Good Works – A Requirement for Salvation

Works and Grace

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Ephesians 2:6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 2:7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Ephesians 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Paul is wrapping up what he has been harping on the Jews and subsequently anyone that wants to boast because they keep the law and think that it makes them righteous. In fact it defines them as sinners as we saw in the previous verse and Paul expounds a little more here

The definition of Law – knowledge of sin; of right and wrong; the law defines sin;

Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.

[We can’t boast because we didn’t do it, but it was given to us as a gift]

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

This must be reconciled

Luther adds “faith alone” in his translation of the Bible. This is NOT true (as we will confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt later)

Faith Without Works is Dead

James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
James 2:22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
James 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” And he was called the friend of God.
James 2:24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
James 2:25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Works demonstrate our faith

A Living faith is validated by works through acts of obedience to God’s law

How do you find favor with God? How do you grow in grace? It is through works

Since the law is a reflection of the holy righteous character of God, WE exemplify it by keeping the law, doing what is right… being righteous, practicing righteousness and keeping His commandments

Define works: ergon = virtuous acts (greek)

Works are a Necessity to Get Into the Kingdom of God

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
Matthew 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

So it should come as no surprise that:

We Must Have Good Works

This is reiterated throughout the Bible

Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Matthew 5:15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Matthew 5:19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Qualifications for an elder

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;
1 Timothy 3:3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;
1 Timothy 3:4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence
1 Timothy 3:5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);
1 Timothy 3:6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.
1 Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

These things are being done by the individual before the office is given to them

In the same way we are to be doing these works before we are given the positions of rulership that await us (John 14:2; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 5:10)

Christ died so that we could do these good works that are necessary:

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
Titus 2:12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
Titus 2:14 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 2:15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.

Admonition from Jesus Christ

Mark 13:32 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Mark 13:33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.
Mark 13:34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.
Mark 13:35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—
Mark 13:36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.
Mark 13:37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

Watch = keep awake

How can we be doing works if we are asleep?

Wrong Types of Works

Bad Works can be done

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds [same word as works; ergon] were evil.
John 3:20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
John 3:21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

Example

Matthew 23:2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
Matthew 23:3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.
Matthew 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

Dead Works

Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,
Hebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Works that do not go any where. They do not work with our faith

2 Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.

How They Are Not to Be Done

Matthew 6:1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
Matthew 6:2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
Matthew 6:3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
Matthew 6:4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
Matthew 6:16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
Matthew 6:17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
Matthew 6:18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

The Author of Carnal Works

1 John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

What Will Become of these Works

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Right Types of Work

The Work of Christ

John 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
John 14:11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
John 14:12 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
John 14:13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

God and Christ are working hand in hand to bring this about

Christ’s whole work has been: Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

The Work of God

John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
John 6:27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

BUT TAKE CAREFUL NOTICE HERE:

John 6:28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

The works that we are doing are the same that God and Christ are doing

They are bringing about our belief in Them

What is belief?

Titus 3:8 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.