“I Know Thy Works”
If I profess faith in Christ, but by my works deny him, my profession is an abomination to God, and I am reprobate (Tit. ). The same is true of you. Those who profess faith in Christ but by their works deny him are reprobate. This is not a debatable issue. True believers glorify God before men by their good works. “Faith worketh by love.” Faith always works, not by law, but by love. However, faith always works! In the light of these facts, let all who profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ hear the words of Christ - “I know thy works!”
The Hypocrite’s Terror
For the religious hypocrite, these words are terrifying - "I know thy works." "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Pro. 15:3). His eyes are a flaming fire and darkness is light before him. A man may deceive his pastor, his family, and even himself; but the Son of God is not deceived. All things are naked and open before him (Heb. ).
He sees through the facade. All your “righteous” deeds, those things by which you hope to appear righteous before God, are filthy rags in his sight. Your self-righteousness is an abomination before God. He looks upon your prayers as blasphemy, your sacrifices as sacrilege, and your works of religion as evil works. In the end, our Lord will expose every hypocrite (Luke ). That makes hypocrisy a losing game. "The hypocrite's hope shall perish" (Job ).
The Believers Comfort
For the believer, these words are full of comfort and cheer - "I know thy works." What a delight! Our dear Savior looks not at our works themselves, but at the motive behind them. He looks into the heart and sees why we do the things we do. And he is well-pleased with the most feeble efforts of sincere, believing hearts. By the merits of his blood and righteousness, he makes our works a sweet smelling sacrifice to God, acceptable and well-pleasing in his sight (1 Pet. 2:5).
Imagine that, God is well-pleased with the faltering steps of believing sinners for Christ's sake, because they are steps toward him! A father’s face beams with joy, approval, and delight as his child takes its first steps, not because they are perfect steps, but because the child is his child and it is walking to him. So, too, our heavenly Father delights in our faltering steps to him. He washes our feeble works in the blood of Christ, robes them in his righteousness, and declares, “They have wrought a good work on me…They have done what they could” (Mark 14:6-8)
Believer, God will not forget your works of faith and labors of love (Heb. ). The works of those who die in the Lord "shall follow them" into glory (Rev. 14:3). And they shall be named by Christ himself in the day of judgment (Matt. 25:37-39). The Son of God, our Savior, says, "I know thy works." What could be more comforting?