Christian Universe ™
Maintain Good Works
February 06, 2011
Once we repent and are baptized into the body of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we need to maintain good works. Contrary to what the Calvinists preach, there is much for the Christian to do. Use a good concordance to look up words such as work, works, labor, do, deed, indeed, and so forth, and you will readily see that God put us here -- His workmanship -- that we might do good works toward one another.
Maintain Good Works
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 02-06-2011
Presented to Load church of Christ on 02-13-2011
Believing and obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ involves more than just becoming a Christian. It includes maintenance of the lifestyle based upon that of Christ.
Matthew 5:14 "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
We speak of being a light to the world, and Jesus shows us that the light radiates from our good works, saying that men will see the good works of His followers and will glorify God.
Mark 14:3 "And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always."
We find two types of good works mentioned in this passage. First of all, there was the good work the woman did in washing Jesus' feet in the perfume, or ointment. Then, we have the good works that may be done to relieve the needs of the poor. The Christian finds man opportunities to do good works. We should always be alert to those opportunities.
Acts 9:36 "Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them."
Here was a woman, Dorcas, who was full of good works and gave money to the needy. She had made clothes and coats for widows. This shows us two classes of people who need help, and more than one way to help. Widows and the poor often need assistance, either in the way of money or clothing. This gives us an indication of those whom we can help, and how.
Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
In this written discourse, the apostle Paul reminds that salvation from sins comes from God through Christ Jesus. He states that the believers are the work of God, and are made into workers of good in Jesus Christ. God had previously ordained that we walk in good works. That means that as we go about our daily lives, we are to do the work of God – we are to do good works.
Galatians 5:19 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."
The apostle Paul told the Galatian believers that the works of the flesh are plainly seen and understood, and he went on to name some of them. Those who do works of the flesh shall not inherit God’s kingdom. He further elaborates upon the fruits of the Spirit, being those things that are produced in the lives of the spiritually mature, or perfect.
Such obvious contrast is not to be denied nor misunderstood. Those who live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit – that is, they do the works of God, foregoing the works of the flesh.
1 Timothy 2:8 "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works."
Whether believing men or women, all are to do good works.
1 Timothy 5:8 "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."
We see the admonition that Paul gave to Timothy about those with material riches.
1 Timothy 6:17 "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
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."
We see that both the person of ordinary means and those with great wealth are to put their abilities, time, and resources to work to help others. Our lives are to be filled with good works.
2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
Our goal is to become spiritually mature, and to do those good works that God intended.
Titus 2:13 "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."
Christians are to be salt and light. What makes us able to do that is our good works, for which we stand out as a different people, a people eager to do accomplish good things.
Titus 3:8 "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men."
It is not enough to have believed in Christ, repented of our sinful ways, and to have been baptized into Christ, but we must put constant effort into maintaining good works.
Titus 3:14 "And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful."
Part of those good works have to do with taking care of ourselves, and others.
Matthew 16:27 "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."