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Page 316


Good works in the life of the believer serve three important purposes - toward God, others, and himself - as shown below.

THREE IMPORTANT PURPOSES OF PERFORMING GOOD WORKS

Toward:

Purpose:

Example Text

1. God

God's Glory

Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.

- John 15:8a

2. Others

My neighbor's edification

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven.

- Matthew 5:16

3. The believer

The strengthening of the believer's faith

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.

- II Peter 1:10

  • Edification - Scriptural instruction and example-setting for the improvement of others
  •  

    This people have I formed for Myself; they shall shew forth My praise.

    - Isaiah 43:21

    Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

    Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

    - I Peter 2:11-12

    For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

    The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

    - Romans 8:13,16

     

    Good works are therefore commanded by God as a loving expression of gratitude in return to God and as a necessary evidence of spiritual life.

    While good works in the life of the believer serve to promote God's glory, the edification of others, and the strengthening of his personal faith, the opposite is also true. Sin and the fruits of backsliding produce opposite results -lack of secret prayer, neglect of the means of grace, less resistance to inner corruption, decline of brotherly love, and increasing worldliness, indifference, spiritual deadness, man-centeredness, and unbelief. These fruits promote a dishonoring of God, a poor testimony to others, and a personal separation from the felt presence of God.

    The following stories illustrate the importance of a Christian's testimony.

      A soldier in the army of Alexander the Great had to appear before his commander for a crime he had committed.

      After hearing the case, Alexander asked the soldier his name. The soldier answered "Alexander."


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