TITUS 3:8 KJV said, "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men."
It is good to do good work. If every man on this earth has the passion and commitment to do good, we will be living in a much better world.
But why is it that the world is not getting better? The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that in the last days, the days in which we are in right now, dangerous times will come because men will grow worst than better. Let us read these passages:
"This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (2Titus 3:1-5)
The reason for this is that God has declared in His word that no one is good except God.
"As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3:10-18)
"And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17)
The Prophet Isaiah also wrote, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6)
The Scriptures also declare that no one will be justified or be saved by good works because, as we have already examined the Scriptures, there is no goodness in us that is acceptable to God.
We might be good in the eyes of man, but God sees our hearts differently and declares that our righteousness is as filthy rags. We discussed in my last article that even the righteousness of the religious Jews is not acceptable to God. Paul declared that the only righteousness that God can accept is that of Christ and we can have that righteousness when we believe in Him.
Here are some verses that declare this:
Romans 3:20 "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
Romans 3:28 "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
Galatians 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
Galatians 5:4 "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
So, what is the purpose of good works then?
According to what Paul wrote in Titus 3:8 and Ephesians 2:8-10, good works are important to those who believe in Christ.
Titus 3:8 "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men."
Ephesians 2:8-10 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Good works are the fruit of our faith in Christ. It is very important to the believer because it is God’s plan that those who believe in Christ and have accepted Him as their Saviour and Lord should show forth the goodness of Christ. We can only produce good works that is acceptable to God if we are connected to Christ by faith. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing.
Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
James said that true faith, we call it the saving faith, will surely produce good works. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)
Sad to say, but most of those who profess to be a believer in Christ do not live as they should and that is why the world is still in darkness. Someone said that if every person becomes a believer in Christ, the world will become a better place.
But we should admit that even among believers, it is still scarce to see them do good works. I guess we should say, that if all believers will truly obey and follow Christ closely and faithfully, the world will become a better place.
Here is what Paul advised us, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him. Rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." (Colossians 2:6-7)
Lastly, let us consider what our Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
God bless us all.
Pastor Pedro Etabag is the regional director of Lifeword-Asia Pacific and senior pastor of Tangub Missionary Baptist Church in Bacolod City.
February 08, 2023
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