Christian Universe ô
September 04, 2015
We hear so much about faith that we often forget that God created humankind to do good works, and that He continues expectation of those good works. From the Law of Moses and into the Law of Christ we see certain basic laws of God that I call His "universal laws". The two greatest commandments are to love God with all of our mind, soul, heart and strength, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Good works encompass both of these commandments. We serve God through serving our Christian family and the human race in general.- Bernie Parsons
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Blockhouse Bottom Church of Christ on 09-04-2015
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 09-13-2015
Titus 2:11 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
Good works are mentioned 32 times in the King James Version of the New Testament. What are these good works that are so commonly mentioned and of which we are to be so zealous?
Luke 10:26 "He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."
Jesus said that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. What good things do we want? Then we must want those same things for our neighbors, else we fail to love them as Jesus said to do.
God has always been the champion of the oppressed. (See also Exodus 22:25-27)
Deuteronomy 10:17 "For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.
19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."
Here is how that Job described his own righteous deeds.
Job 29:12 "Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.
13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.
17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth."
David had this to say about these laws of God:
Psalms 82:3 "Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked."
James references these same works of righteousness:
James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
James 2:12 "So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."
Acts 20:32 "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
The apostle Paul also wanted Timothy to charge the richer Christians
with the following:
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."
What other things should we be doing to manifest works grounded in Godís teachings?
We are to take care of family. If widows have no family, the church is their family.
1 Timothy 5:3 "Honour widows that are widows indeed.
4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.
6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.
7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.
8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,
10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work."
1 Timothy 5:16 "If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed."
Luke 6:36 "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
1 Thessalonians 5:14 "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men."
James 3:13 "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
1 Peter 3: 8 "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:"
See also James 5:1-8, Galatians 6:6-10
Plainly, our good works are in included in the commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.