Faith and Good Works

The relationship of faith and good works has been a source of controversy in Christianity from the very outset. On the one hand, St. Paul is abundantly clear that we are justified by faith, not by works. On the other hand, the New Testament repeatedly speaks of Heaven as a “reward.”

The past five centuries, in particular, have been marked by debates among Catholics and Protestants over the role of faith and good works in our salvation.  In 1999, Catholics and Lutherans signed a “Joint Declaration,” affirming significant unity on this issue that Martin Luther once called “the article on which the Church stands or falls.” Key questions that arise in this discussion are:

  • Faith
  • Good works
  • Justification
  • Sanctification
  • Merit


Father Sakowski has taken courses from Dr. Michael Root, a Lutheran scholar who assisted in formulating that 1999 Joint Declaration and who has since entered full communion with the Catholic Church.  Father will be sharing many of the insights that he gained from Dr. Root, as well as a fresh perspective on this subject in light of his own doctoral research.