Used in the NT of human behaviour. ‘Good works’ are the human response to the grace of God; but they do not earn the grace of God. Much controversy since the Reformation has been caused by the Reformers' alleging that Catholics sought to earn salvation by good works, whereas in their view believers are justified only by Christ through faith. The epistle of James (2: 14) was not well liked by Martin Luther, who suspected a doctrine of salvation by works in it, and thus a regression to Judaism—which was itself a misunderstanding of Judaism. It was not that Jews believed they could earn justification by good works; they hoped to maintain the privileged covenantal relationship with God already given.