๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ‘‘ Which Works Are We To Walk In?

Every true believer knows we are saved by grace through faith, apart from good works (Rom. 4:5; Titus 3:5). This does not mean, however, that good works have no place in the dispensation of grace, for right after affirming that we are saved without works (Eph. 2:8,9), Paul quickly asserts that, as new creatures in Christ (II Cor. 5:17), we are created to walk in the good works He has ordained for us (Eph. 2:10). If you have ever wondered what kind of works God expects us to โ€œmaintainโ€ (Titus 3:8,14) in our Christian walk, we hope the following brief study of the phrase โ€œgood work(s)โ€ in Scripture will help.

For the Ladies

To begin with, in Acts 9 we meet Dorcas, a woman โ€œfull of good worksโ€ (9:36). She was evidently quite the seamstress, for her good works are later defined by a reference to โ€œthe coats and garments which Dorcas madeโ€ (v. 39). In those days, it could be said of many a virtuous woman that โ€œshe seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her handsโ€ (Prov. 31:13 cf. vv. 22,24). Thus we know that when a Christian woman performs the many duties of a wife and mother, she is walking in the good works in which she was created to walk.

To this must be added the testimony of the Apostle Paul, who speaks of widows who were โ€œwell reported of for good worksโ€ (I Tim. 5:10). He then goes on to describe things like bringing up children, hospitality, and caring for the sick as good works with which godly women can adorn themselves (I Tim. 2:9,10).

For the Men

In the natural accompaniment to these instructions to godly women, Paul instructs the man of God to โ€œlabour, working with his hands the thing which is goodโ€ (Eph. 4:28). Well, if Christian men are told to work the thing which is good, wouldnโ€™t going to work be a good work? You would think so, especially since God plans to reward men for โ€œwhatsoever good thing any man doethโ€ on the job (Eph. 6:8).

We doubt that most Christians consider these everyday responsibilities as good works, but God says they are. And if being good husbands and fathers and wives and mothers be viewed as good works, it is not a stretch to suggest that being a good citizen would also be found in that category, especially since we are told โ€œto obey magistratesโ€ and, in so doing, โ€œbe ready to every good workโ€ (Titus 3:1).

For the Rich

Next, Paul told Timothy to โ€œcharge them that are richโ€ฆthat they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicateโ€ (I Tim. 6:17,18). Obviously the financial support of the Lordโ€™s work and less fortunate brethren also constitute good works in Godโ€™s eyes (cf. II Cor. 9:6-8). While few of us are rich, all of us can participate in good works of this sort in some measure.

This then opens up a wide field in the category of good works, for we can give our time, our talent, and our efforts to the Lordโ€™s work as well as our finances, and there are innumerable ways we can โ€œdo good unto all men, especiallyโ€ฆthe household of faithโ€ (Gal. 6:10).

For Us All

In time past, rebuilding the temple was a โ€œgood workโ€ (Neh. 2:18). Today Godโ€™s temple is found in the physical bodies of individual believers (I Cor. 6:19,20), and in the Body of Christ (3:16,17), and so you would think that building up believers and local churches would be good works today. If ministering to the physical body of the Lord was considered a โ€œgood workโ€ (Matt. 26:6-10), surely ministering to the Body of Christ would be as well. If the Lord defined โ€œgood worksโ€ as feeding the multitudes, opening the eyes of the blind, and helping the lame to walk (John 10:32), then surely โ€œto feed the church of Godโ€ (Acts 20:28) by opening the eyes of their understanding (Eph. 1:18) so they can โ€œwalk worthyโ€ of their vocation (Eph. 4:1) would be good works as well.

Since โ€œall Scriptureโ€ is given that we might be โ€œthroughly furnished unto all good worksโ€ (II Tim. 3:16,17), then the reproof, correction and instruction of the saints mentioned here must also be considered โ€œgood works.โ€ Of course, it goes without saying that โ€œif a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good workโ€ (I Tim. 3:1). In this passage, Paul is talking about the qualifications of a spiritual leader. Thus if a man is interested in doing good works, we believe the pastoral ministry tops the list of good works in which he can engage for the Lord.

So how about it, Christian friend? Are you walking in the good works you were created to walk in? It is your only hope of a happy, fulfilling Christian life. No creature of God is happy unless he is doing what he was created to do. Birds were created to fly, horses were created to run, and neither are happy when kept from doing what they were created to do. Your only hope for a truly satisfying Christian life is to be โ€œfruitful in every good workโ€ (Col. 1:10)! Whatโ€™s more, it is the only way to please the One โ€œwho gave Himself for us, that He mightโ€ฆpurify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good worksโ€ (Titus 2:14). source

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