Tuesday, February 26, 2008
MAINTAINING GOOD WORKS
“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,”
Context is so vital in understanding the scriptures. If you simply take and cut out the above verse, by itself, and put it under the microscope, you might come away with the idea that our salvation is somehow gained or maintained by what we do or don’t do. However, broaden the scope of verse to what comes before and after, and what you will find is that good works is not the faithful saying that preachers are to affirm constantly, but rather this "faithful saying," refers back to verse 7...
‘That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.’
We do not become heirs of eternal life by what we do, but by being justified by the grace of God, exclusively in, through, and by the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work at Calvary.
This is the faithful saying that every true preacher of God affirms constantly. Jesus Christ did not come into the world to save the righteous ("there are none" - Romans 3:10).
‘This is a faithful saying and worthy of ALL acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save SINNERS,’
1 Timothy 1:15.
Sinners by definition are nothing but sin in their persons and works, and therefore, unable to do anything, contribute anything, or plead anything except that it brings them into condemnation - Romans 3:23.
Therefore, there is the necessary work of the Lord Jesus Christ for their justification, as their Substitute. He did not come to attempt to save sinners, but He saved them Matthew 1:21.
He did not render them savable, on condition that they do something.
HE SAVED THEM by His blood applied to their spiritual account for forgiveness, and His righteous obedience imputed to them for their righteousness, entirely accomplished once for all in His cross death - 2 Corinthians 5:21.
It is just such a message, when revealed in the heart of those whom the Spirit of God has regenerated, that causes them to believe God and be careful to maintain good works. Having been justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, sanctified by His blood and righteousness alone, and made alive by the Spirit of God, it causes us to live, move, and labor for His glory and honor in all things, and the advancement of His Gospel in a lost and ungodly world. The good works are not in order to earn our salvation, but rather are the fruit of that salvation that the Lord earned for His own - 1 Thessalonians 1:3.
By Ken Wimer