God's People Are Created unto Good Works (Ephesians 2:8-10)
1. According to vs.8-9, "grace" and "faith" play important roles in our salvation. a. "Grace" is certainly involved. 1) We cannot save ourselves -- salvation is a gift from God. 2) Any great works that we might invent will not save us. b. "Faith" is also involved. 1) We receive salvation through our faith. 2) Faith includes obeying the conditions God has revealed in His Word. 2. In vs.10 we read about the role of good works in the lives of those who have been saved. a. We are God's workmanship. b. We are created in Christ unto good works. c. God has ordained that we should walk in good works. 3. The theme of our lesson: "God's people are created unto good works." Discussion: I. MANY SCRIPTURES TEACH US TO DO GOOD WORKS
A. (Titus 2:14) Those who have been redeemed are to be "zealous of good works." B. (Titus 3:8) Believers in God are to "be careful to maintain good works." C. Not only are we to do good works ourselves, but Hebrews 10:24 teaches us to "consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works." D. In addition to teaching us to do good works, . . . II. THE SCRIPTURES REVEAL A NUMBER OF PRINCIPLES THAT SHOULD MOTIVATE US TO DO GOOD WORKS
A. In this regard, 1 Thessalonians 1:3 mentions a "labor of love." 1. God's love should motivate and inspire us to do good works. 2. Our love for God and our fellow man should also be a driving force behind the good works that we do. B. A second principle is the fact that our labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). 1. Sometimes our good works may not produce the results that we desire. 2. Nevertheless, if we have done the Lord's will, our labor is not in vain. 3. Realizing this should motivate us to be steadfast in doing good works. C. A third principle is that God will not forget our good works (Hebrews 6:10). 1. God is aware of our good works, and He will not forget them. 2. To the churches of Asia in Revelation 2-3, the Lord said, "I know thy works." 3. God is aware of our good works, but He also knows when we fail to take advantage of opportunities to do them. D. A fourth principle is that our good works will influence others (Matthew 5:16). 1. While we want our good works to have a positive influence on others, there is a warning that we must heed -- Matthew 23:5. 2. Others must see our good works so they can be influenced for good, but we must not do our good works for the purpose of being seen by others. E. These are just a few of the principles that should motivate us to do good works. F. Let us briefly consider . . . III. THE TIME TO DO GOOD WORKS
A. The Lord's example shows us when we should do good works (John 9:4). B. We must be ready at all times to take advantage of opportunities that are presented to us (Galatians 6:10). C. Now is the time to do good works because there will be plenty of time for rest in heaven (Revelation 14:13). Conclusion:
1. (1 Corinthians 3:8b) We will be rewarded on the basis of our works. 2. With this in mind, consider what is written in: a. John 6:27 b. Hebrews 4:11a 3. Let us pursue opportunities to do good when they are presented to us.