Friday, September 25, 2009

St. Augustine Against The "Unintelligence" (his word not mine) of Faith Alone

"Unintelligent persons, however, with regard to the apostle’s statement: “We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law,” have thought him to mean that faith suffices to a man, even if he lead a bad life, and has no good works. Impossible is it that such a character should be deemed “a vessel of election” by the apostle, who, after declaring that “in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision,” adds at once, “But faith working through love” … Therefore they possess not the faith by which the just man lives – the faith which works by love in such wise, that God recompenses it according to its works with eternal life … And the apostle himself, after saying, “By grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast;” saw, of course, the possibility that men would think from this statement that good works are not necessary to those who believe, but that faith alone suffices for them; and again, the possibility of men’s boasting of their good works, as if they were of themselves capable of performing them. To meet, therefore, these opinions on both sides, he immediately added, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” … It follows, then, dearly beloved, beyond all doubt, that as your good life is nothing else than God’s grace, so also the eternal life which is the recompense of a good life is the grace of God … Grace is for grace, as if remuneration for righteousness; in order that it may be true, because it is true, that God “shall reward every man according to his works.”" - St. Augustine "On Grace and Free Will" (Ch. 18-20)

For a good blog regarding this see:


  1. I would have to agree with Augustine that faithalone taught as an antinomianos, is quite foolish. Paul clearly did not teach antinomianism.