What About Good Works?
Good works are works of obedience done by true believers. Such works are good, not because they are perfect, for even our “good works” fall short of God’s perfect holiness and righteousness. They are good, not because they make up any part of the righteousness by which we are justified before God. This is only by the work of Christ on the cross. They are good for the following reasons:
(1) Strictly speaking, they are not OUR works at all but GOD’S WORKS in and through us as they are the fruit of the Holy Spirit who indwells us and works in us to bring forth fruit unto God (John 3:21; Romans 7:4-6; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 2:10).
(2) They are done by those who have been justified by the grace of God in Christ, therefore, not only are our persons washed in the blood of Christ, but also our works (1 John 3:12).
(3) They are the evidence of saving faith by which we look to and rest in Christ for all salvation. All who truly believe in Christ repent of ever thinking that our works could save us or earn God’s favor and blessings for us (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
(4) They are motivated by grace, love, and gratitude to God for all salvation freely given to us in and by Christ. Faith works by love, not seeking salvation or any part of it based on our works, but motivated by God’s grace and our gratitude for all He has freely given us in and by Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14).
(5) They are aimed toward God’s glory, to show forth His praises in our salvation by grace in and through the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:16). Good works are not done to draw attention to ourselves but lead men to Christ for salvation.