Good Works?

Scales of Justice

Last week  in TUPOS we discussed as our last point in the message The Crossover that we must beware, that we sow is what we reap. We looked at several passages including Galatians 6:6-9 which reads

The one who is taught the message must shall all good things with the teacher. Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper times if we don’t give up.

One, at a quick glance, or shallow thought, may wonder; Does this mean that my works matter more than my faith? Do I really need faith at all for salvation? Do I need only do work in order to receive a just reward from God?

NO! We cannot work for our salvation. In the passage we read from Galatians we see that the works of the flesh produce corruption. Nothing good comes from our flesh. But, when we sow in the Spirit, which is through faith, we reap eternal life. Notice, it does not say we gain it ourselves, but the Spirit gives it to us. We do not have what it takes to reap what only the Spirit can give. We must place our faith and trust in what the Spirit is doing, and allow the Spirit to work. Our salvation cannot be gained by our works, because if it was left to our own power, we would die. We are not strong enough.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift – not from works, so that no one can boast.”We are only saved by the grace of God. Grace is that unmerited, divine gift, that God can only give, no one else. No matter how hard we work, we can never achieve salvation on our own. It is simply trough believing in our hearts, and confessing with our mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-12).

We do not work for our salvation. It is our faith in Jesus Christ which should cause us to sow of the Spirit, work because of the faith we have. Let’s look at James 2:14-18.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works.

In verse 18, James tells the reader than our works should point to our faith, and produce our faith. It is because of our faith that we do the work God wants us to. When we see someone in need, we react, not because of our own good heart, but because of the Spirit which lives in us and compels us to do what is good. We cannot produce good, but only corruption, because of our flesh. But, when we respond to the Spirit which dwells in our hearts, and meditate on the Scripture we begin to think and act like Jesus. We sow what he wants us to sow, and reap what comes from such works which we do in faith.

Are you wondering why your works are not producing the outcome you want? Check your faith! If your faith is shallow, so will be your works, and thus the results. If your faith is deeply rooted in Jesus, then your works will bear the mark of the Spirit, and thus gaining excellent fruit bearing results. Our motivation should not be on ourselves, but sole to give glory to God. Let’s focus on Him!

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 HCSB)

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