In Lutheran theology, it is argued that wo/man is justified by faith alone, as opposed to good works. One has the same sense in Paul that faith in God is the critical component, but as I understand Paul myself, the person who has faith and is justified by God is also the one that engages in good works. Perhaps this is related to the Calvinist idea of predestination – that God knows from the beginning of time which of his creations will be saved and which will not. The saved gravitate towards sincere faith and good works.
I am, however, neither Lutheran nor Calvinist but Anglican and I have the sense that people have an obligation to try to improve themselves before God, even if they are entirely unworthy and even if their efforts are in vain.
Since starting this, certain articles end up with larger audiences. The article that seems to generate the most continuing interest is “Next Year Stones“, originally published in 2011, and which was written by others. it was written by Neil Remington Abramson, and then turned into a debate with Ahmed Abualsamh as to life meaning, from Christian and Islamic perspectives.
The article is like the one smash hit on the hit parade that can’t seemingly be repeated. “Next Year Stones II” made it up the charts, but not to the same extent. Though lots of Christian and Islamic themes laid out elsewhere, frequently by others.
As a catalyst for other voices. Welcome role.
Life is a proving ground, and every day is a test to improve oneself by a singular standard. Not that of money or possession. Not that of societal station or any other man-made (and consequently finite) standard. We do what we do to improve ourselves in the eyes if God, by His standard (the aforementioned characteristics) So curing cancer say, is only significant if one does so with God’s pleasure in mind (for the righteousness of the deed). That’s the only way one can “bank” the “revenue” from such an achievement Thus, making a difference to oneself. Everything else is dust in the wind, and ultimately insignificant.