In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. In past weeks we’ve been looking at why obedience to God is so valuable and saw that good works prove the truth of our faith and express thankfulness to God. This week I want to show that obedience is important because it is one of the reasons God saved us.
The fact that God saves us through his son Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is amazing. Jesus gave his life as payment for our sin and bore the wrath of God that we deserve for our sin. Thus we are able to live forever in heaven rather than suffer forever in hell.
But why would God do that? Why would his Son suffer hell so that we don’t? One of the reasons is so that we do good works with the new life God has given us. Paul teaches us this: ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’ (Ephesians 2:8-10). Paul says something similar in his letter to Titus: ‘For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good’ (Tit 2:11-14).
So although we’re not saved by our own good works because they are tainted with sin, good works are still important. In fact, they are one of the reasons God saved us. Thus as Christians we should do good works or otherwise we’re going against God’s purpose for our lives.
So do you do good works because you recognise that they are one of the reasons God saved you?