Quotes for Topic: Works-good-positive
We must always insist that there is nothing we can do of ourselves to merit salvation. Salvation is “by grace…through faith” (Eph. 2:8). But when we accept His gift of salvation by faith we must know what this gift includes. We must know that it includes following Jesus as Lord. Otherwise people will think they have been tricked into accepting a way without being told what that way is. It is the grace of God that enables us to follow this way. It is all of grace. But it is a way in which sin is left behind and a righteous life is taken on. And when people accept that salvation that Christ offers, they must know that this is what they are accepting. Otherwise they would not be putting their faith in the Jesus of the Bible.
Reference: The Gift of Eternal Life by Ajith Fernando taken from The Supremacy of Christ by Ajith Fernando, copyright 1995, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 181.
Works that are the outflowing of our salvation are never, then, the root or the basis of our right standing before God, but rather they are the fruit or the demonstration of our true salvation. They testify to the genuineness and reality that we are now His children, that His Spirit lives within, and that the faith that brought us justification continues as a living faith now to bring us ongoing sanctification.
Reference: Ocean City Bible Conference, 2015.
To properly evaluate the place of good works in the Christian life, we must understand that grace maintains the value of God’s children apart from any merit of their own; but we must also understand that God uses our obedience to promote our good and His glory. By our accomplishments, God works His holy purposes in our lives, provides us with many temporal blessings and, most of all, fulfills our Spirit-instilled longing to honor God with all our heart, soul, mind, and might (cf. Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37). While we must be careful not to define blessing only in terms of material possessions or earthly ease, we must also embrace the promise that God “rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
Reference: Works that Really Matter by Bryan Chapell taken from Holiness by Grace by Bryan Chapell, copyright 2001, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 208.
The heir of heaven serves his Lord simply out of gratitude; he has no salvation to gain, no heaven to lose; … now, out of love to the God who chose him, and who gave so great a price for his redemption, he desires to lay out himself entirely to his Master’s service. O you who are seeking salvation by the works of the law, what a miserable life your must be!… you have that if you diligently persevere in obedience, you may perhaps obtain eternal life, though, alas! None of you dare to pretend that you have attained it. You toil and toil and toil, but you never get that which you toil after, and you never will, for, “by the works of the law there shall no flesh living be justified”… The child of God works not for life; he does not work to be saved, he works because he is saved.
Reference: Serving the Lord with Gladness, in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, reprint Pilgrim Publications, 1989, v. 13, p. 495-496.
As the apple is not the cause of the apple tree, but a fruit of it: even so good works are not the cause of our salvation, but a sign and a fruit of the same.
Reference: A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 127.
Advance in the Christian life comes not by the work of the Holy Spirit alone, nor by our work alone, but by our responding to and cooperating with the grace the Holy Spirit initiates and sustains.
Reference: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 1991, p. 243, Used by permission of NavPress – www.navpress.com, All rights reserved. For more information please see the website www.BibicalSpirituality.org. Get this book!
And so in the judgment day, the inquiry will be made not into our opinions or professions alone, but into our deeds, as proving the correctness of our faith and the sincerity of our professions.
Reference: The Fruit of the Spirit, p. 132
Man’s method of sanctification is by law, God’s method of sanctification is by the Gospel; the former is by works, the latter is by faith, unto works.
Reference: The Office and Work of the Holy Spirit, 1843.
Accept the cost of good deeds in time, thought, and effort. But remember that opportunities for doing good are not interruptions in God’s plan for us, but part of that plan. We always have time to do what God wants us to do.
Reference: The Practice of Godliness, NavPress, 1996, p. 199. Used by permission of NavPress – www.navpress.com, All rights reserved. Get this book!
The same Christian activity can be either an expression of our own righteousness that we think earns favor with God, or it can be an expression of love and gratitude because we already have His favor through the righteousness of Christ.
Reference: Copied from The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges, © 2002, p. 124. Used by permission of NavPress – www.navpress.com, All rights reserved.
We are justified not without works yet not through works, since in our sharing in Christ, which justifies us, [progressive] sanctification is just as much included as [imputed] righteousness.
Reference: Institutes 3.16.1.
Salvation by faith does not eliminate good works per se. It does away with works that are the result of human effort alone (Ephesians 2:8). It abolishes any attempt to merit God’s favor by our works (Ephesians 2:9). But it does not deter God’s foreordained purpose that our walk of faith should be characterized by good works (Ephesians 2:10).
Reference: The Gospel According to Jesus, © John MacArthur, 1988, p. 33. Get this book!
Sometimes people are careless and speak disparagingly of all human righteousness, as if there were no such thing that pleased God. They often cite Isaiah 64:6 which says our righteousness is as filthy rags. It is true – gloriously true – that none of God’s people, before or after the cross, would be accepted by an immaculately holy God if the perfect righteousness of Christ were not imputed to us (Romans 5:19; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). But that does not mean that God does not produce in those “justified” people (before and after the cross) an experiential righteousness that is not “filthy rags.” In fact, He does; and this righteousness is precious to God and is required, not as the ground of our justification (which is the righteousness of Christ only), but as an evidence of our being truly justified children of God.
Reference: Future Grace, Copyright: Desiring God, 1995, p. 151. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.
Are deeds “necessary” for raising the dead and freeing the enslaved? From the standpoint of the Spirit’s work, no. From the standpoint of Christianity’s public credibility, generally yes. The Spirit’s work will produce evidence in our deeds. And every good deed becomes one more witness who testifies on behalf of the gospel’s truth and power.
Reference: Reverberation, Moody Publishers, 2011, p. 85-86.
In the lives of many churchgoers today, there is a yawning chasm between profession and action, professed faith and works – and that chasm gives the lie to people’s loud claims to real faith.
Reference: Taken from James by Kent Hughes, copyright 1991, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 115, www.crosswaybooks.org.
It is better to fail in an attempt to exercise faith than to let it lie dormant and fruitless. God never belittles those who attempt to follow Him, but He does chasten those who refuse to attempt anything for Him.
Reference: Taken from James by Kent Hughes, copyright 1991, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 259, www.crosswaybooks.org.
God’s people [are] not redeemed by observing the law, but they were redeemed so they might obey the law.
Reference: Piety’s Pattern by Kevin DeYoung taken from The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung, copyright 2012, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 45.
There is no righteousness that makes us right with God except for the righteousness of Christ. But for those who have been made right with God by grace alone through faith alone and therefore have been adopted into God’s family, many of our righteous deeds are not only not filthy in God’s eyes, they are exceedingly sweet, precious, and pleasing to Him.
Reference: The Pleasure of God and the Possibility of Godliness by Kevin DeYoung taken from The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung, copyright 2012, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 70.
To a believer no law is given by which he becomes righteous before God…because he is alive and righteous and saved by faith, and he needs nothing further except to prove his faith by works. Truly, if faith is there, he cannot hold back: he proves himself, breaks out into good works.
Reference: Preface to the New Testament.
Faith, however, is something that God effects in us. It changes us and we are reborn form God, John 1. Faith puts the old Adam to death and makes us quite different men in heart, in mind, and in all our powers; and it is accompanied by the Holy Spirit. O, when it comes to faith, what a living, creative, active, powerful thing it is. It cannot do other than good at all times. It never waits to ask whether there is some good work to do, rather, before the question is raised, it has done the deed, and keeps on doing it. A man not active in this way is a man without faith. He is groping about for faith and searching for good works, but knows neither what faith is nor what good works are. Nevertheless, he keeps on talking nonsense about faith and good works.
Reference: Commentary on Romans, Preface.
How shall a work please God, if it proceeds from a reluctant and resisting heart? To fulfill the law, however, is to do its works with pleasure and love, and to live a godly and good life of one’s own accord, without the compulsion of the law. This pleasure and love for the law is put into the heart by the Holy Ghost.
The justification of the sinner, it is true, is by faith in Christ and not by works of this own; but the hidden root of faith must bring forth the visible fruit of good works. This fruit is expected by Christ, for it brings glory to the Father and is evidence to the world of the dynamic reality of divine grace. And it is especially in the bearing of much fruit that the Father is glorified (Jn. 15:8).
Reference: The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Eerdmans, www.eerdmans.com, 1992, p. 183.
True faith will inevitably manifest itself in the performance of works of obedience… The performance of works are the result of faith and the fruit of justification.
Reference: The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 56.
You see, doing good in dependence on God does just the opposite of paying Him back. All Christian labor for Him is a gift from Him. Good deeds when done as a pure act of His grace do not pay back grace, but borrow more grace from Him. Without God’s grace we would not and could not serve Him. Therefore, even our service does not put Him in debt to us, but rather puts us deeper in debt to His grace. And that is where God wants us to be throughout eternity.
Reference: Sermon, Does God Owe or Own You? Luke 7:1-10, October 21, 2018.
Some will say we need to add “good works” to Christ’s work to be saved. Others will say since we are saved by God’s grace and because all of our sins are already forgiven in Christ we can live as we wish. So, the first says following God’s law is necessary to be saved. The other says following God’s law is unnecessary once saved. Both are terribly wrong! We are saved by grace alone, but the grace that saves is never alone. God’s grace will always give us the desire and ability to follow God. The greatest evidence that we are recipients of God’s grace will be seen through our obedience – not to get saved or stay saved, but proof that we truly are already saved.
Reference: What is Grace? Ephesians 2:1-9, September 29, 2019.
Saving faith is a working faith. That faith by means of which we are justified is the kind or quality of faith that produces obedience and the fruit of the Spirit. In the absence of obedience, in the absence of fruit, in the absence of submission to the lordship of Jesus, there is doubt whether the faith is saving.
Reference: The Lordship Salvation Debate, November 6, 2006, www.enjoyinggodministries.com. Used by Permission.
Holiness and a progressively changed life are not optional. “By this we know that we have come to know him,” says John, “if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3). Mere profession of faith, unattended by good works, does not guarantee the reality of faith. We would do well to remember the rebuke of Jesus to those who professed their loyalty and cited their miraculous deeds: “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Mt. 7:23).
Reference: The Carnal Christian – Study of 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, November 6, 2006, www.enjoyinggodministries.com. Used by Permission.
Works are an evidence of true faith. Graces are not dead, useless habits; they will have some effects and operations when they are weakest and in their infancy… This is the evidence by which we must judge, and this is the evidence by which Christ will judge… Works are not a ground of confidence, but an evidence; not the foundations of faith, but the encouragements of assurance. Comfort may be increased by the sight of good works, but it is not built upon them; they are seeds of hope, not props of confidence; sweet evidences of election, not causes; happy presages and beginnings of glory; in short, they can manifest an interest, but not merit it.
Reference: Commentary on James.
It is not right to credit salvation to good works. It is right and necessary, however, to expect good works to follow salvation. Salvation is not the result of good works, but good works are the result of salvation.
Reference: Christian: Take Heart! By Permission of the Banner of Truth Trust, Carlisle, PA. 1987, p. 149.
God does not merely save from hell, God saves from sin as well. We may put this another way. An obedient walk is not a cause of salvation, it is an effect of God’s working in the soul. The cause of our salvation is God’s mercy, God’s grace. One result of our salvation – or, one part of our salvation – is our beginning to walk as God wants us to walk. We do not take our steps perfectly. We fail in some instances and in some circumstances. Far too many! But, if we are truly believers, our lives are characteristically right.
Reference: Christian: Take Heart! By Permission of the Banner of Truth Trust, Carlisle, PA. 1987, p. 24.
Pray that thy last days, and last works may be the best; and that when thou comest to die, thou mayest have nothing else to do but die.
Reference: A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 72.
[B]elievers being accepted through Christ, their good works are accepted in Him; not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreprovable in God’s sight; but that He, looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections.
Reference: Westminster Confession, XVI.6.
Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again – until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other.
Reference: The Founder’s Messages to Soldiers, Christianity Today, October 5, 1992, p. 48.