Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine
nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God's gratuitous
justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us
"co-heirs" with Christ and worthy of obtaining "the promised
inheritance of eternal life." The merits of our good works are gifts
of the divine goodness. "Grace has gone before us; now we are
given what is due. . . . Our merits are God's gifts."
The fidelity of the baptized is a primordial condition for the
proclamation of the Gospel and for the
Church's mission in the
. In order that the message of salvation can show the power
of its truth and radiance before men, it must be authenticated by
the witness of the life of Christians. "The witness of a Christian life
and good works done in a supernatural spirit have great power
to draw men to the faith and to God."