Is it possible to be a good person? And should we be doing good works? To answer these questions, we will search the scriptures to see what Paul, Solomon and the Lord Jesus said about this matter. Let’s begin with Jesus’s encounter. As He was walking down a path 2“there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” It would seem right for Jesus to answer this question right away but instead He focused His attention on who is good. He said, 2“why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” So what do we learn here? Jesus gave all the glory to the Father, explaining that He is the only one good. As should we. So the question is, should we worry about doing good then? Yes, but we must be mindful how. Here is the reason. Paul said, 4“for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” He said a few things here. Our salvation relies on our faith and not our own good works. I hope you are now understanding Jesus and Paul are saying. Our faith leads us to do good that is not of ourselves. Yes, the key is 4“not of yourselves” when it comes to doing good.
Paul continued his sermon on these good works that we are incapable without God. He said, 4“we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” As we learn here, what is good comes from the Lord, since He creates these things inside of us. And as we are called by Jesus to 3“abide in me, and I in you”, the more we do so, the more we will walk in His good works. Now, after understanding that God’s goodness is what we need in our lives, this helps us understand what Solomon was meaning about being filled with goodness. He said, 1“if a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.” As was explained here, our life would surely be meaningless if we were not filled with what is good and then pass on to death unexpectedly. Surely, it would be devastating to see a loved one die without God’s goodness in their lives. Their own good works would have been good for a time but that it is. Without God, our future is surely bleak.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I am in awe at what You have done in my life. You have taken me from a life of sin and darkness and brought me into Your light. I was dead but changed me and there is new life. I once cared about my own good works but now I see that Your good works inside of me is what matters. I am incapable of living a life of faith but with You in my life, I can do all things. My faith is stronger when You are by my side. Thank You for accepting me in and leading me by the hand. Each time I need You, You are there. There is nobody as great as You, God. Surely, my future is bright, since You are in it. With the Holy Spirit inside of me, my eyes are opened to know You and to do Your Will. And my soul is alive. There is happiness that I have never experienced before. Without You, there is shame and sorrow but with You Lord, there is great joy and happiness that never ends. All my days, I needed a Savior and You finally came. I am so blessed. I trust in You Lord. I love You. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
1Ecclesiastes 6 (KJV)
1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:
2 A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
3 If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.
4 For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.
5 Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.
6 Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?
7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.
8 For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?
9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
10 That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.
11 Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?
12 For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?
2Mark 10:17-22 (KJV)
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
3John 15:1-10 (KJV)
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
4Ephesians 2:1-10 (KJV)
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
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.