In previous weeks we have considered God’s great salvation in terms of Christ coming into one’s heart in order to dwell within a believer’s life with a view to being expressed outwardly. Last week we looked more closely at this great salvation and the differences it makes in the manner a person lives. This outward expression of the indwelling Christ might be summarized as walking in good works.
The Bible is clear that we are not saved by good works, but unto good works. Ephesians 2:10 puts it like this: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The matter of walking in good works is repeated in the New Testament in a variety of expressions.
Good works for God’s glory
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus admonished His followers to let their light “so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
In Acts 9:36, we read about the example of Dorcas “who was full of good works”.
In 2 Corinthians 9:8, Paul speaks of abounding in every good work, saying, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” God’s abundance is not merely for enrichment but also is motivation for good works.
In Colossians 1:10, the Bible envisions us being fruitful in every good work, saying, “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work.”
In 2 Timothy 3:16–17, this truth about walking in good works is expressed in the assertion, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Immersing oneself in Scripture is not only for our advancement in spiritual maturity, but also for equipping us for good works.
In Titus 2:14, the matter is again addressed when Paul declares Christ gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us and purify us to be “His own special people, zealous for good works.” First Peter 2:12 cites the potential impact on others of believers’ good works, saying that by the “good works which they observe,” they may glorify God.
Scripture is clear: Walking in good works is essential to an abundant life and an effective witness.