Works

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was (James 1:22-24).

We are saved by the grace of God and not by our human efforts or works. Because of this many feel that works are not important to God, but that is just not true. Our after salvation works are proof that we really believe! James said that faith without works is lifeless faith. In real life, if we say we have faith but we never act like it, then we have dead faith! A person who says that he is born again but shows absolutely no evidence of lifestyle change, has dead faith. And according to James that person is not saved.

J.C. Ryle, an English Bishop in the 1800’s said: Where there is no sanctification, there is no regeneration, and where there is no holiness of life, there is no new birth. This is no doubt a hard saying, but it is a simple Bible truth. J.C. Ryle also said: Tell me not of your justification, unless you have some marks of sanctification. Boast not of Christ’s work for you, unless you can show us the Spirit’s work in you.

The bottom line is that our works are important to God. At the judgment seat of Christ we will be rewarded for what we have done after salvation. Notice 2 Corinthians 5:10(Amplified): For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive his pay according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil; considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing.

Through scripture we find that works are examined by God. He gives to every man according to his works! Some simple research of “works” with a Bible concordance will surprise you with how much emphasis God places on what we do. In addressing the seven churches in Revelation chapters two and three, Jesus mentioned their works in every instance!

Let’s balance this out. Yes, we are saved by grace. And a quote from A.B. Simpson is one of my favorites: You have not been saved by grace to live by works! Our works righteousness is as filthy rags. Our works don’t save us. God’s grace through the sacrifice of Christ redeems us!

However, our post salvation works determine our position and rewards in eternity. And, according to James, our works are evidence of what we really believe! I’ll close this with a Quote from John Wesley: Do all the good you can,by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

8 thoughts on “Works

  1. Judgment Seat of Christ, we, the BELIEVERS will be judged ONLY for the good we have done.
    But in 2 Corinthians it says "recieve his pay acording to what has been done in the body, whether good or EVIL?????

    If we do evil/sin, we repent, WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE JUDGED FOR SOMETHING GOD DOESN'T REMEMBER, THAT IS IF WE REPENT OF COURSE. THE WORD SAYS TO REPENT AND GOD REMEMBERS NO MORE.
    Just wondering why it is worded like this.

    Why is the word 'evil' in there when talking about "The Judgement seat of Christ"????

    THANKS PM

  2. Thank Pastor Mitch… that clears some things up that I had questions on concerning works. Love the quote by John Wesley.

  3. I'm responding here to the comment by anonymous above who mentioned the good or evil we will be judged for at the judgment seat of Christ.

    First, it's important to let scripture balance scripture and not rely on one word or an isolated text to rule supreme.

    2 Corinthians 5:10 mentions that we will individually stand before the judgment seat of Christ to receive the things done while in the body, good or evil.

    Remeber that the Word judgment is the Greek word bema, and refers to awards. Our salvation is not in question at the (rewards) seat of Christ. The very fact that we are there and not at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11ff)is proof that we are saved and going to heaven.

    Balance this scripture out with 1 John 1:9 and related verses that reveal that God forgives and forgets confessed sin (1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:1-2; Hebrews 10:17; Psalms 103:3; Psalms 103:12; Isaiah 43:25; Micah 7:19)

    At the judgment (rewards) seat of Christ we are receiving rewards for what we do after salvation.

    For the good we do with the proper motive after salvation, we receive gold, silver, and precious stones. For the evil or bad we do in our bodies after salvation we receive wood, hay, and straw. They are burned up and will not stand the test of Jesus blazing gaze at us! See 1 Corinthians 3: 9-15 is clear that some of what we do will be burned up at the rewards seat of Christ! Good works equals rewards of gold, silver, and precious stones. Bad stuff that we do equals wood, hay, and straw at the rewards seat of Christ!

  4. Pastor, you covered this extensively when you spoke on Righteousness a couple of weeks ago. I have listened to the Podcast everyday this week. It gets better everytime I listen. It's hard to imagine, but so true, as a born again believer, that in my righteous standing before God, I have never done anything wrong. When you can even get somewhat close to grasping your heart around that and allowing it to take over all those years of wrong teachings and inaccurate core beliefs, there is a freedom that you can't explain, which comes with many added benefits. I have had things fall of off me as a result of that revelation and then walking it out daily by faith, just knowing that in him I live, I move and I have my being. It has increased my faith, my prayer life and it has me walking more & more in peace daily. Just when I think that I really know how much God loves me, he gives me more revelations of his love, which increases the capacity for me to love myself and then the capacity to love Him more and the capacity to love others more. I love discovering more of him daily. Bless you Father!! Thank you for your outrageous love!!

  5. Pastor Mitch, I was raised Free Will Baptist and graduated from a Independent Baptist College…. what is your belief on ETERNAL SECURITY. Can you lose your salvation? Forfit your salvation, or give it up? Salavtion is a free gift, but people return gifts all the time. I know we are "sealed" until the day of redemtion, but what is your stand on this issue?

  6. Dear whoever you are asking the question about eternal security:

    I was raised as a Southern Baptist. We were taught the once saved, always saved theology.

    I believe that you're saved as long as you want to be, meaning as long as you continue to believe in the Lord Jesus as the source of your salvation, and that believing is lived out in a practical demonstration of how you live your life.

    This is a very divisive subject in the body of Christ, and is worthy of much deep thought. There are pros and cons both for and against eternal security.

    I personally take the middle of the road. I don't think you're going to lose your salvation if you sneeze wrongly. On the other hand there is no scripture that promises eternal salvation for a person who is living in a constant, 24 hour state of fornication, drunkeness, partying, etc. It's one thing to have engrained habit that a person must overcome, and who is remorseful and full of conviction when they fall. It's another thing to live brazenly in a lifestyle of sin and claim salvation! Faith is evidenced by what we do and how we live! See James 2:14-26

    I'll end with a quote here from John 10:27 and 28, and D.L. Moody's response to this scripture.

    John 10:27 – Literal translation: My sheep keep on hearing my voice and I keep on knowing them, and they keep on following me, and I keep on giving them eternal life and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.

    D.L. Moody said of this passage: "Some read the passage as if it says: My sheep heard my voice, and I knew them, and they followed me, and I gave them eternal life. The verbs are present linear, indicating continuous action by the sheep and by the shepherd, not the punticular fallacy of the past."

  7. Thank you…. so me taking a position in the middle of the road with that issue is ok…… to a degree…. When yuo do wrong and the holy spirit convicts you whil ein the act or shortly after, than all is good with your salvation. When you are in a normal habitual state of "sin" and you are not moved? a true problem is there or is on the horizon. God I guess can "choose" to stop dealing with you, thus ultimatly "choose" not to use you or be a child of his….. so confusing you know? Like the prodical son, the father was there each day waiting for his sons return to him. The bible does not say if the son was convicted daily with his lifestyle, it simply says one day whil ehe was eating the pigs leftover, he "came to his senses" and went home to his father. his father was there with open arms.

    I am new to your church and enjoy your teaching….. Thank you. Your church I believe is just what my family needs!

  8. Well, the middle of the road position keeps you from falling in the ditch! We have the world, the flesh, and the devil as our spiritual enemies. Every believer has at times done something that their heart convicts them about that is sin. That's the reason the Father gave us 1 John 1:9. He wants us to do better. He wants us to stay close to Him. He wants us to get over embedded carnality in the mind and emotions! He's not against us; He's for us! There is help for the person who comes to Christ but has been trapped in mental, emotional, and physical sins for a long period of time.

    The antidote for sin is the Word of God! See Psalm 37:31; Psalm 119:9,11; John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26.

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