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And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

- Romans 14:23

But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

- Matthew 15:9

Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.

- John 15:8


In one word, what does the law of God require? What word could be substituted for the second characteristic of a scriptural good work?


Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

- Matthew 7: 15-20



Sanctification - the mortification of the old nature and the quickening of the new - produces good works in the life of the believer. Good works are the fruits of sanctification.

Scripture defines a good work as one which includes the following three qualities:

Example Texts

1. Its source (or root)
is saving faith

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

- Hebrews 11:6

2. Its standard (or rule) is God's law

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.

- I John 5:3

3. Its motive (or goal)
is God's glory

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

- I Corinthians 10:31

    The Heidelberg Catechism defines scriptural good works in the following manner in Question and Answer 91.

    Q. But what are good works?
    A. Only those which proceed from a true faith, are performed according to the law of God, and to His glory; and not such as are founded on our imaginations, or the institutions of men.

    During the United States Civil War, Commander-in-Chief Lee sent word to General "Stonewall" Jackson that the next time he rode in the direction of headquarters, he wished to speak to him.

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