What Are Good Works?

Date: AM
Text: Romans 14; Lord's Day 33
Psalters: 128, 147, 298, 246
  1. Their right source.
    1. Good works must proceed out of faith. “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23; also Hebrews 11:6).
    2. God’s first work in us is regeneration - spiritually changing the heart by uniting us to Christ (faith).
      1. Faith is God’s gift which binds us spiritually to Christ (John 15:1-8).
      2. Christ bears fruit through us, and without Him we can do nothing good (John 15:1-5).
    3. God’s work of grace in us produces the life of new obedience.
  2. The right standard for good works is God’s law.
    1. The law of God is the only objective standard for identifying good works. (I John 3:4; I Sam. 15:22; Heb. 13:21).
    2. This excludes all other standards (Deut. 12:32; Numbers 15:39).
    3. The principle behind this criterion is two-fold:
      1. One, God created all and controls all the absolute monarch of the universe.
      2. Two, God gives instructions in order to establish a personal link between Himself and His subjects.
    4. In the law God demands the heart: His law is fulfilled only with love (Romans 13:10-12; Matt. 22:37-39).
  3. All good works must have the correct goal or purpose of the glory of God.
    1. Man’s works all have a purpose or an end.
    2. To be good a work must have as its goal the glory of God.
      1. God created all things in order that they might radiate His glory (Rev. 4:11).
      2. God created man to be consciously declaring and consciously reflecting His glory.