Quoting Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller:
Here’s the thing that is amazing when a Lutheran starts to talk about good works, and the reason why it sounds so different than anybody else is because normally when we think of good works we think of, you know, helping the poor, not sinning, being charitable, things like this. But when our Lutheran fathers talked about good works they talked about works according to the first table of the Law, the you shall have no other Gods, you shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God in vain, and remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, and so the true good works that the Christian is able to accomplish is to trust in God in times of suffering. To trust in God even when we’re dying. To believe that God hears us when we pray. To patiently endure the chastisement of the Lord. To believe what God promises even though it doesn’t look like those promises are coming true. Now that’s an amazing list of good works that aren’t even anywhere near a list of virtues, or anything else like that that we might come up with if we were talking about what it means to be a good person. In other words, we live in, the Christian lives in this life knowing that Jesus suffered for us and died for us, and that He rose for us and now He prays for us. And that certainty, that faith, completely redefines how we look at ourselves and our neighbors and the lives that the Lord has given to us.
The quote comes from a June 2, 2015 Issues, Etc. segment titled “Responding to Evangelical Prooftexts: Philippians 2:12-13, ‘Work Out Your Own Salvation.’ ”