The Purpose of Good Works

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

Very often I am confronted during Biblical discussions with the same question. When the other person realizes that I truly do believe that salvation is by grace plus nothing, they inevitably ask, “then why do good works?”

I love it when they ask that question.

Rather than directly answering their question, I like to turn the the tables and ask them the same question, “why do YOU do good works?”

Most of the time, I get the same response, “because I want to go to heaven!”

My answer — “Well, isn’t that a bit selfish?”

If salvation is by grace plus nothing (which I truly believe it is), then why do good works?

The answer is simple, God told us to.

Good works do not gain us a place in heaven. Neither do they prove to God that we really want to go so He will save us. Good works are an evidence to us and others that God has done a wondrous things for us and in us, but we are not justified in the sight of a Holy God by good works.

Our motivation to do good work should simply be obedience to God’s commandments. And, when we consider how merciful He has been to us, we should be so thankful that all we desire to do is please Him.

We have an amazing liberty in Christ. We are not living under the watch of a judge that will declare us unjust each time we make a mistake. No, we are free to live righteously knowing that God has eternally forgiven us for Christ’s sake. We do not have to slavishly seek to please God by our will or works. We can, with great liberty, live our live in thankful righteousness.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Romans 8:2, 15

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