But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part of our righteousness before God?
Answer. Because, that the righteousness, which can be approved of before the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect, and in all respects [a] conformable to the divine law; and also, that our best works in this life are all imperfect and [b] defiled with sin.
What! do not our good works merit, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?
Answer. This reward is not of merit, but of grace. [c]
But doth not this doctrine make men careless and profane?
Answer. By no means: for it is impossible that those, who are implanted into Christ by a true faith, should not bring forth fruits of [d] thankfulness.
[a]: Gal. 3:10; Deut. 17:26
[b]: Isa. 64:6
[c]: Luke 17:10
[d]: Mat. 7:17,18; John 15:5