Old Watch MechanismEvery follower of Jesus Christ has been saved by grace, through faith, to walk in good works (Ephesians 2:8-10). God intends to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to Him (2Chronicles 9:16). The empowering grace of God is available to those that will faithfully walk in the good works prepared for them. Don’t miss this: We are talking about the supernatural power and resources of heaven, manifested in our midst. For this, we were created!

Search out this matter out with a surrendered heart, and you will discover what good works means for you specifically, in this season of your life. You will also come to understand what it means for the Body of Christ and your spheres of influence. In the end, you will find yourself better prepared to walk in the supernatural grace of God.

In Part 1 of this series, we learned that the “good” of good works is far more important that the “works” themselves. Here in Part 2, we will begin searching out the Scriptures that describe good works and the challenges we face in our attempts to walk in them. This will set the stage for Part 3, where we will explore God’s ultimate provision and intention for them.

As we survey the following passages, ask the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit (our teachers) to reveal the truth of each one for this season of your life. Listen for the word that will become faith for your journey. Allow the truth to do the work necessary to make you free.

For this article, I have made a particular effort to keep my commentary to a minimum; that the word of God would dominate your attention. Use the short comment after each passage to direct your mind toward the main point; but keep your focus on the power of God’s word in the passage. Remember, these passages may not mean what I think they mean, but they must mean something. You find the meaning in them.

The Bible’s Description of Good Works

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Works will not save us. However, we were created for good works – to walk in them. NOTE: Many translations suggest that we are to do the good works. This is a mistranslation of the Greek word peripateō. Keep this in mind as we explore further.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:12

Good works are to be seen. They will cause the world to glorify God. Even the Gentiles that speak against you will bring attention to them.

…that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2Timothy 3:17

God intends to for us to be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works… Hebrews 10:24

Good works are to be stirred up in fellowship with one another. There are no lone rangers in the kingdom of God.

And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. Titus 3:14

Good works are not something we do once or twice in life; they are to be maintained. At least some good works involve meeting urgent needs.

Command those who are rich… that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share… 1Timothy 6:17-18

God entrusts riches to His children for richness in good works.

Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. Titus 2:6-8

Titus was encouraged to be a pattern (i.e., example) of good works to the younger men; not so much in what he did, but the way in which he did it. Again we see it is more about the “good”, than the “works”.

Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work. 1Timothy 5:10

Here we find some examples of good works (NOTE: These are not reserved for young widows, only). More importantly, we find the encouragement to diligently follow every good work. Just how important are “diligent” and “every”? What do they mean to you? This brings us to the place where we face the facts concerning…

The Challenges of Good Works

To be fair with ourselves, we must admit that good works are beyond our capabilities – perhaps even impossible. Not convinced? Check out the following passages.

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.” Mark 14:4-6

Good works are costly; and our desire for them may result in actions that appears foolish to the world.

Now may the God of peace… make you complete in every good work to do His will… Hebrews 13:20-21

Every good work must be done in complete alignment with His will.

To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. Titus 1:15-16

Wow! It is possible to be disqualified for every good work; by denying Him in the works we do – either doing works that deny Him, or denying that He is in the work we are doing. This denial of God may even be doing works that are not in the Father’s will (John 7:21-23). Regardless of the cause, this is something that we want to avoid!

…who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2:14

Jesus Christ gave himself for a special people that would be zealous (vehemently contending) for good works. What does it look like for someone to vehemently contend for good works? What good works would you contend for vehemently?

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. Titus 3:1

Good works are associated with subjection, speaking evil of no one, being peaceable and gentle, and living in full of humility before all men. And we are to pursue these – and every other good work – zealously? Is that even possible?

I cannot speak for everyone, but these passages describe a person I am incapable of being; that is, unless God does a good work in me. Of course, God is aware of this; and He has made a way for us to walk in His good work. That is the subject of Part 3. Until then, I am …


Humbly yours and forever His,

P.S.  To continue to Part 3, click here.