Peace in Christ,
“Good works are necessary”?
“Regarding the necessity or voluntary nature of good works, it is clear that in the Augsburg Confession and its Apology these expressions are often used and repeated: good works are necessary. Likewise, they say it is necessary to do good works, which necessarily follow faith and reconciliation. Likewise, we necessarily are to do, and must do, the kind of good works God has commanded. In the Holy Scriptures themselves the words necessity, needful, and necessary, as well as ought and must, are used to describe what we are bound to do because of God’s ordinance, command, and will. (See Romans 13:5; 1 Corinthians 9:9; Acts 5:29; John 15:12; 1 John 4:21).
It is for this reason that the sayings and propositions just mentioned (in this Christian and proper understanding) are unfairly condemned and rejected by some people. These sayings should rightly be employed and used to reject the secure, Epicurean delusion [that is, that one sees pleasure as the goal of life]. For many create for themselves a dead faith or delusion that lacks repentance and good works. They act as though there could be true faith in a heart at the same time as the wicked intention to persevere and continue in sin [Romans 6:1-2]. This is impossible. Or, they act as though a person could have and keep true faith, righteousness, and salvation even though he is and remains a corrupt and unfruitful tree, from which no good fruit comes at all. In fact, they say this even though a person persists in sins against conscience or purposely engages again in these sins. All of this is incorrect and false.”
-the Lutheran Confessions (Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord IV 14-15)