WHO CAN AND WILL PERFORM GOOD WORKS?
"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." --Titus 3:8
No natural man can do anything good in the eyes of God. We have no knowledge of how to do that which is good and no desire to do it. Even if we knew what to do and had every desire to do it, we have no natural power to do good (Rom. 3:12). Only good men can do good (Matt. 12:35). But there is no such thing as a good man, unless he has been made good by the grace of God.
Only By The Spirit
A good work of grace must be performed in you, or nothing good can come out of you (Phil. 2:12-13). You must be made a new creature in Christ, or you cannot do good for Christ. Before we can do good, we must be purified by the blood of Christ and sanctified by the grace of God (Tit. 2:14). Until our hands are cleansed, all that we touch is defiled. Until our hearts are purified and sanctified, all that we do is vile. We must be sanctified by the Spirit of God in regeneration, if we would be "meet for the Master's use and prepared unto every good work" (2 Tim. 2:21). Only those who have the Spirit of Christ can do good works for Christ. If we would do good, we must be strengthened by the Spirit in the inner man. It is for this purpose that the Holy Spirit has been given to them that believe (Ezek. 36:25-27).
Only In Christ
Only those who have faith in Christ can do that which is good and pleasing in the sight of God (Heb. 11:6). The Lord Jesus Christ is the only One of whom the Father ever said, "I am well pleased." God is well pleased with us only if we are in his Son and only because we are in his Son. God accepts our works only because of the merits of Christ's works as our Substitute. Even believers, who are redeemed, justified and sanctified in Christ, cannot perform any works that are absolutely good (Rom. 7:14-24). Our best deeds are acceptable to God only by Christ Jesus (1 Pet. 2:5). But our God does accept and delight in the poor works of his feeble children, performed in faith with a sincere heart, for Christ's sake (Mk. 14:6-8).
The long and short of it is this: Good works are the fruit of faith, never the root of faith. God will never accept your good works as a basis of acceptance with him. But if you are in Christ by faith, God accepts and is well pleased with you and your works, because he accepts and is well pleased with Christ. Therefore, let all who believe "be careful to maintain good works."
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #845
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 859-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org