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Works

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Loyal
Works...

A dirty little word that can sure offend many Christians.

There are some verses in the Bible that seem to cast a negative light upon works.
The word "works" is almost curse word, it is vomit in their mouths.

Isa 64:6; For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

This is of course a verse from the old testament, however I do not think that makes any difference.
But there are some who say we cannot use verses from the old testament to talk about the way things
are today. Interestingly enough those same people will usually quote this verse from Isaiah.

Matt 6:1; "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven

This is a big one. It doesn't say don't practice righteousness at all, it says don't do it
to be noticed by other people. I've seen a few televangelists, and even a few mega-church worship
teams that are making a lot of money using their name (instead of Jesus's). I am fairly
convinced that some of them think God is pretty lucky to have them preaching for Him.

Then there is the ever popular verse from Ephesians 2.
Eph 2:8; For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Eph 2:9; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Eph 2:10; For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

It says we have been saved by faith and grace.
The next verse says we have not been saved by works....

This is a great verse. In my experience, most of the unsaved people I know, think they are going
to heaven. Not because of Jesus (they think they don't need Him) but because they are good people,
and because they have done "good things". I can assure you, no one will get to heaven because of the
"good things" they have done.

But does that mean we shouldn't do any works at all?
The next verse in Eph 2 says we are "created in Christ Jesus for good works", which God
prepared before hand so that we would walk in them.

So are we supposed to do the works we were created for? Are we supposed to walk in those works?

This brings up the idea of "BEFORE" and "AFTER".
There is nothing we can do to get saved. Only believe in Jesus. So the only thing we can do
before we get saved... is believe in Jesus.

However.. after we are saved, there are things we must do in order to remain saved.
Yes, I know this flies in the face of once saved always saved. I know there will be those who
say our salvation doesn't depend on anything we do. But let us take a look.

Matt 5:14; “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
Matt 5:15; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Matt 5:16; “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Apparently we need to live "in such a way" that other's may see our good works.

In Matt 25 we see the parable of the talents.

Matt 25:14; “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.
Matt 25:15; “To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.
Matt 25:16; “Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.
Matt 25:17; “In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.
Matt 25:18; “But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
Matt 25:19; “Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.
Matt 25:20; “The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’
Matt 25:21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
Matt 25:22; “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’
Matt 25:23; “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
Matt 25:24; “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.
Matt 25:25; ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
Matt 25:26; “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.
Matt 25:27; ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.
Matt 25:28; ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
Matt 25:29; “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.
Matt 25:30; “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

There are three servants in the Master's house. Who is the master here? Jesus of course.
What is the house here? Members of the kingdom of course. So Jesus gives talents to each of
them to invest in His kingdom "each according to his own ability". (Jesus never gives us a
bigger task than we can handle). Two of the servants did the work required to advance the kingdom.
They were told "well done". But one servant didn't do anything with his talent. He just hid it in the
dirt. He was called "You wicked and lazy servant". Not only that, but he was thrown out of the master's household. (Can we be thrown out of the master's house?)

... to be continued ...
 
Loyal
Matt 9:36; Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.
Matt 9:37; Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Matt 9:38; “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Much like the parable on the talents in the last post... we see workers.
Those who are sent out into the harvest (lost souls) to further the kingdom of God.
God uses people to do His work. He always has, all through the Bible.
In fact, I don't think you can mention a single Bible story character that wasn't involved in
some kind of work for God.

Matt 21:28; “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’
Matt 21:29; “And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went.
Matt 21:30; “The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go.
Matt 21:31; “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.
Matt 21:32; “For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.

Who is Jesus talking to here? In verse 23 we see He went into the temple to speak to the
chief priests and elders in the temple. We see the parable of the two sons. One said he would
go work in the fields, but never did. The other, said he wouldn't do it, but changed his mind
and went out to do work for the father. Jesus's asks them... "which did the will of the father?"

John 6:27; “Do not work for the food which perishes, but work for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
John 6:28; Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”
John 6:29; Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
John 6:30; So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?

Jesus tells the disciples, "work" for the food which endures to eternal life.
The disciples ask Him "what shall we do to do the works of God?"
Jesus says "You have to believe in Me". ... seems easy enough...
But then the disciples ask Jesus for a sign, that they might believe in Him.
sometimes even believing in Jesus is work.

John 9:3; Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
John 9:4; “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work

God has a plan for us. A purpose for us. A task for us. A task which He created us to do.
These are the works God created for us to do beforehand. ( Eph 2:10; )
We can do them, or we can be a wicked and lazy servant.

.. to be continued ...
 
Active
Hey no cursing on the forum.

Loll. :D Just joking, commenting on how you said "works" was a dirty word.

Thanks for sharing :). I'll share more after I read it all.
 
Loyal
Now of course... you can't really talk about "works" without talking about James 2.

Jas 2:14; What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
Jas 2:15; If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
Jas 2:16; and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
Jas 2:17; Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

Jas 2:18; But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
Jas 2:19; You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
Jas 2:20; But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
Jas 2:21; Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
Jas 2:22; You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;
Jas 2:23; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God.
Jas 2:24; You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Jas 2:25; In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
Jas 2:26; For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

So it seems, faith alone does not save us. Works are required. In fact, in order for faith to be "faith"
works are required to prove it is indeed "faith".
Abraham's faith was proven by offering up Isaac. Rahab's faith was proven by hiding the spies.

The phrase "we are saved by grace alone" does not appear in the Bible anywhere.
In fact the words "grace" and "alone" do not appear together in any verse in the Bible.
However the phrase "not by faith alone" does appear in the Bible. (James 2:24; )

.. to be continued ...
 
Loyal
Now while we cannot be saved by works alone. We are rewarded for certain works.

1 Cor 3:11; For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 3:12; Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
1 Cor 3:13; each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
1 Cor 3:14; If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
1 Cor 3:15; If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

So we see our works do have value. We will be rewarded for doing work for the kingdom of God.

... to be continued ...
 
Loyal
I love works !!!! that is how we store up treasures in heaven, send them ahead if you will !! Not everyone is equal in heaven like so many believe. getting ready to go to church now but I look forward to reading this later, !!

One final thought is so many people say Jesus was a socialist, I would say no just the opposite, he is more of a capitalist with his reward program !!! Praise Jesus !!
 
Active
I love works !!!! that is how we store up treasures in heaven, send them ahead if you will !! Not everyone is equal in heaven like so many believe. getting ready to go to church now but I look forward to reading this later, !!

One final thought is so many people say Jesus was a socialist, I would say no just the opposite, he is more of a capitalist with his reward program !!! Praise Jesus !!
Thanks for sharing that perspective, the first time I think I've heard Jesus called a capitalist, but I see your reasoning in the eternal side of things. It makes sense.
Capitalism in this world because of the sinful flesh often times leads us to just desire more and lust after the world. But spiritual capitalism on things eternal, I can dig it.
 
Loyal
Matt 6:17; But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face
Matt 6:18; so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Matt 6:19; “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
Matt 6:20; But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
Matt 6:21; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

... to be continued ..
 
Loyal
The works "conundrum".

Here is a difficult couple of passages... at least it seems that way at first.

Rom 3:20; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

Rom 3:27; Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.
Rom 3:28; For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

Rom 4:2; For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
Rom 4:3; For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

So OK... these verses all seem to make it clear that works has nothing to do with our justification.
Then along comes James...

James 2:14; What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
James 2:15; If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
James 2:16; and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
James 2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

James 2:18; But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
James 2:19; You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
James 2:20; But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
James 2:21; Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
James 2:22; You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;
James 2:23; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God.
James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
James 2:25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Well well... now what do we do?
Paul says in Rom 3:28; we are justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
James says in James 2:24; that we are justified by works, and not faith alone.

I always wanted to put James and Paul in a room together and let the sparks fly... :)

But it's possible that wouldn't be the case.
Whenever two scriptures seemingly oppose one another, we have a couple of options.
1. Just believe verse A and ignore verse B.
2. Just believe verse B and ignore verse A.

... it seems this is the approach of many churches today. Just ignore the parts of the Bible that
don't line up with my beliefs.

3. Try to find a way to reconcile these two verses... what a novel idea.

This is the approach I choose.
Now this is one way to reconcile the two verses... there may be more than one way..
but this is the way that makes the most sense to me.

Rom 3 starts off talking about being a Jew. In fact verse 1 mentions being circumcised.
We circle back around at the end of Romans 3, and it talks about God being the God of both
the Jews and the Gentiles. ( Rom 3:29; ) and being circumcised. ( Rom 3:30; )
This continues on into Rom 4:9-12;

Which would be works of the ceremonial law. Not part of the love law (the 10 commandments).
So if Paul and James agreed that the old ceremonial laws (circumcision, animal sacrifice,
confession to a human priest, stoning offenders, etc...) perhaps James would agree on this?

Also if the works we do prove our faith... ( James 2:21; James 2:25; ) perhaps Paul would agree
on this? This isn't necessarily works of "the Law". But it is works nonetheless. (Although James
does mention clothing and food in verses 15 and 16 - which would be 'loving your neighbor')

Just a thought. But it is one way to reconcile the seeming differences between those verses.
 
Loyal
Matt 16:27; For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.

I notice the verse above doesn't say whether these people are believers or unbelievers... it simply says "every man".

In Matt 26:10; Mark 14:6; Mary Magdalene washing Jesus's feet, Jesus says "she has done a good work (some Bibles
say "good deed") to Me. Apparently some of the works we for Jesus are "good deeds".

John 5:28; Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,
John 5:29; and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

Again... it doesn't really say if they were believers or unbelievers here. It simply says those who did "good" works
get this reward, and those who "evil" works get a different reward.
This goes along with Gal 6:7;

It seems to me there are rewards for our works... both the good and the bad.
 
Loyal
I think another often misquoted verse is in Isa 42;

Isa 42:8; “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another idol,
Nor My praise to graven images.

I notice King James has it slightly different.

I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

The reason I bring this up, is because some people have the idea that works are "our glory".
I suppose that could often be the case. Often these verses are used to say God won't share any
of the credit for what He has done for us. That is as it should be. But does that mean we don't get
any credit at all? Apparently there are many places in the Bible that say we will be rewarded for
certain works (deeds) that we do.

Also it seems that Isa 42:8; is really saying God doesn't want to share His glory with other gods
or idols.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
Also it seems that Isa 42:8; is really saying God doesn't want to share His glory with other gods
or idols.
Not to move away from the subject, but I couldn't help but comment and mention on this verse from Isaiah. I've seen this verse from Isaiah as a confirmation of the Deity of Jesus Christ.

Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God'; John 8:51

These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him. John 12:41

"Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. John 17:5

Thanks brother for the thread.
YBIC
C4E
<><
 
Member
Give up serving self, and that will be the best service to self we could ever give ourself, because we will find true freedom and joy to be the ultimate result, give up serving self and serve others.

We can learn one thing for sure, overcoming addiction does not come through the commitment to stop serving the addiction, the more effort we expend in that area, the more over-whelming will become the desire for that to which we are addicted, overcoming addition comes only through the commitment to be addicted to something different.

God has given us a perfect standing in our union with his perfectly righteous son, he’s also made provision for us now to have an ever improving state or experience, it is called maturing, it is what our growth is all about.

The only component of Paul’s good news Satan needs to focus on today to keep people in a lost condition, is the reality of reconciliation, he does not need to go any further than that.

If Satan and his clan can keep that glorious truth hidden by blinding people’s eyes to it through a message that keeps sin on the table of God’s justice, the other components of Paul’s good news will have no bearing whatsoever for that individual.
 

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