Good Works – The Motive
"But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men."
When the apostle Paul says, in Titus 3:8, "This is a faithful saying," he is referring to what has just stated in verses 4-7. He has declared that "the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
Having declared this faithful saying as the foundation, motive and inspiration, Paul gives Titus and every gospel preacher this exhortation: "And these things I will that thou affirm constantly." What things? The things he has just stated! In other words, Paul is saying, Let every preacher constantly affirm the gospel doctrines of God's free, sovereign, effectual grace contained in this faithful saying, for this purpose -- "that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works."
In this passage of Scripture Paul gives us a fundamental, but almost universally ignored, word of instruction regarding good works. He shows us most plainly that THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL OF GOD'S SOVEREIGN GRACE IN CHRIST, AND THAT ALONE, INSPIRES AND MOTIVATES THOSE WHO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL TO MAINTAIN GOOD WORKS.
You will search the New Testament in vain to find a single place where believers are encouraged to do anything on the basis of law. We are never threatened with punishment or enticed with reward to serve, obey and seek the honor of God our Savior. Why? The reason is obvious: "We are not under the law, but under grace." We have a higher, more powerful, more pleasant rule of life and motive for good works than legal fears and legal rewards.
Law may control a man's outward conduct; but grace controls the heart. Law may motivate men to do great things, make great sacrifices and endure great trials; but grace motivates the heart and makes the man willing, even anxious, to obey, serve and honor his God and Savior. Grace is a detriment to good works only among graceless people. In the Church and Family of God, among all blood bought and grace renewed sinners, grace begets gratitude, love begets love, security begets service, pardon begets perseverance and gospel preaching begets good works! AMEN.
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #844
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 859-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org