Bible Study Certificates

Doctrine of Works

Doctrine of "good" Works

The concept of "good" works is the fruit (proof/results) of salvation is a highly debated subject in theological circles. This paper will not answer the question but will point you to Scripture that with of the aid of the Holy Spirit God might shed some light on the subject.

Eph 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

1 Tim 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Tts 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

It appears from the above four references from Paul's Epistles that "good" works is a normal fruit of salvation.

Jesus seems to be laying the foundation for the thought that "redeemed" people display "good works".

Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

In the parable of the "Sower" or "Four Soils", the "good soil" produces fruit.

Mat 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

In John chapters 14-16 Jesus is preparing His disciples for His death, burial, resurrection, and assention with a discussion on the "Comforter". The parable (illustration) of the Vine in John 15 teaches that a branch must bear fruit or it will be cut off and cast into the fire. Jesus goes on to tell us if we are attached (abide) to Him we will bear fruit. Paul makes a similar statement in 2 Tim 2:21 which states "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, [and] prepared unto every good work."

Jesus starts out the "Sermon on the Mount" with the statement above (Mt 5:16) about fruit of "good works" and at the end of the sermon He states in Mat 7:17 by stating that "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."

In Mat 7:19 Jesus states "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." This seems to be a similar thought to His teaching in John 15 and is consistent with John the Baptize teaching in Mat 3:2, 8, 10 where he ends with Mat 3:10 which states "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."

It appears that James might be summarizing the above thoughts with the statement in James 2:26 that states "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

It appears there is a close association to being "born" of the spirit and producing the fruit of "good works".

Rev 20:12 "And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books."

This important subject requires that each of us spend time in study, meditation and application of God's Word.