I am seeing a commonality in churches today. Not all of them, but many of them are starting to say that good works are not necessary after being saved, but just have faith. This is because of what is written in Ephesians 2. However, the context is being missed. Your pastor may be one of them, but most likely is not. Praise God that we have good pastors out there still, who are teaching chapter by chapter. Now, before we get too far into why good works are still important, let’s review the verses that pastors use to prove that works are not important. They read, 2“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.” (Ephesians 2:8,9) You see, if you just read these verses, then what they are saying is true. However, because we must read everything in context, the next verse is also vital. It reads, 2“for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) So again, this verse is generally left out of the discussion for one reason or not. However, I will explain it to you today. Our faith in Jesus is what saves us from the enemy of this world. Then, once Jesus comes into our lives in baptism, we can walk differently. And to walk differently means to walk in God’s good works and not our own. You see, we were always created to do good works, but we are unable to do those which God glorifies in, while we are apart from God. Therefore, these good works are fruits of our faith, upon being saved. Without any good works, I often wonder if a person is saved or not. James will help clarify that as we read more in God’s Word.
What I am about to quote from James is often disregarded in churches that don’t teach on good works. This is because many of them say good works are not necessary. James said, 3“what doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:14-20) Therefore, James cuts down these false beliefs about good works not being necessary in one fail swoop. These are only a few verses in which he said clearly that faith without works is dead. If there are no fruits of God doing a work in our lives for others, this faith of ours is dead. This is called a person who is lukewarm, whom God said 4“will spue thee out of my mouth,” (Revelation 3:16) lest they repent and start doing God’s will in life. Now, to put more importance on doing good works, even Jesus said, 1“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) How can people glorify God when they see us if there are no good works from God in our lives? The answer is that people will not see a difference in us, especially the light of Jesus unless God is working in our lives.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that people in all the world, who are Christian, will also read the Bible for themselves. So many of them are listening to their pastors and that is what is carrying them forward during the week. However, if there is nothing said about the importance of doing Your will and having good works in our lives, then people will continue living their own lives apart from You. And I would hate to see these same people die one day and stand before You in judgment, while they hear You say, “I never knew You.” This would be terrible and so awful. So many of them would say, but I did what the pastor of my church said throughout the week. I did my best to worship You on Sundays and learn from You that day. However, what they don’t realize is that our everyday walk apart from You, God, are distancing themselves from You. So if people are spending most of their time doing their own things and finding less time for You, oh Lord, then I wonder if they are even saved at all. I know that baptism is a big deal in people’s lives, but I often wonder what people are doing afterward. Is there any change in their lives because of knowing You? Lord, please come and convict these people of their sins. I am afraid that the majority of people are not going to repent unless they are taught about this in church. This is what saddens me, for if people would just realize that turning from their sins and following You is the best thing we can do in life. This is true faith and not faith that is dead. Lord, Your ways lead to eternal life. Therefore, I have decided to reach out to You daily in prayer, reading the Bible, and going out and doing Your will for mankind. I love You, God. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.