This is the third week we look at the question of why we do good works if Christ has paid for our sins. So far we have seen that we do good works not to save us, but because (i) we died to sin and (ii) to prove we are saved. This week we look at yet another reason, to show thankfulness to God.
When we understand what God has done in Christ for us there can be nothing but thankfulness and love for him. How could anyone not love the God who in his mercy sent his one and only son to die in our place so that we would not have to spend an eternity in hell! What a God! But how do you express your love and your thankfulness to him? By obeying him.
Nowhere is good works as an expression of love to God more clearly taught then in the writings of the apostle John. Firstly, John records Jesus’ words in his gospel:
• ‘If you love me, you will obey what I command’ (John 14:15).
• ‘Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him’ (John 14:21).
• ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me’ (John 14:23-24).
Then the apostle John picks up on the words of Jesus in his letters and emphasises once again that love for God is shown in good works:
• ‘This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world’ (1 John 5:3-4).
• ‘And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love’ (2 John 6).
Are you grateful to God for saving you from the clutches of Satan by Christ’s blood? Do you love him? Do you study his word to know what he commands so that you can express your love for him in obedience. He loves your love, why don’t you show it to him?