1. Much to the chagrin of all modern sophists who pose as theologians of the Word, faith and works are not irrevocably tied together. They are to be distinguished.
2. "Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness" Rom 4:4-5.
3. If one attempts to marry "belief" and "good deeds" in order to be justified before God, he gains neither justification nor good deeds nor belief (God help us all).
4. For the justification of God is rendered only to those who "do not work but trust God".
5. And good deeds are only substantially "good" in the sight of God after the man has been justified.
6. And "belief" is only present in the one who-though fully wicked- casts himself on the promise of God's grace rather than the synergistic potential of good deeds.
7. It is the undeserved favor of God, not substantially good deeds, that serve as the foundation for our eternal life (Ti 3:4-5).
8. It is the purpose of God, not "anything we have done" that wins us a place in Heaven (2 Tim 1:9).
9. Therefore justifying faith must always be divorced from the realm of human activity according to the Word of Christ.
10. It has been duly established by God that the realm of justification (from first to last) serves as a locus of reality where faith and works are forever separate. This is why we call the Word of God "good news".
11. Those who try to marry faith and deeds for justification succeed only in denying the Word of God, blaspheming His promise, scoffing at the "Good News" and propelling troubled souls into uncertainty about their salvation. We cannot guard ourselves against this enough.
We are all of us impious wretches. On the one point you wish to console our broken souls, we take it and malign it with all of our "good deeds". Save all of us, from greatest to least, from disbelieving the simple truth of your gospel, that you saved us apart from anything we did or ever will do. I am so frustrated with myself and with others. In Jesus Name.