"Works" is Not a Dirty Word

"Works" is Not a Dirty Word - Christian faith always leads to good works
Today's devotion is a bit different from other Bible Love Notes. It's longer because it contains the full text to a number of Scriptures. 

There's a popular misunderstanding among Christians, and it's important that we know how to respond to it.  

Frequently when I write about our Christian responsibilities and good works, someone "corrects" me, saying works have nothing to do with genuine Christianity. They'll quote Ephesians 2:8-9: 

"It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."

It's true. Salvation is not at all about works. 

But after salvation, works are an important element of faith. We do good works out of love for Christ, through faith in Christ, for the purposes of Christ, and in the power of Christ. 

If people challenge us about the importance of good works, we can share some of the passages below:

"Works" is Not a Dirty Word - Christian faith always leads to good worksMatthew 5:16: In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

2 Corinthians 9:8: And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Ephesians 2:10: For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Philippians 2:12-13: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Colossians 1:9-10: So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

1 Thessalonians 1:10: We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 5:9-10: No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

1 Timothy 6:17-18: Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

2 Timothy 2:21: Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Titus 1:16: They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

Titus 2:7: And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.

Titus 2:14: He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

Titus 3:8: This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

James 1:27: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 2:20: How foolish! Can't you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

1 Peter 2:12: Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Also check out these longer passages:

Matthew 25:34-46

Hebrews 6:7-10

John 15:2-8

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