Works are not necessary of themselves. In God’s accounting they are not necessary at all for our salvation. But they are necessary for the sake of people, so that others would see Christians exercising their faith by works and so may praise the Father in heaven and accept Him as their God.* Luther writes: “Indeed, when there is faith, believers cannot help but do good works. Christians prove themselves, they break forth, in their good works. They confess their faith, teach people by the Gospel, and risk their lives in the process.”
We should test our own faith by these remarks of Luther. Faith cannot be shut in. It is like a body of water that can be tapped. It rushes through any opening that is made for it. Believers are ready to serve anybody, wherever they can. They cannot help but profess the Gospel before other people; in face, they bet their life on the Gospel.
Believers know that if they refuse to do these things, they will have to forsake Christ. At this point the light of faith will be snuffed out in them. Accordingly, they confess Christ not merely because Christ said, “So everyone who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before My Father who is in heaven, “But because they cannot help but do it.
Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible by C. F. W. Walther (A Reader’s Edition)
*Note: This acceptance happens after the work of the Holy Spirit.