What Shall We Do?

Good works are anathema in today’s church. Any mention of works will get you labelled a legalist within seconds. We have taken Paul’s statements that no man is saved by works of the law to mean works are now unnecessary.

In fact, some have even gone so far as to say good works might mean you’re in trouble because now you might be depending on your works and not on Christ.

This is the highest sort of religious deception that has ever been invented by the wicked heart of man.

Good works are the result of grace at work in you. No good works; then you have no case proving grace is at work in you. You don’t work to get grace; you get grace to work!

Scripture contains several sudden conversions of people and these conversion events are worth looking at. Observe the following:

People, publicans and soldiers heard John the Baptist and their immediate response to his message was : “What shall we do?”

The crowd listening to Peter’s sermon at Pentecost said, “What shall we do?”

The jailer was awoken by an earthquake and the fear of having lost his prisoners. He ran up to the imprisoned apostles and said, “Sirs, what must I do?”

Saul is walking down a road and gets blinded by an appearance of Christ and his first sentence is “Lord, what would you have me to do?”

If a sinner came with this question to the Church today, they’d no doubt be corrected immediately! “What? Are you crazy or something? Grace means we don’t have to do anything, relax.”

When a man sees the glory of Jesus Christ, which magnifies his own sinfulness, he is blown away. He realizes everything he has done to that point is wrong, he counts it as dung. Obviously he had no clue what he was doing and now that he gets a glimpse, the obvious question is, “So, what should I be doing?”

One of the major points of salvation is that it changes who we are and this changes what we do. No change in what you do? Then the Gospel is just words for you.

Again, no man is saved by works, but works are the evidence and the fruit of salvation. It worked for Paul and this same grace is there for you too.

5 thoughts on “What Shall We Do?”

  1. We tend to think of works as a payment for our crimes against God’s laws. And no matter how many good works we may do, they cannot pay for our rebellion against a Holy God. So if our motivation for good works is to make us feel better about ourselves, we are still focusing on us rather than God. Good works are a heart issue, are they done to glorify God, or to make us feel better about ourselves. A proud heart wants to let everyone know about the good work it has done, a humble heart does it good works, and seeks no glory from man. A humble heart does it’s good works for an audience of One.

  2. The heart is the key and only God knows that. We can all be deceived. One thought based on your statement, “a humble heart does its good works for an audience of one,” and Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Can we humbly do good works for others to see?

  3. I think even our finest efforts are still tainted with sin. Perhaps I’m wrong, but knowing my own heart I still want my good works to be noticed by someone. I know it’s foolish pride and I hate that I’m still that prideful even after all these years of following Christ. I wish it was different, and that I was free from this wicked flesh, but I will keep on fighting with faith till the end.

  4. Well, we can pray this prayer:

    Psalm 139
    23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
    24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

    This way the Lord can bring us into trying situations that reveal whether our good works are done from selfish motives or pure ones. If selfishness is revealed, then the sin is discovered, it can be cleansed, and we will be closer to Him.

    Also this promise:

    Malachi 3
    3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

    To me it indicates that Christ is able to purify us so that our offering (good works) are acceptable in His sight, unmixed with selfishness.

  5. Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
    And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!
    (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)

    “I say that you can hardly turn to a single character, among the holy men described in the Bible, who did not, to his own horror and dismay, fall at one time or another. Noah planted a vineyard, and was one day found drunken. David committed adultery with the wife of Uriah. Peter denied his Lord thrice. What does this prove? It proves beyond a question that the most excellent of the earth have found that the root of all their sinfulness is within them; they never boasted of the purity or goodness of their hearts, they have all placed upon record the truth that, although Satan does much and the world does much, still after all the great enemy is always within us!”

    – J.C. Ryle, A Bad Heart

    What tangles us up in temptations and gets us into serious trouble has less to do with the world out there than the world inside of us. We fail and fall because of our own hearts, and since the problem is internal and universal we see the damage done in all people.

    Like I said earlier I believe even a man’s finest efforts to display the glory of God to others, is still tainted by sin.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: