WHAT IS THE SOURCE AND CAUSE OF
GOOD WORKS IN GOD’S Elect?
Good works do not naturally arise from the hearts of men. A polluted fountain cannot bring forth pure water. And good works do not spring from corrupt men. If we do good, the source and cause of the good we do is altogether outside of ourselves.
It is God who works in us both to will and to do of his own good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). Believers have the will and the ability to do the will of God, because God, working in us by the grace and power of his Spirit, gives us the heart and strength to do so. The beginning, the progress and the perfection of every good work is of God (Heb. 13:21). The grace of God, as a principle of life, causes us to perform good works (1 Cor. 15:10; 2 Cor. 1:12; Gal. 5:22-23). And the grace of God, as the doctrine of the gospel, teaches us to walk in good works (Tit. 2:11-12).
Union with Christ
Good works are the result of our union with Christ. "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10). Being grafted into Christ as branches into the vine, we draw the sap of life from him. And every branch that has life bears fruit as the result (Heb. 14:8; John 15:4).
Faith in Christ
Faith in Christ causes all who believe to do those things that are good (James 2:17-20). The heart is purified by faith in the blood of Christ, which purges the conscience from dead works and prepares us to perform good works for the glory of God. As John Gill put it, "Faith without works is dead; and works without faith are dead.”
Word of God
The Word of God, particularly the gospel of the grace of God revealed in the Word, causes those who believe to perform good works (2 Tim. 3:16; Luke 8:15). As faith comes by hearing, so the obedience of faith comes by the Word of God, written and read, preached and heard. If we would be careful to maintain good works for the glory of Christ, we must not neglect the Word of God. Nothing is more conducive to good works than the daily study of Holy Scripture with a prayerful heart, seeking grace to apply the Word to our hearts and lives. But, along with that personal study, we must have the constant influence of gospel preaching to instruct us, reprove us and guide us in the path of obedience for the glory of God our Savior.
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #847
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 859-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org