In God's Word: Godly Works

September 2, 2019 - The question of godly works -

Jesus tells us that we are to be the light of the world, and he explains that people do not light a lamp in their house and then put a cover over it. No, they set it on a stand so all in the room can see by its light. And then he says of us,

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:18) 

And James, the brother of Jesus, said this about good works,

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?” (James 2:14)

And in an even more profound statement James says this about faith and works,

“For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” (James 2:26) 

This sounds like a pretty strong argument that to be complete in Christ that we must do many works for him. But what would these works be, how would we do them, how do we know what works we are to be doing for the Lord?

We all know the story of how Jesus fed the 5000 people with only a small boy’s lunch of fish and bread. 

How he prayed and broke the fish and bread and the disciples passed it out to the people and when all had eaten their fill, there was twelve baskets of leftovers, all from five barley loaves and two fish. 

Maybe we don’t all know the rest of that story though. 

The next day the people searched for Jesus until they found him, as they were looking for more food, but Jesus told them, you are seeking me because you ate your fill of the loaves. 

And then he told them this, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life.” (John 6:27) 

And then the people asked of him, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:28-29) 

And then Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” (John 6:47-48) 

The good works that we are to do for the Lord is simply to show by our lives lived in him; the goodness, the love, the grace and the mercy shown by him to everyone, even those who nailed him to the cross.

A young man once asked the great preacher, Billy Sunday, “What must I do to be saved.” Billy Sunday answered him, “Son, there is nothing that you can do to be saved!” The young man then pleaded with him for a way to salvation and Billy told him again, “Son, there is nothing you can do to be saved! Jesus has already done it all!”

And that is the gospel truth of faith and works, we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for all on the cross of Calvary and the works we must do are to believe in him and to shine the light of the gospel through our lives lived for him. 

Believe in him that he is God, repent of your sinful ways, and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and you will be saved… May his blessings be upon you this day and forever.