Good Works

In John’s Gospel, we read:

And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”   (John 3:19-21)

There are deeds done in the flesh and there are deeds done in God. The Apostle Paul writes:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God– not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.   (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Our good works do not save us. Our salvation comes by the grace of God alone, provided we accept it in faith. Notice, however, that good works are very much a part of salvation. Paul tells us that we have been created for good works. Those works have been prepared for us beforehand,

We have no good works and can do no good works on our own. When we are dependent on good works to please God we tend to hide in darkness. Jesus tells us that our good deeds are done only by God. But before that happens we must first come to the light of Christ. Only in his light can our Lord empower us for ministry.

In the Book of James, we read:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.   (James 2:14-18)

Thus, we see that grace does not rule out good works. Grace prepares us for good works. They are not our good works, but rather God working within us.