LD 32: What Good Works Are (3)
by Rev Dennis Lee
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Suppose, a wealthy man finds out he is soon going to die. Among the many things he does before his death, he donates most of his estate to charitable organizations. He did so because he wanted his name to be remembered.
Did this dying rich man do a good work by giving his estate to the poor?
The Answer is “No”. The dying rich man, in all his giving to charity, did not do a good work. The reason for this is because his motive for all that giving was for his name and glory and not for the Glory of God.
And that is the third and final aspect of what constitutes a good work in the sight of God: that work, besides it proceeding from a true faith and being done according to His law, must have the glory of God as its motive (LD33, Q/A 91).
And for proof of this, we have 1 Cor 10:31.
We have covered the three-fold biblical, Reformed definition of what constitutes a good work. So, let us ask ourselves: Are we thankful to God for His salvation? If so, we will show it by a life abounding in good works. The just shall live by faith, and so by faith, let us do good. Let us live according to His Word. And let us live for His glory and not ours.
For Meditation: Unbelievers often shame us believers with what has been called “glittering bad works”. At the same time, the good works that a believer does in his/her calling or station in life may seem trivial and mundane, and even despised by the world (e.g. a Christian man who gives a good witness by his quiet, diligent labor; or a covenant mother being a keeper of the home, caring for and nurturing her young children). Keeping in mind the proper understanding of what good works are, let us be undeterred in being faithful to Christ, calling to mind that we are not our own but belong to Him. Let us perform what He calls us to do in true faith and for divine glory. It is in this way that we enjoy our one and only comfort in Christ.
Originally posted here.