CREATED UNTO GOOD WORKS
Ephesians 2:10 KJV: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Here, the scripture tells us that we have been created in Christ Jesus unto good works; we cannot be saved by good works, but after we are saved we are expected to bring forth the fruit of good works.
We are saved by grace through faith in the sufferings, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This faith gives God the legal basis to give us grace (1 Pet. 3:7, Ps. 30:5) or favour to inject eternal life, living water: the nature of God, into our spirits. This flow of eternal life into our spirits recreates our spirits making us new creatures in Christ Jesus.
This recreation of our spirits by eternal life is given only by grace: God’s unmerited favour; it cannot be earned by doing works. The thief on the cross exemplifies this truth. He was saved only by faith in the Lord Jesus: he had no opportunity to do any good works.
Luke 23:39-43 KJV: And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. (40) But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? (41) And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. (42) And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
However, after we are saved or born-again, or recreated in Christ Jesus, we are expected to do good works: in fact we are created unto good works.
Good works attract unregenerate men into the church:
Matthew 5:16 KJV: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Secondly, our good works will determine our eternal reward and position in the world to come:
Revelation 22:12 KJV: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Now, we are to do good works at three levels:
1. Physical works of charity: giving to and taking care of the poor, fatherless and widows and such like.
This level of good works is vital and foundational. However, it is not enough to just have this because this kind of good works can also be done by men who are not born-again and do not have the Spirit of God in them. Paul shows this fact in
1Corinthians 13:3 AMP: Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.
In fact such people may even do more this kind of works than born-again Christians because they have access to more physical and financial resources.
So in order to show greater ‘light’ to the world by our good works, our good works must move to the second level where they are embellished by a significant measure of the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit in supernatural healing and deliverance:
Acts 10:38 KJV: How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Mark 16:17-18 KJV: And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; (18) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
This second level of good works, with the foundation of the first level of physical works of charity, will draw more people to Christ.
Luke 6:17 KJV: And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
Finally, there is a third level of good works which are spectacular works of God’s power and glory, performed by the power of the Spirit without measure, that will cause men not just to be saved, healed and delivered, but to desire to be discipled and taught the ways of Christ so they can do the same works (Jn. 14:12). For instance, good works like ‘turning water to wine’ (Jn. 2:1-11), ‘feeding five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes’ (Jn. 6:1-14), will in these last days attract men to the Church to be taught and discipled and not just healed and delivered!
This is prophesied in
Isaiah 2:2-3 KJV: And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (3) And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
So let us fulfill our destiny in Christ not just to be born-again, but to do good works at these three levels to draw men to Christ to be saved, healed and delivered and to disciple men for Christ to glorify God!