The Necessity of Good Works

 

“8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9  not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:8-10 NKJV)

 

“5  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6  whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7  that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8  This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” (Tit 3:5-8 NKJV)

 

 “And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.” (Tit 3:14 NKJV)

 

   We are not saved by means of our own good works.  Jesus paid the full price of our salvation and through His merits and works on the cross we are saved!  BUT the result of true salvation is good works.

 

   Good works are very important.  We will be judged concerning them.  To see what good works means, read Mat 25:31-46.

 

I. The NATURE of Good Works

 

A.     Not mere “Church” Works – duties of singing, giving, building and other churchianities …

 

* Like Levite in Good Samaritan story

                                    (Luke 10:30-35)

 

B.     Not trying to “justify” ourselves

 

Jesus rebuked Pharisees --  “And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Lu 16:15 NKJV)

 

C.     Good works are …   (Mt 25:35-40)

 

1.      Feeding the hungry 

2.      Helping strangers

3.      Clothing the naked

4.      Visiting the sick

5.      Caring about those in prison

 

II. The MOTIVE of Good Works

 

A.     Not to be seen of men

 

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2  "Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.” (Mt 6:1-2 NKJV)

 

B.     Not for mere reward

 

C.     Because of the Love of Christ

 

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2Co 5:14-15 NKJV)

 

 

III. The RESULTS of Good Works

 

  1. To Glorify God

 

“"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mt 5:16 NKJV)

 

  1. To bring conviction on unbelievers

 

  1. To Bless the World

 

*  At this point we cannot but recall the story of a prominent woman in the nobility, who gave up from conscientious scruples two valuable diamonds. She had a hospital built with the proceeds for the fallen of her sex. At certain times she visited the wards, and one day was ministering religious comfort to a dying woman in one of the cots. She was sitting by the side of the bed when the dying woman looking up to her said: "Ah, Madam, but for you I would not have had this quiet,

home-like place in which to die, and more than that, I would not have been prepared to die. But you taught me here, and you have led me to Jesus, and I am going to Him now through what you have done." Then raising herself up partially, she bent over the hand of her benefactress, and, in imprinting a kiss thereon, let two large crystal tears drop upon it. The next moment she fell back dead upon her

pillow.

 

   The lady sat silent and awed a few minutes, looking down at the peaceful face before her, when lifting up her hand she noticed the two tears still glistening upon it. At once a sweet smile flashed over her face and looking upward, she said: "Lord, you have sent me back my two diamonds, and they are so much lovelier and precious than when I gave them to you." 

- Carradine, The Sanctified Life,  pp. 160-161.

 

  1. To Bless the Church

 

* We read once of a member of a church who had been careless in regard to this kind of spiritual activity. He had a habit of fretting and fault-finding. He saw very little good in anything, was skeptical in regard to the sincerity of bright testimonies which he heard in experience meetings, and was greatly given to arguing about

non-essentials. One Sunday morning his pastor preached on Heaven. Immediately the combative, skeptical spirit arose and he said: "You speak of heaven, but can you give me any idea as to the location, whether in the center of the universe or close by us in our own solar system?"

 

   The pastor replied: "I will give you my view at another time. Let me now speak to you about something else. Do you see yonder little house on the hill?"  "Yes," replied the man.

 

   "Well, in there lives a woman, poor, sick and helpless. She needs coal, food and consolation. I wish you could drop in a few minutes some time and see her."

 

   That very afternoon this gentleman, who was a man of some means, went to the little house. With him he had brought certain things in the shape of fuel and provisions. He sat an half hour by the side of the invalid, read a chapter in God's Word, sung a hymn, and kneeling down prayed with her. On leaving he placed a five dollar bill in her hand. The next day he met his pastor on the street and calling him aside said:

 

   "I asked you yesterday where heaven was. You need not tell me. I have found out. Do you see that little house on the hill Well, it is there! I found it there yesterday afternoon as I talked and prayed with a sick woman; and it is also in my heart. "  - Carradine, The Sanctified Life,  p. 145

 

  1. To receive a reward in heaven

 

   It is said that during the Crimean War a Russian officer was patrolling the lines on a bitterly cold night, when he came across a sentinel thinly clad and almost freezing in the piercing blast. At once the officer took off his overcoat and wrapped it about the soldier. Next day there was a terrible battle and many thousands were killed and wounded. Among the latter was the young officer whose life blood was fast gushing away on the bare ground and under a bleak sky, friends were bending over him as he rambled unconsciously in his mind. Suddenly he opened his eyes and looking upward gasped in glad accents:

 

   "The Savior is coming for me."  There was a moment's silence as he still gazed steadily upward, when with a look of astonishment and a great light flashing over his face and a strange, sweet smile on his lips he cried:  "Why he has the overcoat on that I gave to the soldier."  - Carradine, The Sanctified Life,  p. 149.

 

     If we will glorify God by our Good Works, they will return to us again!