Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about Christian good works is vital to our personal growth and development. Let me illustrate.
Ministry in Action
I was the pastor of a local church in the Pacific Northwest, America. The church was located in an area where many Southeast Asia refugees from the VietNam war had located.
Many had never been to a church, or ever heard of Christ. We organized various welfare programs and ESL classes, and helped them find jobs. Dozens received Christ.
We gave and served the needs of those dear people, many who arrived in America with only the clothes on their body (literally). The reward and blessing from our Christian good works was enormous.
To me, personally, it opened the doors to missionary work from which I am still receiving blessing and opportunity. I now realize in personal experience what Jesus meant when He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”
(Acts 20:35). Let me break down this Bible teaching about Christian good works for you. It can positively change your life in an exciting way.
Faith and Works
Let me put first things first. The Bible tells us we are saved by grace through faith – not of works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Our good works, morality, status, or brilliance will not get us an inch toward heaven. The Bible teaching about Salvation (link) declares we are saved only through faith alone in Jesus Christ. That is good news for you and me, because we cannot be good enough to deserve heaven.
You might ask, “Then what place does works have?” Good question. The book of James addresses that issue in frank detail. The Bible teaching about good works says they emerge after we are Christians. We do good works because we are Christians, not to become Christians.
Christian good works is a natural result, or outcome, of being born again in Christ. That is what James meant when he wrote, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself” (James 2:17).
Let me show you how good works relates to our life, and can bountifully enrich our life experience.
Our Conversion Purpose
Another Bible teaching about Christian good works harkens us back to Paul’s message, “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).
In another place, Paul told his young protégé, Titus, regarding Christ, “who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14).
There you have it! God saved you and me, for several reasons, but certainly to do good works of in this corrupted world. When we engage in effective good works, we are fulfilling our destiny for which God created and saved us. Ships are designed to sail on water. Cars are designed to run on highways. Christians are designed for good works. Jesus even spoke to this issue when He said we are to be the “salt of the earth,” or the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-16). Light gives guidance, and salt staves off corruption.
Reflects the Image of God
We are created in the image of God. What is God like? He ministers to us. He gives us air, food, health, life, opportunity, love, and discipline. He heals, helps, and heads us in the right direction. He even gave us His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, (link) to save us from eternal ruin.
Since Christians are created in the image of God, and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, then we should also sacrificially give of ourselves just as God does. Ministry, service, and Christian good works to others glorifies God (2 Corinthians 9:13).
Brings Blessing and Reward
The Bible teaching about Christian good works is connected to reward. Paul explains, “he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6).
It reminds me of Jesus’ promise, “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38).
We are built to give, serve, and minister to others in the name of Christ. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to focus on ourselves. This is seen in the selfish, “Me first…I am going to look out for number one, me” attitude many people have.
However, the Bible teaching about Christian good works gets us out of ourselves, and into helping others. It is a great way to get out of a case of self-pity. Helping others for the sake of Christ and their benefit brings happiness to us.
Paul reminds us, “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God…So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10, 12; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10).
What to Give
What is the Bible teaching about good works and giving? I think it is summed up in the old adage: give of your time, talent, treasure. Everyone has time. Everyone has talent. God has given every Christian a spiritual ability to serve in the Kingdom of God. And, everyone has money – some more than others.
Quality also counts. Paul instructs, “each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work” (1 Corinthians 3:13).This means that Christian workers, prayer groups, Sunday school and Bible class teachers (and pastors and missionaries) need to study and work hard at what they do. That is the mission of this web site: to provide the tools for you to do your best job in the Kingdom of God – and to make your good works really count for present and future reward and fulfillment.
Regarding money, the important thing is motive and sacrifice. For example, $100,000 is not much sacrifice to a billionaire. However, $100 is huge for a $500 a month income (cf. Mark 12:41-44). The Bible teaching about Christian good works is important to our life experience and growth. It is fulfilling, glorifies God, and brings great reward. I know from my experience of helping those war refugees.
To you, I wish you all the best as you faithfully serve Christ in the niche He has given you (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:58). Let Esmie and me help you.
All the best to you,
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. What is the Bible teaching about Christian good works?<BR>
2. What is the Bible teaching about the relationship between faith and good works (James 2:14-18; Ephesians 2:8, 9)?
3. What are some examples of Christian good works (James 1:25-27; 2:15, 16; Titus 2:14-3:8; Matthew 25:42-45).
4. What do you think is the greatest Christian good work (Matthew 16:26; 25:41, 46; Mark 10:45; 16:15).
5. What are some examples of Christian good works in your church and community?
6. What are some Christian good works you could do for others?
7. What do you think Jesus’ Bible teaching about salt of the earth and light of the world means (Matthew 5:13-16)?
8. What difference does it make to you whether or not you do good works?
9. Who is the greatest example of good works (James 1:17, 18).
10. In this lesson on the Bible teaching about Christian good works, what stands out to you the most? Explain.
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