Good Works Are Necessary
Titus 3:8 and 14
Good works cannot produce salvation in whole, or in part. Christ alone is our Savior, and grace alone is the cause of salvation (Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 3:5). And, though it is contrary to popular opinion, good works do not go before us into heaven to prepare for our eternal happiness and reward there. Our works follow us into heaven. But they do not go before us (Rev. 14:13). They shall follow us, not as a basis of reward, but as our everlasting tribute to the grace of God for the glory of his name. But good works are necessary.
"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... "And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful." there are three things for which good works are necessary.
Ordained of God
Good works are necessary because they are ordained of God as a means whereby we may honor him in this world (Eph. 2:10). God's elect live in the world with an eye to his glory in all things. We want to live in a manner that demonstrates our gratitude to him for all his mercy and grace to us in Christ Jesus. We desire to live so that we may both honor him before men and promote his honor among men (Matt. 5:16; John 15:8; 1 Pet. 2:12).
Adorn the Gospel
We must be careful to maintain good works, because it is good for us personally to do so. By living in a godly manner, maintaining good works, we adorn the doctrine of Christ (Tit. 2:10), adorn our profession of faith (1 Tim. 2:9-10), and make our calling and election sure (1 Pet. 2:10). Good works are not the basis of our assurance (Read John 21:17). The basis of our assurance is faith in Christ, and only faith in Christ (2 Tim. 2:12). Our good works make our faith sure to others. As the fruits of grace, good works demonstrate to other people the reality of our faith. This is the only evidence we can give to the world of our faith. And this is the only evidence of our faith the world can understand. We show our faith to the world around us (both believers and unbelievers) by our works (James 2:18).
Profitable to Others
We must maintain good works for the good of others. Good works are works performed by us for the benefit of other people, especially of God's elect (Matt. 25:31-40; Phil. 2:4-5). Good works, performed by God's saints, are sometimes a means of winning others to Christ (1 Pet. 3:1-2). And good works are very profitable to others as an example for them to follow (1 Tim. 4:12). The believer, by his example, is to take the hands of his weaker, younger brethren, and lead them in the path of obedience to Christ. Let us learn to maintain good works for these “necessary uses.”
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #848
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 859-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org