Why Good Works?

by Lee Buford on November 6, 2011

The topic of works in the Christian life is one that is often misunderstood and, as a result, wrongly communicated. To fail to understand this critical doctrine is to ultimately risk the security of one’s soul and eternal destiny, and, at minimum, is to forfeit the daily blessings God has in store for those who walk in obedience for His purposes.

Good works and obedience to God’s commands will not earn anyone’s salvation. God’s Word clearly teaches that salvation is an act of unmerited grace, and no amount of good deeds can earn that which is freely given to those called according to His perfect will. Mistakenly, our society tends to view good works as a natural byproduct of good people, neglecting to see that God Himself is the sole reason for good works being displayed in and through anyone. Accordingly, our Spirit-derived and driven ability to good has an ultimate purpose, and it’s not to bring glory to the person perceived as being “good”.

We see in Scripture that our good works are derived, willed, motivated, and completed for the purpose of bringing glory to God Himself.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

The purpose for our good works, ultimately, is so that others, having witnessed our good works, will praise and glorify God as a result. The idea is that they would see Him and not us in these good works. The biblical motivation is clear and, therefore, should be the only reason for which we strive to do good deeds…not to make ourselves look good, but rather to bring glory to Him.

Think about this carefully. Examine your motivation for doing good. Beg God to rid you of any pride and self-righteousness that would deter from His glory in the eyes of others. Give thanks and praise to God for all He has done in and through you to this point. And most importantly, pray that He would be pleased to glorify Himself greatly through your actions each and every day going forward.

Only because of His mercy and grace are we are able to do good things in His name. Only for His glory do such good deeds even exist. So strive to do well in all things and do good for and unto others, but know the reason why you’re doing it.

Not to us, but to His name be the glory!



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