The Bible clearly states that Christians are to do good works. Jesus taught it saying, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16 ). Paul told the church at Ephesus, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10). He instructed Titus about good works several times. Speaking of Christ, Paul said, "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). Later he said, "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." (3:8). The Hebrew writer wrote in Hebrews 10:24, "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,". Even Peter wrote, "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). There are many other passages, but these tell us outright, that as Christians, good works are to be a part of our lives.

But, what does it mean to do good works? Simply stated, good works are doing things that are pleasing to God, both physically and spiritually. There are two types of good works that we should be concerned about, physical and spiritual.

Physical works involve doing things for others in this life. This is the sense that we traditionally think of when we talk about good works. They include giving to charities, helping others (especially our brethren - Galatians 6:10), and anything we might do to improve our environment whether it be family, community, our work, etc. Such works should be a part of the Christian’s life. James 2:15-16 speaks of professing to have faith, but failing to show it by action. The example is given of a brother or sister naked and destitute and you say, ‘Be warmed and filled’ and then send them on their way with nothing, what profit has it been?  Jesus, portraying the judgment scene in Matthew 25, speaks of us being judged by the good works that we have done (25:34-45). Solomon wrote of this type of work in Proverbs 3:27-28, saying, "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it,’ when you have it with you."   Paul said is Gal.6:10, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Note in these last two texts, that doing such works is based upon our abilities. And that is the nature of physical works: While they certainly are important, they are discretional and based upon opportunities, abilities and even our judgment.

Spiritual works involve things that contribute to your relationship with God and your eternal salvation. They include, obeying the gospel, continued spiritual growth, looking for opportunities to teach the gospel to others, condemning error and defending the truth at all times. Spiritual good works demand immediate attention and are more clearly defined.  Hebrews 3:13 says, "Beware...but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Jude wrote, "but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh." (v.23) Paul spoke of his teaching others saying, "Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences" (2 Corinthians 5:11). Note the urgency associated with such verses. Why? Because of the seriousness of the works dealt with. Neglecting this type of work will put souls in jeopardy. That is why they must be acted upon right now.

    The Christian’s life must be filled with good works, both physical and spiritual. What about your life? Is it filled with good works as it ought to be? Have you responded to one of the most important good works you will ever do, obeying the gospel? If not, let me encourage you to do so today.

 

 

 

 

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