The question I received asked about Ephesians 2:10, the verse just after a wonderful assurance of God’s grace where Paul says that we were “created for good works.” Doesn’t God expect us to be out doing good works now that we are saved by Him?
4. His good works, seen in and through our lives, flow out of our relationship with the Lord. We are called to good works for the joy of participating with Jesus; because they are a natural part of walking with Him; because they are the way He often chooses to show Himself to others. There may be many reasons for us to pursue good works, but we are never to go out to do them on our own as some kind of gift to Him.
Because they are relationship-based, they can be hindered as that relationship is allowed to suffer. In other words, we are called to keep ourselves ready and available (2 Timothy 2:20-21). I think that means that we should seek Jesus and live in close relationship with Him. There is no question that good works are important in the Christian life. They just don’t earn us anything. Instead, they are the joy of walking with an active and giving God.
Also, because they are relationship-based, His works will reflect His heart. I maintain that grace is the message of the whole Bible, that God never wanted His people to think that they could gain righteousness on their own. That’s why I feel free to look at Old Testament passages like Micah 6:8.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 (NKJV)
Of course we will “do justly” and “love mercy” because these are the concerns of God’s heart. If we “walk humbly” in relationship with our God, these things will be part of our lives. He will lead us into them and perform them through us. Does He require these things of us? Well, not to be saved or to be spiritual. He expects them simply because, if He is in us, they will happen.
So, our good works will not bring us salvation, will not keep us saved, and will not add to the righteousness God has given us. Any good works seen in us are actually the evidence of God at work in us. Good works (His) will be seen in us as part of our relationship with Him.
Conclusion is next…