Good Works Follow God’s Grace
Good works come as a RESULT of receiving grace through faith. The order cannot be changed, and this is an essential point of Christianity. No man can do anything to earn God’s favor or approval. Only Christ is approved by God. As His life is given to us by grace, we then (and only then) will be able to do works that are truly good from God’s perspective. Only then will we stand approved before the Father.
…God prepared [our good works] beforehand, so that we would walk in them.Ephesians 2:10
Every good work that we have done has been prepared by God. It has been ordained by His sovereign will. All true good works are God-planned, God-empowered, and God-superintended.
Faith, grace, and good works are like a three legged stool. If any one is missing, the thing will not stand. The leg of grace cannot be had by itself; it comes through faith or never. And grace is not only a receptive approach to the Lord, but also the ongoing power of God to do the right thing. God’s grace in us, if we really have it through faith, will always result in good works. Minus the proof of good works–as James points out–our grace through faith is fundamentally flawed.
We want to make it clear that salvation is based upon faith alone. Staying saved is by faith alone. Going to heaven is by faith alone. Christianity is a religion based upon faith alone, not faith plus works. Good works will be the result of our faith in Jesus and the outpouring of His grace.
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.James 2:14-18
If you do not have good works, a change of character, a life reflective of Jesus Christ, you may not be truly born again. Do you have true salvation?