To Work Or Not Work, And Why
Read Titus Chapter 3
Tit 3:4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
Some people rely upon their good works as their pathway to eternal life. That is a mistake. Our good works mean absolutely nothing unless we are already nestled into Christ Jesus. Verses 4 and 5 are very clear. We are saved because of His kindness, love, and mercy – nothing more and nothing less. We are not saved because of anything we have done, accomplished in life, and especially not through our ability to obey Him in the realm of SSA. None of those things lead us to salvation or add to it in any way. They don’t add one ounce of insurance to the measure of our security.
Our salvation is guaranteed by the presence of the Holy Spirit within us, and we are continually justified by His grace. It is His gift to us, freely given to us even though we are undeserving.
Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
That being the case, why then, should we attempt to live pure lives? Why do we give good works any second thought? We know that they do not add any additional quality or quantity to our salvation.
- God has instructed us to obey Him and to do good works. He expects is of us. Verse 8 of the passage from Titus is one of many scriptures which show us it is a natural and normal part of the Christian’s life. It’s not our job to always understand why God asks certain things of us.
- God is always doing what is good to those who belong to Him. Not only that, but there are also scriptures which tell us He does what is good even to those who are not His children. It is natural and normal for those who wish to emulate Him to also do good works. We want to be like Him, because He is our ultimate example of holiness and righteousness.
- We are God’s workmanship. We were created in Christ Jesus to do good works. That is one of the reasons why He saved us. It is our destiny to follow Christ, working alongside Him in whatever capacity and task He chooses. He decided beforehand what works we are intended to accomplish (Ephesians passage, verse 10).
Guess what happens when we decide to devote ourselves to doing the good works He has assigned to us? Our focus in life is no longer centered upon what we want. It is centered upon what He wants. Our SSA desires slowly become unimportant in relation to what God is accomplishing through us.
How do you know what good works He has ordained for your life? I don’t know, but I’m sure He will let you know. It may be nothing more than representing Him well right where you are – at school, at work, during you recreation times, in your neighborhood, other activity, or all of the above. Or He may have some monumental task that He will reveal to you in due time.
What happens if we fail to fulfill His will for our lives? Again, I don’t know. But I can give you an example from my life. A few years ago, Satan tried very hard to derail the ministry to SSA men which He had given me. My fault completely, he almost accomplished his task. I had to do some serious repenting and recommit myself to Him in order to get His good works back into focus in my life. It was one of those times in my life when God had to administer some disciplines to me in order to get my attention. We have been saved to do good works. Let’s not forget it.
Prayer: Father, thank You for forgiving me when I got off track. What a loving, merciful, purposeful Lord You are!! Show all men and women reading this what Your will is for their lives, in accordance with the eternal plan You set in motion from the beginning.