LD 32: Why Must We Still Do Good Works (2)?
by Rev Dennis Lee
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Why must we still do good works? The Catechism reminds us that we, whose only comfort is that we belong to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ and who hold to God’s glorious gospel of grace, have many, many reasons to do good works after experiencing God’s salvation in our lives.
First, by doing good works, God is praised by us. For our good works are the works of God to begin with. Phil 2:12-13, Eph 2:10 and Matt 5:16 remind us of this. God is praised and glorified when we do good works because those works come from the God of those people who perform them.
Second, by doing good works, others are gained to Christ. That also is the thought of Matt 5:16. Our Reformed fathers also cite 1 Pet 3:1-2 on this point, and there, we are reminded that believing wives are called to submit themselves also to their unbelieving husbands, one reason being that “they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear”.
Third, by doing good works, we are assured of our own faith. The Catechism says that good works are “the fruits thereof” (of faith). In John 15, where Jesus speaks of Himself as the Vine, and all those joined to Him by faith as the branches, He says in verse 8, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” Now, if we don’t do good works, then we have no faith. And if we continue not to do any good works, then we are most certainly not going to heaven (1 Cor 6:9-10). Good works do not, in any way, earn our way into heaven. But God’s people do not live this kind of unthankful life. Theirs is a life of good works! When we see our good works, we know that God is working in us; we know that we are disciples of Christ.
For Meditation: We have many reasons to do good works. Let us abound in them and in that way abound in showing thanks to the God of our salvation.
Originally posted here.