5 Truths About Good Works
Written by T.M. Gaouette | January 13, 2015
Ladies, we discuss good deeds often here on Project Inspired. And regardless of the controversial discussions regarding faith and good works, it’s clear that scripture also takes good works very seriously. But what are good works?
Good works are acts of love. They include helping those in need, whether through volunteering your time or giving via charity. They also include showing love in the way that we treat people. In short, good works are acts that are pleasing to God.
But why are good works so important to Christians? Well, here are five truths that are clearly stated in scripture.
1. God made us to perform them. He wants us to love others by performing good works because we were created in His image and God is good. God is love. “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 2:10). When we do good works, we are emulating the love and amazing goodness of our God. We’re doing what He created us to do.
2. They reflect God. In this way, they are a reflection of God’s goodness, so that others see His love in our good works. Those who benefit from the good works feel God’s love when we do good works for them. Accordingly, others see God’s love when we do good works for someone else. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
3. They reflect your faith. Good works play a fundamental role in our own faith. Our faith is “dead” without it, remember? And even Satan believes, right? (James 2:19) So, as Christians, we should make good works a big focus in our lives, because our faith would mean nothing without them.
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. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. (James 2:18-22)
4. They won’t save you. I don’t know any Christian denomination that states that good works lead to salvation, whether alone or in conjunction with faith. No, not even Catholics. I believe that all Christians are in agreement that grace alone saves us (Ephesians 2:8). So assuming that all you have to do is be a good person and do good things and you will be saved is as incorrect as stating that faith alone saves you. “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24).
5. God does take them into account. There are many places in scripture that discuss the significance of good works and how God takes them into account on judgment day. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus Himself talks about how all nations will be separated: “He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” Jesus then goes on to describe how those who performed good works for others will be separated from those who didn’t, and they will be rewarded or punished accordingly, explaining, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of My family, you did it to Me.”
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. (James 2:14-17)
Ladies, how important are good works to you as a Christian?