New City Catechism Week 33 Resources

Week 33 Question: 

Should those who have faith in Christ seek their salvation through their own works, or anywhere else?

Week 33 Answers: 

No, they should not, as everything necessary to salvation is found in Christ.To seek salvation through good works is a denial that Christ is the only Redeemer and Savior.

Week 33 Verse: Galatians 2:16


We maintain that of whatever kind a man’s work may be, he is regarded as righteous before God simply on the ground of gratuitous mercy; because God, without any respect to works, freely adopts him in Christ, by imputing the righteousness of Christ to him as if it were his own. This we call the righteousness of faith, that is when a man, empty and drained of all confidence in works, feels convinced that the only ground of his acceptance with God is a righteousness which is wanting in himself, and is borrowed from Christ. The point on which the world goes astray (for this error has prevailed in almost every age), is in imagining that man, however partially defective he may be, still in some degree merits the favour of God by works…. God reconciles us to himself, from regard not to our works but to Christ alone, and by gratuitous adoption makes us his own children instead of children of wrath. So long as God regards our works, he finds no reason why he ought to love us. Wherefore it is necessary that he should bury our sins, impute to us the obedience of Christ which alone can stand his scrutiny, and adopt us as righteous through his merits. This is the clear and uniform doctrine of Scripture, “witnessed,” as Paul says, “by the law and the prophets” (Rom. 3:21).

John Calvin (1509–1564). A theologian, administrator, and pastor, Calvin was born in France into a strict Roman Catholic family. It was in Geneva however where Calvin worked most of his life and organized the Reformed church. He wrote The Institutes of the Christian Religion, the Geneva Catechism, as well as numerous commentaries on Scripture.

From “The Necessity of Reforming the Church” in Theological Treatises, edited and translated by J.K.S. Reid, The Library of Christian Classics(Louisville: WJKP, 1954), 199.

Video Commentary

NCC Q33: Should those who have faith in Christ seek their salvation through their own works, or anywhere else? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.


Supporting Scriptures

Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21; Acts 2:38; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:16; John 20:30-31; Galatians 2:15-16; Philippians 3:3-11


Glory in Christ. Glory not in your own faith, your own feelings, your own knowledge, your own prayers, your own amendment, your own diligence. Glory in nothing but Christ. Alas! The best of us know but little of that merciful and mighty Saviour. We do not exalt Him and glory in Him enough. Let us pray that we may see more of the fullness there is in Him.

John Charles Ryle (1816–1900). The first Anglican bishop of Liverpool, Ryle’s appointment was at the recommendation of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. As well as being a writer and pastor, Ryle was an athlete who rowed and played cricket for Oxford University. He also was responsible for the building of over forty churches.

From Holiness (Lightning Source, 2001), 115.