For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2 8-10)
Scripture is clear, we are not saved by our works, we are saved by grace. Even our best works will not gain us a position in righteousness; we are only made righteous by the Blood of Jesus Christ. What we do in the way of acts of charity is essential, but these efforts are insufficient to grant us access before God. On the other hand, while we are not saved by works, the Scriptures also declares that we are saved for good works.
So, let me summarize this passage of Scripture for you:
- We are not saved by our works.
- We are saved for good works.
The problem with “amazing grace” is some people interpret this as a reason to do nothing. I have discovered that some people who are active in grace are weak in works.
- Misinterpreting the message of grace can lead to sloth and indifference.
- Misinterpreting the message of grace can give the impression that no works are required.
- Misinterpreting the message of grace can subtly suggest that works are not as important as grace.
We should note that most cults and religions have a works-earned salvation, and this forces their adherents to perform good works as an attempt to somehow gain God’s approval. The Christian movement believes that we are saved by grace and this redemption causes us to be engaged in good works. These good works are the evidence of an authentic work of grace that has taken place in our hearts.
The Big Question!
I often ask people what they would like Jesus to say to them when they meet Him. Most will answer and say that they want to hear Him say, “Well Done!” Remember, Jesus does not owe you a ‘well done’! You don’t get a well done without having done something well!
Here is my question to you:
What are you doing that would cause Jesus to say to you, “Well Done!”?
Jesus modeled “Good Works”
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)
Jesus answered them,”Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” (John 10:32)
Jesus found true satisfaction doing the work of God
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” (John 4:34)
The “food” about which Jesus was speaking was his spiritual nourishment. Most Christians see their spiritual nourishment as:
- Bible study
- Attending church
While these are all essential practices, and should be an important habit established in our daily routine, but spiritual food also comes from doing God’s will. We are nourished not only by what we ingest, but also by what we give out or by what we do.
Jesus commissioned us to do good works
Let your light so shine before man that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
We should stir others in good works
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, (Hebrews 10:24)
We should be zealously engaged in good works
Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:14)
As Christians, we need to be rich in good works
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
We are equipped for good works
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4 11-16)
We study the Scriptures to be equipped for good works
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
As we study the Word of God, we are being empowered to become workers, i.e., those who will do good works. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
In closing, here are four things that our good works will accomplish:
- Our good works glorify God
Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12)
- Good works will make our lives fruitful
And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. (Titus 3:14)
- Good works are excellent
The saying is sure. I desire that you insist on these things, so that those who have come to believe in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works; these things are excellent and profitable to everyone. (Titus 3:8)
- Our good works are pleasing to God
But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:16)