Why are good deeds not enough? (Heidelberg 24)

Having heard that we are made right with God through faith alone, in this session we think about two questions people often ask: why can we not please God through good works? And if our good works don’t earn anything – doesn’t that mean we can just do what we like?

This is such an important issue to be thinking about. If good works don’t earn anything with God, does that just mean we can act however we like? It’s a good question, and it’s one which a lot of people ask.

The Heidelberg breaks it down into three questions:

  • Q62 “Why can our good works not be our righteousness before God, or at least a part of it?”
  • Q63 “But do our good works earn nothing, even though God promises to reward them in this life and the next?”
  • Q64 “Does this teaching not make people careless and wicked?”

I think that final question is the one which people ask – if our good works don’t earn anything, why not just do whatever you like? Why not just live any way you choose? What does the Bible have to say to that question…

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If you enjoy this, you can do the whole series right here on the website, or on the app (see links on the right hand side of the page). Alternatively, I am uploading them regularly to YouTube and Facebook. All sessions on YouTube are available on this playlist.

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Can we please God without faith? | Hebrews 11:1-6 | Justification #5


Many people have the view that, on the day of judgement, God will tot up our good deeds and – if we’ve done enough – will let us into heaven. Many people think it doesn’t matter whether you have faith, just that you’ve done enough good deeds. But what does the Bible say?

The podcast episode is available here.

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If God forgives us, why should we do good deeds? | Matthew 7:15-23 | Justification #4

One of the biggest questions people ask: if God forgives us anyway, why should we bother trying to good in the first place? In the fourth part of our series on Justification, Jesus gives us the answer.


The podcast episode is available here.

To support Understand the Bible, see the support page.

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