Created for good works
Published 1:00 pm Sunday, May 29, 2022
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” — Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no law.” — Galatians 5:22-23
It seems to me that a significant number of “Christians” are of the opinion that we were saved simply in order to get to Heaven; that whatever happens after that moment of our surrender to Jesus is insignificant. Could anything be more out of line with the passage above, or more contrary to God’s plan for our lives? If indeed the fulfillment of God’s plan for us was achieved at the moment of our acceptance of Christ Jesus, would He not have whisked us away to be with Him? Why leave us here to stumble around on this sinful earth, susceptible to the continuous attacks of Satan if we have fulfilled our purpose?
According to verse 10 above, we were created for good works, prepared by God long before we were born. Think of it this way; Heaven is the retirement plan for those who love Jesus; who could love Jesus without doing the will of His Father, those good works prepared for us?
Please understand the difference between working for salvation, and good works after salvation. Salvation can’t be earned (verse 6 above), no matter how we try, how many good deeds we accomplish or charitable gifts we make, we simply can’t work our way into God’s Heaven. Works done by us in order to gain favor with God are done by our unrighteous selves and by definition are not good works.
There is nothing that we can do apart from Christ Jesus to make ourselves righteous so that our works will be accepted; after we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, it is then, covered in His righteousness, that we begin to do those works prepared by God for us to do. Not as a requirement for salvation; as evidence of our devotion to Him Who saves us.
Rev. Bobby Thornhill is a retired Methodist preacher.