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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Good Works: Their significance in the New Testament

This is the results of a search for “works” in the New Testament, where the works were, or are, those done by Christs followers. The post below doesnt include references to the works of the devil, or of God the Father, or God the Son. I have not included the works ascribed to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3. The search was in the New International Version and the King James Version. The scripture below, resulting that search, is from the World English Bible, which is public domain. There are two types of works included. These are “works of the law” and “good works.”

John 6:28 They said therefore to him, “What must we do, that we may work the works of God?”
29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”


John 14:12  Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father. 13  Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which when translated, means Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and acts of mercy which she did.

Romans 3:20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God sent to be an atoning sacrifice,* through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance; 26 to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.
27 Where then is the boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 We maintain therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

*text note: or, a propitiation

Romans 4:1 What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”* 4 Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as something owed. 5 But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works,
7 “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin.”**

*Quotation is from Genesis 15:6
**Quotation is from Psalm 32:1-2

Romans 9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who didn’t follow after righteousness, attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith; 31 but Israel, following after a law of righteousness, didn’t arrive at the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they didn’t seek it by faith, but as it were by works of the law.

Romans 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Galatians 2:15 “We, being Jews by nature, and not Gentile sinners, 16 yet knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, because no flesh will be justified by the works of the law.

Galatians 3:2 I just want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now completed in the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain, if it is indeed in vain? 5 He therefore who supplies the Spirit to you, and does miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? 6 Even as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” 7 Know therefore that those who are of faith, the same are children of Abraham.

Ephesians 2:8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 4:11 He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers; 12 for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of serving*, to the building up of the body of Christ; 
*NIV - works of service

1 Timothy 2:9 In the same way, that women also adorn themselves in decent clothing, with modesty and propriety; not just* with braided hair, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing; 10 but (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works.
*The World English Bible has a text note, indicating that this word has been inserted by the translators, to preserve the meaning. Whether this was justified or not doesn
t affect the theme of this post.

1 Timothy 5:9 Let no one be enrolled as a widow under sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, 10 being approved by good works, if she has brought up children, if she has been hospitable to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, and if she has diligently followed every good work.

1 Timothy 5:24 Some men’s sins are evident, preceding them to judgment, and some also follow later. 25 In the same way also there are good works that are obvious, and those that are otherwise can’t be hidden.

1 Timothy 6:17 Charge those who are rich in this present world that they not be haughty, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on the living God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy; 18 that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life.

2 Timothy 1:8 Therefore don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal,

2 Timothy 3:16 Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Titus 2:6 Likewise, exhort the younger men to be sober minded; 7 in all things showing yourself an example of good works; in your teaching showing integrity, seriousness, incorruptibility, 8 and soundness of speech that can’t be condemned; that he who opposes you may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say about us. 9 Exhort servants to be in subjection to their own masters, and to be well-pleasing in all things; not contradicting; 10 not stealing, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things. 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; 13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ; 14 who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works.

Titus 3:1 Remind them to be in subjection to rulers and to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing all humility toward all men. 3 For we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8a This saying is faithful, and concerning these things I desire that you affirm confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works.

Hebrews 10:22 let’s draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and having our body washed with pure water, 23 let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering; for he who promised is faithful.
24 Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good works, 


James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? 15 And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you tells them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled”; and yet you didn’t give them the things the body needs, what good is it? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. 18 Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
 19 You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? 21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness”;* and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith. 25 In the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.
*Genesis 15:6

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as foreigners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 having good behavior among the nations, so in that of which they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they see, glorify God in the day of visitation.

I added this paragraph on June 20: To summarize, obedience to a set of rules, which was the works of the Old Covenant, didn't redeem a person. Neither do good deeds, and church activity, which are the works of the New Covenant. But a person who has truly taken Christ as Lord will do good deeds, and participate in Christ-centered church activities.

Thanks for reading. Do good works!

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