Article XX - Of Good Works - Part 3
For devils and the ungodly are not able to believe this article: the forgiveness of sins. Hence, they hate God as an enemy, call not upon Him,
26 and expect no good from Him. Augustine also admonishes his readers concerning the word “faith,” and teaches that the term “faith” is accepted in the Scriptures not for knowledge such as is in the ungodly but for confidence which consoles and encourages the terrified mind.
27 Furthermore, it is taught on our part that it is necessary to do good works, not that we should trust to merit grace by them, but because it is the will of God.
28 It is only by faith that forgiveness of sins is apprehended, and that, for nothing.
29 And because through faith the Holy Ghost is received, hearts are renewed and endowed with new affections, so as to be able to bring forth good works.
30 For Ambrose says: Faith is the mother of a good will and right doing.
31 For man’s powers without the Holy Ghost are full of ungodly affections, and are too weak to do works which are good in God’s sight.
32 Besides, they are in the power of the devil who impels men to divers sins,
33 to ungodly opinions, to open crimes. This we may see in the philosophers, who, although they endeavored to live an honest life could not succeed,
34 but were defiled with many open crimes. Such is the feebleness of man when he is without faith and without the Holy Ghost, and governs himself only by human strength.
35 Hence it may be readily seen that this doctrine is not to be charged with prohibiting good works, but rather the more to be commended, because it shows how we are enabled to do good works.
36 For without faith human nature can in no wise do the works of the First or of the Second Commandment.
36 Without faith it does not call upon God, nor expect anything from God, nor bear the cross, but seeks, and trusts in, man’s help.
37 And thus, when there is no faith and trust in God all manner of lusts and human devices rule in the heart.
38 Wherefore Christ said, John 15:5: Without Me ye can do nothing;
39 and the Church sings:
Lacking Thy divine favor,
There is nothing found in man,
Naught in him is harmless.