New City Catechism Week 34 Resources

Week 34 Question:

Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through Christ alone, must we still do good works and obey God’s Word?

Week 34 Answer:

Yes, because Christ, having redeemed us by his blood, also renews us by his Spirit; so that our lives may show love and gratitude to God; so that we may be assured of our faith by the fruits; and so that by our godly behavior others may be won to Christ.

Week 34 Verse: 1 Peter 2:9-12 



As the earth bringeth not forth fruit except it be watered first from above; even so by the righteousness of the law, in doing many things we do nothing, and in fulfilling the law we fulfil it not, except first we are made righteous by the Christian righteousness, which appertaineth nothing to the righteousness of the law.… But this [Christian] righteousness is heavenly, which we have not of ourselves, but receive it from heaven; we work not for it, but by grace it is wrought in us, and is apprehended by faith…. Why, do we then nothing? Do we work nothing for the obtaining of this righteousness? I answer, Nothing at all. For this is perfect righteousness, to do nothing, to hear nothing, to know nothing of the law, or of works, but to know and believe this only, that Christ is gone to the Father, and is not now seen; that He sitteth in heaven at the right hand of His Father…as…our high priest intreating for us, and reigning over us, and in us, by grace…. He that strayeth from this Christian righteousness, must needs fall into the righteousness of the law; that is to say, when he hath lost Christ, he must fall into the confidence of his own works. But…when I have Christian righteousness reigning in my heart…I do good works, how and wheresoever occasion arise…. Whosoever is assuredly persuaded that Christ alone is his righteousness, doth not only cheerfully and gladly work well in his vocation, but also submitteth himself…to all manner of burdens, and to all dangers of the present life, because he knoweth that this is the will of God, and that this obedience pleaseth Him.

Martin Luther (1483–1546). A German Protestant pastor and professor of theology, Luther was the son of a mining family, intended to become a lawyer, and at first took monastic orders. On 31 October 1517 Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, sparking the Reformation. His refusal to retract his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X and Emperor Charles V resulted in his excommunication. Luther wrote many works, including his small and large catechisms, and preached hundreds of sermons in churches and universities.

From Commentary on Galatians, translated by Erasmus Middleton (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1979), xv–xviii.


Video Commentary

NCC Q34: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through Christ alone, must we still do good works and obey God's Word? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.


Supporting Scriptures

Matthew 7:18; Luke 6:43-45; John 15:5; Romans 6:1-2



There is so much mercy in the heart of God for his people, and…Jesus his Son has by his blood made so living a way for us that we might enjoy it, and the benefit of it for ever…. To that end is this goodness revealed: "Let Israel hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption." Hope! who would not hope to enjoy life eternal?… Did but the people of God see to what they are born, and how true the God of truth will be to what by his word they look for at his hands, they would…groan earnestly under all their enjoyments to be with him, who is their life, their portion, and their glory for ever. But we profess, and yet…long not for the coming of the day of God; we profess the faith, and yet by our whole life show to them that can see, how little a measure of it we have in our hearts. The Lord lead us more into the power of things; then shall the virtues of him that has saved us, and called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, and the favour of his good knowledge, be made known to others far otherwise than it is. Amen.

John Bunyan (1628–1688). Known as the tinker of Elstow, Bunyan underwent a dramatic conversion experience and became a leading Puritan preacher. As his popularity grew, Bunyan increasingly became a target for slander and libel and was eventually imprisoned. It was during his time in prison that he commenced his best known work The Pilgrim’s Progress, first printed in 1678.

From “Israel’s Hope Encouraged” in The Works of that Eminent Servant of Christ Mr. John Bunyan, Volume 3 (Edinburgh: Sands, Murray & Cochran, 1769), 416–417.