical evidence for us to look back upon. I agree with his statement that works should not be judged. A work is a work no matter how big, or how many, or what work. In the second section, Martin Luther preaches against "learned" men telling others that it isn't necessary to be sure if your life pleases God, even though all the men teach of is works. Luther thinks all these things are done without faith so they don't even count to God. He also defends himself against people saying that he is downing good works, when really he is just teaching works of the faith. I agree with works of the faith instead of just works, works isn't something you have to do or should do, it is something that you should want to do once you have the faith and become a Christian.
In the third and fourth section, Martin Luther describes that other people think narrowly about works, but he believes that during your daily routine you can be working and worshiping God. He says to draw all works from faith and exclude all that "do not flow from it". I agree that all things should be done with in faith and God. All things are for him, and shall remain so. In the fourth section, he describes that if your heart is confident in a work then it is pleasing to God, but if you doubt then the work is now not good. He also goes on to say that no work is good but through faith alone.

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This statement seems to go along with his three points of grace, scripture, and faith alone. You do not receive the spirit but through faith alone not works.
In the fifth and sixth section, Martin Luther says that all works are equal within faith. The works are only acceptable within the faith. In the sixth section he shows us an example of two people in love. They are not taught how to behave towards each other; it is only faith and confidence in what they are doing. He asks people to live in confidence toward God. I agree with equal works, but this causes me to question what is done within faith or just for greed. How many churches have I tithed to that will use my money for an unholy purpose? How will we ever know the righteous from the wicked within our own boundaries? I love the way he uses two people in love to display the confidence we should have towards God, but it seems like we should have a lot more confidence towards God, by leaving our life and afterlife in his hands.
In the seventh and eighth section, Martin Luther preaches that through our sufferings that God has not abandoned us. He tells that suffering in works is a great thing in Christianity. In section eight he talks of Gods punishments and what they might mean to him. He also writes that people so often base their faith on good works and not the divine purpose behind them. I agree, some people only do good things to gain something back from them. It's sad to see people forced to help others and not taking joy in it at all.
In the ninth and tenth section, Martin Luther describes the first commandment and talks about how we should not only worship God with our mouths but trust him with our heart and look to him for all things even through works and suffering. In the tenth section he says that you do not keep the first commandment if you seek favor, grave, and goodwill from outward sources. I like the translation he gives of the 1st commandment, when he says it all has to do with faith, hope, and love in the end.
In the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth section, Luther repeats himself in that all things should be done with faith and adds on that if righteousness consists of faith that faith fulfils all commandments. He says no one is justified except for who keeps all the commandments of God. He describes the way the Romans used the 1st commandment. He describes that it is humanly impossible to forfill the 1st commandment fully. It is more work than any man can handle. He repeats himself a lot in these few sections. H continues to talk about faith and works intertwined within each other and not separate. I wish more people would realize the 1st commandment like Martin Luther has. He has a way of describing it in a way that makes more sense and calls for more action than mindset.
In the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth sections, Luther talks down about the churches asking of good works, because any faithful man would do good works out of his faith, not being told too. Since there are unfaithful people, we need laws and everyone does not do good works and have confidence in God. He describes four different types of men. The first being someone that needed no law, the second being someone who takes advantage of the freedom and becomes lazy, the third being someone who are wicked and always ready for sin, and the fourth being someone who is still lusty and a child in their understanding of faith. You should know that faith still does not come from works but vice versa. This essay had a large impact on me, I was struggling with knowing what I would like to be for the rest of my life. I felt like my faith called for me to become a missionary in Africa or I would not be good enough to God. This essay helped me learn that I can have faith and praise God without having to move to Africa but by my present situation in life and with everything I do.
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