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Matthew 25:42-46. 1Timothy 6:17-19.
4, Good works.
God is pleased with doing good works . Jesus says , let your light (good works) appear before all men , so that they will see it, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Jesus Himself did good works because upon His anointing with Power and the Holy Ghost, He went about doing good, healing the sick and delivering them that were oppressed by the devil. Acts 10:38.
The Christian faith is made more practical by doing good works. Good works appear in several dimensions including care for the poor, the needy , widows and orphans as well as the elderly, the sick and the bereaved. Doing good works also care for the Ministers of the gospel, their families and the work of God in their hands. There are several Christians who think that payment of tithes and offerings which are statutory for all believers are enough. These may not qualify as good works because they appear statutory insofar as you are a citizen of heaven. Good works are those additional acts of charity or mercy or kindness or favor extended to people, some of whom may not be able to repay you . Some may not even know you personally or seen your face to face.
Even then it must be noted clearly that good works do not substitute for Salvation which only comes through the confession of our sins and acceptance of Jesus as LORD and SAVIOR,. However, doing good or acting in ways that are good and publicly acceptable effectuate the believer’s faith. This point was deeply stressed by Jesus when He likened the believer as ‘salt’ and ‘ light’. Good works make our claim to being born again more real, more authentic and more acceptable to commonsense . Indeed, James was right when he said that you should show him your faith while he would show you his works. Truly, good works express the genuineness of our faith , but it cannot replace our faith in Christ Jesus for the salvation and justification of our souls before God. Man can only be saved through faith in Christ, whose death on Calvary and Resurrection after three days provided propitiation for man’s sins, by whose grace” we are saved, yet not of works lest any man should boast”.
The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 6:10 that , as believers we must do good ( good works) to all men , but more importantly ,to those in the household of faith. This passage also teaches us that believers must prioritize their good works in a manner that fellow believers come first before all others.
And whereas everybody is mandated to do good works, believers with bigger means and greater capacity are expected to do more. This is the import of Paul’s admonition to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:17-19:
“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches; but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
“That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.
“Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life”.
According to Paul in this passage, well-to-do believers are expected to build up and strengthen the foundation of their faith by undertaking good works in greater measure. Such believers should allocate qualitative portions of their resources to doing good. Indeed, the wealthy in church must go beyond tithes and offerings, to taking up wholesome payments of school fees, hospital bills and house rents of disadvantaged brethren. Yes, even though good works have nothing to contribute to a believer’s salvation, yet it has everything to say about its genuineness, sincerity and convincing of gainsayers. Good works from the above passage also demand that rich brethren should be humble to associate with brethren of low degree , apart from assisting them. Speaking kindly, advising the ignorant and enlightening the simple are all part of good works : and believers of means are enjoined to embrace them to deepen their faith and conviction against the time to come. Hebrews 4:13; 9:27.
In Matthew 25::34-40, Jesus congratulated some people as showing Him love while He was here on earth. According to Jesus, those who gave others food, water and clothing among others will be ushered into His kingdom. While those who didn’t do similarly will be condemned by God into eternal damnation. Again this passage makes it clear that good works would play critical role in our assessment before God on that day. If you Know this: what manner of BELIEVER should you be?.
5, The sanctity of Marriage, the Family and the Home. Genesis 2:21-25.Hebrews 13:4.
God established the family and the home through marriage. Therefore, the marriage institution is highly prized by God. The coming together of a man and wife to become one flesh in God. This is actually a mystery, and like a hymn writer noted,: We shall understand it by and by.
However , on this side of eternity, we must keep the marriage institution holy and reverent and uncompromised. We must not devalue it with divorce and separation because God hates divorce or putting away. We must also not play unfaithfulness with our spouse because the marriage bed must not be defiled. Giving children a home to grow up in, giving them a family to belong , and legitimising sexual relationship between a man and woman through marriage are pleasant before God. And anybody who walks in contradiction to these ancient landmarks displeases God. Such a person may be living in foolish rebellion before God. The way forward is for such a person to repent, and to restitute.. where necessary. Hebrews 13:4. (To be continued next week).
Happy Sunday. God bless.
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