What Good Works Can We Do? And Why?

We serve a great and glorious God.

While we may not always understand His ways or sense His goodness, He will always lead us in His perfect way and He will always do that which is right.

Yesterday I announced the postponement of all services here at Bedford Bible Church until April 5th. I shared the reasons why the leadership here had taken that decision and how we planned on continuing to serve during these uncertain days.

My goal is to post short, regular videos, along with a blog post, to help keep our eyes on Christ and to always keep before us that here at Bedford Bible Church we are part of a Gospel community.

What Can I Do to Serve My Neighbor?

When Paul wrote his letters to churches across the known world he frequently repeated the same themes.

One theme focused on a cause, the other an effect.

The Effect – Living, Loving, and Leading as Christ Lived, Loved, and Led

LIVING

In Galatians 2:20 Paul wrote,

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”

 I should not live according to my will, wisdom, goals, or desires but let Christ live through me.

LOVING

In Galatians 5:14,

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Some, in their efforts to emphasize grace rather than law, miss out that the motivation of the law is love.

Now, if I try to keep the law to please God I will always fail. I’ll be miserable, bitter, and a hypocrite.

If I try to get others to keep the law, whether God’s or my own preferences, I’ll make them miserable, bitter, and a hypocrite.

But if use the law as a guideline in serving God and others, then I will show them the love of God.

If I obey God’s instructions, then I will demonstrate generosity, consistency, friendship, and so much besides!

LEADING

In Galatians 6:9-10 Paul wrote,

“And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

Followers of Christ should be leaders in doing good works.

We should not grow weary in seeking out opportunities to serve and willingness to help those in need.

We can show wisdom in resting when we need to rest, but the goal even then is not personal comfort, but preparation to work for God and others.

We find strength spiritually as God renews us through His Word which will empower us physically to do more than we could ever do alone.

Check on your neighbors, search out needs in your church and community, make a list of people to phone, prepare a meal for someone, whatever it may be that you can find to do.

Can we

  • collect groceries for an elderly neighbor?
  • Pick up medicine for someone who is sick?
  • Send a note of encouragement to the lonely and discouraged?
  • Provide a meal for someone who has lost their job?

I’m sure there is a long list of ways in which we can serve our community that I can’t think of, please share them in the comments.

Paul’s service to others, and ours, is an effect, but what is the cause?

The Cause – Salvation Through Jesus Christ

We live, love, and lead the way we do because of our salvation through Jesus Christ.

In Galatians 2:16 Paul wrote,

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

Paul did not do good works in order to try and please God. He knew in his own strength he would always fail.

But he understood the beautiful truth of the substitutionary death of Christ.

I grew up in a country where soccer is number 1! In soccer, as with many sports,  can substitute one player for another.

When Jesus hung on the cross, He willingly became our substitute. All my sin, my guilt, and the punishment I deserved was placed on Him.

Now, when I admit to God I am a sinner and ask Hm to forgive me because of what Jesus did for me, then He has promised to forgive me.

At that moment another exchange takes place. The righteousness of Christ is placed on me, in my account. So, when God looks at me He sees the righteousness of His Son!

Now I do not do good works to try and please God, I do all I can to serve God and others BECAUSE I know God is already pleased with me!

Conclusion:

If you share that cause with me, of being a Christian, then let the effect of being a Christian shine through your life like never before!

I understand people are afraid, but as Christians we can give our fear to God, our cup of peace and joy should overflow and lift up others.

If you have never received Christ as your Savior, then why delay? Please, contact me and I would love to share with you how to know your sins are forgiven, how to become a child with God, and to know beyond any doubt that when you die you will go to Heaven.

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