All week we have seen how the Bible declares that good works aren’t required for salvation. In fact, it says when they are added to God’s gift of salvation, they ruin his grace.
Does this mean that doing good works is not important?
Far from it. They are very important—in their proper place. Scripture frequently encourages us to do good. The key is having the proper motivation. Scripture condemns people if they do good works to be saved. But it encourages good works done out of gratitude for being saved. As we have said all week, good works are the fruit, the result of salvation. They are not the cause or the root of salvation.
Jesus put it so simply:
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”John 14:15
We can’t love him, however, until we first experience his love—especially his saving love. Another simple passage says:
“We love him, because he first loved us.”1 John 4:19
It’s like an orphan who desperately wants to be part of a family. He prays for it every night. Then, one day, a loving couple comes to the orphanage and adopts him. They don’t take him home first and see if it would work. They don’t examine his school record to see if he is worthy to be adopted. They simply adopt him. The boy didn’t even know them before this and thus didn’t do anything to gain their acceptance. They simply adopt him with no strings attached.
Imagine how the boy felt as he experienced their acceptance and love. His dream had come true! The reality was even better than he ever imagined.
How do you think he acted towards the couple? Do you think he ignored all their rules because, after all, he was now part of their family? Of course not. That’s not how love responds. That’s not how grateful people act. We can be sure he would try his hardest to obey and please them.
In the same way, this is how people respond to God’s gift of salvation. They dedicate their lives to pleasing him. Not out of fear of being rejected by God. Rather, out of love for being accepted by him.
This, my friends, is the proper place for good works—as the grateful response to being saved.
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