"A CLOSER WALK WITH GOD" The Christian And Good Works INTRODUCTION 1. In a previous lesson we discussed the matter of devotion or worship to God, especially in our public assemblies 2. One objective of such activities is to stir us up to "good works" - He 10:24-25 3. In this short but important lesson, we shall examine the matter of "good works" which Christians are to do... I. CHRISTIANS ARE TO DO "GOOD WORKS" A. DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND THE "PURPOSE" OF GOOD WORKS... 1. They are not done to "buy" or "earn" our way into heaven 2. God saves us by His GRACE, not by our WORKS - Ep 2:8-9 ; Ti 3:4-7 3. Yet, as God's People, we have been created in Christ Jesus to do good works! - Ep 2:10 ; Ti 2:11-14 ; 3:1,8,14 B. WHY, THEN, ARE WE TO DO GOOD WORKS? 1. They bring glory to God! - Mt 5:16 ; 1 Pe 2:11-12 2. They can prepare unbelievers to be more receptive to the gospel - 1 Pe 2:12 ; 3:1-2 3. They demonstrate the living nature of our faith - Ja 2:14-17 4. They are necessary if we are to be like Jesus - cf. Lk 6:46 with Ac 10:38 II. WHAT "GOOD WORKS" CAN WE DO? A. SOME GOOD WORKS ARE "SPIRITUAL" IN NATURE... 1. Telling others of God's grace - 1 Pe 2:9-10 a. We may not all be "teachers" in a formal sense - 1 Co 12: 27-31; Ja 3:1-2 b. But all of us can share with others the wonderful grace of God available in Christ Jesus! 2. Encouraging other Christians - He 3:12-13 a. We can be a "Philemon" or a "Stephanus" - Phile 7; 1 Co 16:15-18 b. For example, through cards, calls, visits, Bible studies 3. Restoring weak brethren - Ga 6:1-2 a. We can be a "Barnabas" (who helped John Mark) b. The importance of this work is seen in light of Ja 5:19-20 B. OTHER GOOD WORKS ARE MORE "PHYSICAL" IN NATURE... 1. Jesus did not limit His good works to things spiritual - Lk 7:22 2. Nor did He expect His disciples to so limit their good works a. Cf. the "Limited Commission" - Mt 10:7-8 b. Cf. the "judgment scene" - Mt 25:34-40 3. Just as some may be gifted in talent and opportunities to "teach", so others are gifted to "serve" in areas of physical service - Ro 12:3-8 a. Such as "giving" b. Such as "showing mercy" 4. Women can be especially fruitful in this area... a. For they often have a more flexible use of their time b. Why not be a "Dorcas"? - Ac 9:36-39 CONCLUSION 1. No matter how we may serve the Lord, "good works" are a MARK OF PURE RELIGION - cf. Ja 1:27 2. It is also A KEY TO SPIRITUAL BLESSEDNESS (happiness) - Ja 1:25 ; Ac 20:35 3. So let's be sure to keep in mind the admonition of Paul to Titus... "Those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works." (Ti 3:8 ) SOME QUESTIONS TO STIMULATE YOUR THINKING... 1. What kind of "spiritual" good works are you doing, or are preparing yourself to do? 2. What kind of "physical" good works are you doing, or hope one day to do? 3. Who should get the glory when you are praised for good works?