Good Works for God’s Glory
Why should the believing sinner do good works?
Do we do good works so we can atone for our “temporal” sins after we were baptized? Are we to do good religious works in order to make satisfaction for our sins? Do we contribute to our salvation in some measure by good works? Are we to believe that one day we will stand before God listening to the judgment as He decides if we have had enough good works to outweigh our sins and condemnation?
The essential question is what is your motive for doing good works? Are these done in order to be saved, or are they done because we have been saved by grace through faith? The Bible is clear that we are not justified by faith plus good works, but works do follow justification by faith.
It is only natural that good works should flow out of the salvation already accomplished for us by Jesus Christ. Jesus alone is our Savor. He alone is the sinless Lamb of God who could make atonement for sins. Only His blood cleanses from sin. The only requirement of God is to repent and believe on Jesus Christ.
The only thing left for the sinner to do is accept the finished work of Christ. Have you trusted in His work alone to save you?
Since we are God’s workmanship, created in His sovereign grace, our salvation cannot be of ourselves. We are God-made. We are His workmanship. We have been created in Christ Jesus for good works. We are God’s spiritual handiwork. In regeneration we were made a new spiritual creature by Him (2 Cor. 5:17).
The apostle Paul wrote, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).
God created us with the view of good works. Good works are not the cause of our salvation, but the object of God’s creation. “We were created in Christ Jesus for good works,” says the apostle Paul.
God prearranged for the sinner saved by grace to do good works as evidence of being saved by grace. Good works are the necessary outcome of our salvation by grace through faith. God destined these good works as His purpose for us. The unseen source of these good works is God’s new creation. God’s purpose is that these good works should actually and habitually be done by the believe. It is not an option to serve Christ in good works, yet it is not a requirement to gain our salvation.
Our being God’s handiwork implies that our new nature will reproduce His handiwork. We have been made anew in Christ; therefore we are expected to produce from that new nature a life that is pleasing to our Creator. Our old nature implies that we had to be made a new creation in Christ before we could produce anything pleasing to a holy and righteous God.
Our salvation is all of grace. The marvelous thing is, “If anyone is in Christ; he is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). Because of being God’s new creation we have a better nature than we had before. Our new nature “is nothing less than the nature of the holy and eternal God within His people.”
- H. Spurgeon said, “Because God is gracious, therefore sinful men are forgiven, converted, purified and saved. It is not because of anything in them, or that ever can be in them, that they are saved; but because of the boundless love, goodness, pity, compassion, mercy and grace of God.”
Faith plus good works does not equal justification.
Works follow justification as a consequence and evidence of it. To eliminate good works in a Christian’s life as a result of saving grace must also be rejected. They will always be the evidence of true spiritual regeneration in a Christian’s life.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006