๐Ÿ‘‘ Dead Works

Twice in Paulโ€™s epistles he refers to โ€œdead worksโ€. In Hebrews 6:1 he writes about โ€œrepentance from dead worksโ€, while in Hebrewsย 9:14ย he declares that the blood of Christ avails to โ€œpurge the conscience from dead works to serve theย livingย Godโ€.

Mark well, these references are not toย wickedย works but toย deadย works. These โ€œdead worksโ€ are the so-called โ€œgood worksโ€ (whether moral or ceremonial) which men did โ€” and still do โ€” to make themselves acceptable to God. They are โ€œdeadโ€ because they are not the product of regeneration or spiritual life, but the mere attempt on the part of unregenerate sinners to justify themselves before God.

Paul himself, once zealously religious, but wholly unsaved, had to repudiate his โ€œdead worksโ€ and count them โ€œlossโ€ to find salvation in Christ, through whom alone he could produce good works which God could accept. (See Philippians 3:4-9).

This is why he later declared by divine inspiration: โ€œFor by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God:ย Not of works,ย lest any man should boast, for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesusย unto good worksโ€ฆโ€ (Eph.2:8-10).

โ€œDead worksโ€ are not only unacceptable to God, but an evil substitute for the faith He desires, โ€œfor without faith it is impossible to please Godโ€ (Heb.11:6). But โ€œhe that believeth on the Son of God hath lifeโ€ and this life is bound to bearย fruitโ€” the good works with which God is truly pleased.

The difference between the โ€œgood worksโ€ of the unregenerate man and the โ€œgood worksโ€ of a true believer, then, is that the former are โ€œdead worksโ€ while the latter are the precious fruit of life possessed.

No man can please God while he denies the truth of His Word or rejects His Son, so graciously given to die on the cross as our Saviour:

โ€œThe Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hands. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. And he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on himโ€ (Johnย 3:35,36). source

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