Good Works

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Good Works

Tod Kennedy, Edited June 9, 2005


  1. Christian service, good works, or divine good is Godís good done in Godís way. Only a believer in fellowship with God and living by the Holy Spirit can produce divine good works (John 15:5; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:9-10; Romans 12:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:17; 2 Timothy 2:21; Titus 2:7).

  2. The opposite of Christian service is manís works or human good, which is manís work done in the manís way, or Godís work done in manís way. Both believers and unbelievers produce human good works. We might categorize human good works as follows. The works might be exactly the same. The difference is that only a believer has the option for divine good works, and even then the kind of works done depend on the motive, fellowship with God, and the ministry of Holy Spirit in the workerís life.

a.   First is moral good. Moral good is doing the right thing based on biblical standards of morality; telling the truth is moral good; providing for oneís family is moral good; paying oneís bills is moral good; not stealing is moral good. Moral good is required for the safety and prosperity of a nation (Romans 13:1-9; Titus 3:5).

b.  The second is religious good. This is human good works that come from a religious code or system. Religious good could be giving to feed the poor or building homes for those who have none; teaching people about God; promoting morality in a city or nation; or even teaching something biblical in church (Romans 3:20; Galatians 3:20; Hebrews 6:1).


  1. Godís good service must be founded on Godís Word, Godís power, and for Godís glory (1 Peter 4.10-11; John 15.5; Romans 8.8). Godís word gives us the right attitude and motivation.

  2. God the Father has designed an individual Christian service plan for each believer. We can call the works fruit or good works, or even Godís good or divine good (Ephesians 2.10; John 15.1-5; 1 Corinthians 12.4-7; James 2.22). Think of the Dead Sea. It has no outlet. As a result the materials in the water accumulate and stagnate. It is called the Dead Sea.

  3. A believerís special area of production is based upon his spiritual gift (1 Peter 4.10-11; 1 Corinthians 12.4-7; Romans 12.1-8; Ephesians 4.11-12). Believers ought to concentrate on what God has gifted them to do and serve where God has put them.

  4. Believers participate with God in producing Godís good or fruit when Godís love is working through them (1 Corinthians 13.1-7; John 13.8; 15.5).

  5. The sources for Godís good:

a.   The Father and His plan (Ephesians 2.10).

b.   Christ, the Vine and Head of the church (John 13.1-11; 15.1-8).

c.   The Holy Spirit, who gifts and enables
(1 Corinthians 12.11; Galatians 5.16-6.1).

d.  The Word of God (John 17.17; 2 Timothy 3.16-17; Colossians 1.5-10).

  1. The believerís production will be evaluated at the judgment seat of Christ. Only Godís good will pass the test and be rewarded (1 Corinthians 3.14-15; 4.5; 2 Corinthians 5.9-10).


Good Works Memory Verses:


Ephesians 2.10. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


1 Corinthians 3.7-8. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.


1 Corinthians 3.12-14. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each manís work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each manís work. If any manís work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward.