838. Let everyone therefore beware of that heresy, that man is justified by faith without the works of the law; for he who is in it, and does not fully recede from it before the end of life draws near, is consociated after death with infernal genii; for they are the goats of whom the Lord says:
Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41-42).
For the Lord does not say of "the goats" that they had done evils, but that they had not done goods. The reason that they did not do goods is because they say in themselves, "I cannot do good of myself; the law does not condemn me; the blood of Christ cleanses me, and liberates me; the passion of the cross has taken away the guilt of sin; the merit of Christ is imputed to me by faith; I am reconciled to the Father, I am in grace, I am regarded as a son; and He considers our sins as infirmities, which He immediately remits for His Son's sake; thus He justifies through faith alone; and unless this was the only means of salvation, no mortal could be saved. For what other end should the Son of God suffer the cross, and fulfill the law, but that He might take away the condemnation of our transgressions?" These and many similar things they say within themselves, and thus do not do goods which are goods; for from their faith alone, which is nothing but a faith of knowledge, in itself a historical faith, thus only science, there do not proceed any goods; for it is a dead faith, into which no life or soul comes, unless the man approaches the Lord immediately, and shuns evils as sins of himself; then the goods which he does as of himself are from the Lord, and thus goods in themselves; concerning which it thus speaks in Isaiah:
Woe the sinful nation, laden with iniquity, a seed of the evil, sons that are corrupt; when ye spread forth your hands, I hide mine eyes from you; yea, though ye multiply prayers, I do not hear; wash you, make you clean, put away the wickedness of your works from before Mine eyes, cease to do evil, learn to do good; then though your sins have been as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they have been red as purple, they shall be as wool (Isa. 1:4, 15-18).
And in Jeremiah:
Stand in the gate of the house of Jehovah, and proclaim there this word: Trust ye not in the words of a lie, saying, The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah are these (the church of God, the church of God, the church of God is where our faith is); will ye, stealing, killing, committing adultery, and swearing by a lie, then come and stand before Me in this house, upon which My name is called, and say, We are delivered, while ye do these abominations? Is this house become a den of robbers? Behold, even I have seen, saith Jehovah (Jer. 7:2-4, 9-11).