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.”
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.
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.
Summary of Part 1
Works and Grace
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works
How do you find favor with God? How do you grow in grace? It is through works
Faith Without Works is Dead
Works demonstrate our faith; A Living faith is validated by works through acts of obedience to God’s law
Works are a Necessity to Get Into the Kingdom of God
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works the good works that we are to be zealous for
Works are not to end with the death and works of Jesus Christ. He said that we would do even greater works than these will do.
So He admonished us to be about our work while He is away and that we should be careful to maintain good works.
What are the Works that we are to be Doing?
2 Timothy 3:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture [Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, [WHY?] 2 Timothy 3:17 that the man of God may be complete [KJV: perfect], thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Paul confirms this
Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:9 For the commandments, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” “YOU SHALL NOT MURDER,” “YOU SHALL NOT STEAL,” “YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,” “YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Romans 13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. […and what do we do instead] Romans 13:13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
It is by keeping the 10 commandments upon which all the rest of the law is based.
It is by keeping all Scripture and living by every word of God
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, keeping His commandments
Psalms and Proverbs
Psalms 119 What are we to be keeping: (If there is any doubt)
Psalms 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the LORD!
Psalms 119:2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!
Psalms 119:3 They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways.
Psalms 119:4 You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently.
Psalms 119:5 Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes!
Psalms 119:6 Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments.
Psalms 119:7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments.
Psalms 119:9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
Psalms 119:43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, For I have hoped in Your ordinances.
Psalms 119:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, For I believe Your commandments.
We are to ask God: to direct our steps by Your word that we may walk in Your ways with our whole heart;
Psalm 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.
Psalm 119:155 Salvation is far from the wicked, For they do not seek Your statutes.
Psalm 119:172 For all Your commandments are righteousness.
The real answer: Live by every word of God (Matthew 4:4)
Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD.’ “
Why We Do Works
If we cannot earn salvation by works, why then does God require them of us if we expect to be saved?
1. We Show Repentance
By our works…
Acts 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
We show that we have changed from our previous carnal ways
Our works show that we have turned around
That we have buried the old man and are walking in a new direction.
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Luke 3:8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Luke 3:9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Luke 3:10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?”
Luke 3:11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”
2. We Show the Love of God
By our works…
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed [ergon; works] and in truth.
1 John 3:19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
It is easy for us to say Christian aphorisms like “you are in my thoughts and prayers” (and we are not to leave that undone) but John is saying here that we need to get out of our chairs and get out of our house and get out of our comfort zone if we are to show the love of God.
This is the action that goes with belief; yes we are to talk the talk BUT we are also to walk the walk.
As we have opportunity we are to do good to all, especially the brethren. We are to treat them better than ourselves and look out for their interests.
This is really James’ point in chapter 2
James 2:15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
James 2:16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. [How do we do this – by works]
1 John 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
It doesn’t; but if we act and do good works, we show the love of God – we become like God
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
3. We Show Knowledge of God (Understanding)
By our works…
Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified [not approved] for every good work.
So by doing the right type of work – good works, we show that we DO know God and have understanding.
By doing good works we show that we have allowed God in us to work and do; developing the kind of character He has.
If we say that we KNOW God then we will have good works; if we say that we BELIEVE in God but do not do as He commands – then we DENY Him by being abominable and disobedient (not obeying all His words) and if we are disobedient we are incapable of doing the “good works” He would have us do.
So by doing good works we show the right and proper knowledge of God and His Truth and His Way
4. We Set an Example for Others
By our works…
The first three points led up to this and all have their part in it
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
[we should act like we are a kings and priests; not act like we are better but act better than we are]
1 Peter 2:10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
1 Peter 2:12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
[We Set an Example by being the light on the hill]
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14
It is not our job to call and convert anyone now in this day and age but we are to be a witness and an example of what God expects of us. This is done by the good works that we do following the example of Christ.
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
1 Peter 2:22 “WHO COMMITTED NO SIN [lived by the law], NOR WAS DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH”;
Obedience to the law sets an example of good works
5. We Bear Good Fruits
By our works…
Matthew 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Matthew 7:17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
Matthew 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Matthew 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
Galatians 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
Galatians 5:21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
6. We Receive Our Reward
By our works…
God is recording your works
Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Why is He doing this? This is where most have gone awry in their understanding of the relationship between salvation and works. Salvation is a gift and CANNOT be earned! So then why do we have the judgment?
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
Revelation 20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
What is the result of this judgment?
Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
God is Judging the Holiness of Our Works
1 Peter 1:13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 1:14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
1 Peter 1:15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
1 Peter 1:16 because it is written, “BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
1 Peter 1:17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;
Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
God is Judging the Evilness of Our Works
Jude 1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
Jude 1:15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
Jude 1:16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.
1 Timothy 6:18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,
1 Timothy 6:19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Judgment is now on the household of God
7. We Grow in Spirit
By our works…
Acts 5:32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
We cannot obey God in half-measures and half-hearted ways. We must fully obey Him according to every Word! We are to continue to grow in knowledge so that we can better fulfill the works we are to do.
Luke 19:12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.
Luke 19:13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business [works] till I come.‘
Luke 19:14 But his citizens [the world] hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’ [they did not want to do these works]
Luke 19:15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
Luke 19:16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’
Luke 19:17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’
Luke 19:18 And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’
Luke 19:19 Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’
These are those that grew the earnest of the holy spirit they had initially been given. Because of the works that they had done, they had grown in favor with God – they had grown what God have given them. To some He gives more, but expects more – nonetheless He expects us to “do business until [He] comes.”
If we don’t then we will be recompensed for what we did not do but should have done.
Luke 19:20 “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief.
Luke 19:21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.”
Luke 19:22 And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth [we too know this is the case and we convict ourselves] I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow.
Luke 19:23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ [you should have done the very least and you did not] Luke 19:24 “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.‘
This also shows that if we fail to put to work what God has given us that He will take it away (Psalm 51:11). In other words we will have committed the unpardonable sin and not receive salvation because we failed to do the good works that God requires of us.
When we compare this with Matthew 25 and the parable of the talents it becomes obvious that we are to grow the holy spirit by good works and that God EXPECTS us to do this
BUT He doesn’t just throw us in the deep end without a life preserver and helpless to do anything
We Have Help to Accomplish These Works
1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. [His workmanship; God is working with us and in us]
1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he [we] builds on it.
1 Corinthians 3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation [this is what we are to be doing] with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
1 Corinthians 3:13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
1 Corinthians 3:14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. [This is why we do works]
Be a Doer Not Just a Hearer
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. [this is what we have been talking about the whole time]
James 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
James 1:24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. [blessed now as well as later] James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue [does not have good works] but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
By doing all of these things, these good works, we grow the gift of God and develop holy righteous character! God can not just snap His fingers and give us His character.
Character is simply defined by “knowing right and choosing to do it.” This is why God wants us to do good, living by His righteousness. By living by every word of God, God is slowly but surely creating Himself in us so that we may be a part of the family of God.
Character, grace and knowledge, holy spirit and works all interdependently rely on one another.
By God’s grace He gives us His holy spirit which enables us to understand and come to a knowledge of His way and it further acts within us facilitating good works that we may build Godly character. When we accomplish this, God extends more favor towards us starting this cycle over again.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
And He is going to continue this cycle Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.”
1 Corinthians 15:55 “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?”
1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [over sin and death] through our Lord Jesus Christ. [because of all that He did, is doing and will do] 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore,[for that reason; consequently; because of] my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Brethren, we know what to do, now is the time to do it.
Hebrews 13:20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Hebrews 13:21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Why resurrect someone who does not do good works? what’s the point ultimately
Acts 9:36 At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.
Acts 9:37 But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.
Acts 9:38 And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them.
Acts 9:39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them.
Acts 9:40 But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.
Acts 9:41 Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.
Acts 9:42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.
Acts 9:43 So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner.
There are some lists in the Bible that we are to measure ourselves by:
Letter (Exodus 20)
Spirit (Matthew 5-7)
Fruit of the Spirit / Works of the flesh (Galatians 5)
Love chapter (1 Corinthians 13)
We also learn what not to do 2 Timothy 3 Wrong end time attitudes
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
2 Peter 1:5-7 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things.
Matthew 5:1-10 Beatitudes
1 Thessalonians 1:3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,
Revelation 9:20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
Revelation 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
We Have to be Prepared
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved [[adokimos]not disapproved like Titus 1:16 in point #3] to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.
2 Timothy 2:17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,
2 Timothy 2:18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
2 Timothy 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.
2 Timothy 2:21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. [approved].
2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
We Get Help From the Brethren
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Blessings for Good Works
Romans 2:5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
Romans 2:6 who “WILL RENDER TO EACH ONE ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS“:
Romans 2:7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
Cursings for Evil Works
Romans 2:8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath,
Romans 2:9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;