I grew up in the church being taught that what you do, good works and good deeds, are very important. I’ve never questioned that teaching…until recently.
I began to wonder why works are stressed so much by the church. If we are living by grace, why do we need to worry about what we do?
Of course, after thinking about it and reasoning a while, I’ve come to some different conclusions.
Works, in regard to salvation, are not necessary. No matter what we do or don’t do, it doesn’t change how much God loves us, and it doesn’t have anything to do with our relationship with God.
So many people seem to think the whole Christian experience is based on how much we can do. All this does is put people on higher or lower levels in Christianity than others. Those who do many works sometimes look down on those who don’t do a lot and think lower of them. Those who don’t do a lot look up to those who are constantly busy and wish they could be more like them.
Do we really think people are positioned in God’s kingdom based on how much they do for God? After all, Jesus did all the work. He died so that we could be free and enjoy life in the kingdom.
Jesus wants us to be one with Him and one with each other. We are all equally important members of the body of Christ. When we focus on how many works we do each day, feeling obligated to do as much as we can, we end up being divided in the body of Christ.
In regard to our salvation, works do not make a difference whether we do a million good works or if we don’t do any.
Works make a difference when it comes to showing God’s love to those we meet throughout the day. The bible says to do our good works before men so that they would glorify our Father in heaven.
This type of works happens because of love. The Spirit living within us loves others and does the good works to show that love. There is nothing done out of obligation or rule keeping. When works are done out of necessity, they are basically dead works.
Works done through love by the power of God within us brings glory to the Father and shows His love to those around us.
Works will happen because we love the Father and because the Spirit dwells within us. If our works only come out of obligation or due to rule keeping, we might as well stop right now. If we do good works to earn our salvation, or make us feel like we are doing our part, we should stop and question our motives.
Jesus did all that was necessary and required for us to have a relationship with the Father. We can’t earn it or pay God back for it. We can accept the free gift of grace and enjoy living as one with God. Then let Him love others as His does the good works through us.
As with any part of our walk with God, it is because of love that we do anything. We are to be available anytime, anywhere for the Spirit to work through us.