OUR GOOD WORKS
hear a lot about works in the religious world. Most of what is said is
we can't earn our salvation through our own works or merit and that is
true. There is really no disagreement on that point. Others want to
make actions commanded of us by God a work because it does not agree
with their interpretation of Scripture concerning salvation. Chief
among this argument is the subject of baptism.
While disagreements may continue to abound concerning the subject
of works, it cannot be denied that works are mentioned often enough in
the Scriptures to warrant our attention. It also must be understood
these works are not only important but necessary. Of course, we must be
clear what defines a good work.
The most often mentioned Scripture associated with good works is
Ephesians 2:10. Here we are told, "For we are his workmanship, created
in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we
should walk in them" (KJV). The reason this verse stands out is because
of the mention of grace in verse 8, used by many to show baptism is a
work and therefore not essential to salvation since we are saved by
grace. Baptism is not a work unto salvation but obedience to a divine
command, wherein we become recipients of God's grace (Col. 2:11,12).
Moving on from that argument we must address the good works we have
been designed to perform. I was told some time ago of a preacher who
told people he was off to do a "good work." It came to be known his
deeds were sinful and therefore, not the good works of which Paul writes
in Ephesians 2:10. However, our good works do serve a purpose.
Peter writes, "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles:
that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good
works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation"
(1Pet. 2:12; KJV). Our works are to serve as a glory to God so others
who observe them can also come to glorify God in obedience to the
gospel. James speaks of our faith and the works that prove that faith
(J. 2:17-26). Our works are not done to earn salvation but because of
the gift of salvation (God's grace) we have received.
The following passages speak of doing good works. They are
Colossians 1:10, 1 Timothy 3:1 (elders), 2 Timothy 2:21, and Titus 3:1.
There are others besides but these will suffice to help us understand
our walk with God is not a passive one. It is to be a life based on
faith, while understanding true faith requires obedience to God's word.
Then we are to glorify God in our daily walk so as to show to others
through our deeds the love of God. This what Peter wrote of in the
passage cited earlier. We were created to glorify God and this is done
through our good (godly) works. Rodger