We Are Saved by God's Grace to Do Good Works (Ephesians 2:8-10)
1. This morning we showed from vs.8-9 how grace and faith relate to our salvation. 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. This evening we are focusing our attention on these good works that God wants His children to do.
I. THE SCRIPTURES REPEATEDLY INSTRUCT US TO DO GOOD WORKS
A. From Titus 2:14 we learn that those who have been redeemed by Christ are to be "zealous of good works." B. Titus 3:8 teaches those who have believed in God to "be careful to maintain good works." C. In addition to doing good works ourselves, Hebrews 10:24 teaches us to "consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works." D. Not only are we instructed to do good works, but . . .
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 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. In all the messages to the 7 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. 2. (Matthew 23:5) Jesus warned against doing works to be seen of men. 3. Our good works need to be seen by others 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 revealed in the Bible that should motivate us to do good works. F. Let us briefly consider . . .
III. THE TIME TO DO GOOD WORKS
A. To know when we should do good works, let us look to the example of Christ (John 9:4 - "I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work"). B. We must be ready at all times to take advantage of opportunities that are presented to us (Galatians 6:10). C. We must do good works now and throughout our lives because there will be plenty of time for rest in heaven (Revelation 14:13).
IV. DOING GOOD WORKS IS ONE MEANS BY WHICH WE BEAR FRUIT
A. Jesus showed in John 15:8 how important it is that we bear fruit - "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." B. Doing good works is an important part of bearing fruit. 1. Colossians 1:10 teaches us that God wants us to be "fruitful in every good work." 2. Titus 3:14 says, "And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful." C. In order to be the Lord's disciples we must bear much fruit, and doing good works is one means by which we can bear fruit.
1. At the judgment, we will be rewarded on the basis of our works (1 Corinthians 3:8b - "every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor"). 2. With this in mind, consider what is written in these passages: a. (John 6:27) "Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you." b. (Hebrews 4:11a) "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest." 3. Since the Bible has so much to say about Christians doing good works, we conclude that they are important to God. 4. Let us be sure that doing good works is important to us.