CHAPTER 2 – GOOD WORKS


When you are told to ‘Obey His commandments,’ and we think of the 10 commandments, trying to figure out the magnitude or the depth of them, look to Jesus. He explained them to us, and told us what to do to be obedient.’ ‘Father, teach me what your commandments are. What are the Commandments?’ 

‘The ten commandments are our school teacher.’ ‘….the Law was like a strict governess in charge of us until we went to the school of Christ and learned to be justified by faith in Him.’ (Galatians 3:24), and you spelled out the real meaning of them in Matthew 5:6-48; 6:1-39; 7:1-12 and Luke 6:27-38.

JESUS SAID (John 15:10) IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, YOU SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE, EVEN AS I HAVE KEPT MY FATHERS COMMANDMENTS, AND ABIDE IN HIS LOVE.   Matthew 7:24 THEREFORE, WHOEVER HEARS THESE SAYINGS OF MINE, AND DOES THEM, I WILL LIKEN HIM UNTO A WISE MAN, WHICH BUILT HIS HOUSE UPON A ROCK

Luke 6:46 …WHY DO YOU CALL ME LORD, LORD, AND DO NOT THE THINGS WHICH I SAY?

Now this is the list Jesus himself left for us. ‘…The things which I say.’ Paul and Peter preached it, and in each letter they wrote the list down again. This is what our Lord wants us to obey. Here are the things Jesus said:

Luke 6:27-38

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

DO GOOD TO THEM WHICH HATE YOU

BLESS THEM THAT CURSE YOU

PRAY FOR THEM WHICH DESPITEFULLY USE YOU

UNTO HIM THAT STRIKES YOU ON THE ONE CHEEK, OFFER ALSO THE OTHER

HE THAT TAKES AWAY YOUR CLOAK, FORBID NOT TO TAKE YOUR COAT ALSO

GIVE TO EVERY MAN THAT ASKS OF YOU, AND OF HIM THAT TAKES AWAY YOUR GOODS ASK NOT FOR THEM BACK AGAIN.

AS YOU WOULD THAT MEN SHOULD DO TO YOU, DO YOU ALSO TO THEM LIKEWISE,

FOR IF YOU LOVE THEM WHICH LOVE YOU WHAT THANK HAVE YOU. SINNERS ALSO LOVE THOSE THAT HATE THEM, AND IF YOU DO GOOD TO THEM WHICH DO GOOD TO YOU, WHAT THANK HAVE YOU. SINNERS DO THE SAME. AND IF YOU LEND TO THEM OF WHOM YOU HOPE TO RECEIVE, WHAT THANK HAVE YOU, FOR SINNERS ALSO LEND TO SINNERS TO RECEIVE AS MUCH AGAIN.

BUT YOU

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES – DO GOOD – LEND – HOPING FOR NOTHING AGAIN AND YOUR REWARD SHALL BE GREAT AND YOU SHALL BE THE CHILDREN OF THE HIGHEST FOR HE IS KIND TO THE UNTHANKFUL AND TO THE EVIL. BE YOU THEREFORE MERCIFUL AS YOUR FATHER ALSO IS MERCIFUL.

JUDGE NOT AND YOU SHALL NOT BE JUDGED.

CONDEMN NOT AND YOU SHALL NOT BE CONDEMNED.

FORGIVE AND YOU SHALL BE FORGIVEN

GIVE AND MEN WILL GIVE TO YOU – YES, GOOD MEASURE, PRESSED DOWN, SHAKEN TOGETHER AND RUNNING OVER WILL THEY POUR INTO YOUR LAP. FOR WHATEVER MEASURE YOU USE WITH OTHER PEOPLE, THEY WILL USE IN THEIR DEALINGS WITH YOU. (JB Phillips)

YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.

Matthew 6 through 7

 Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do I the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do no let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

And when you are praying do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness: No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Do not worry then saying, ‘what will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or; what will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you

Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or, how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Paul teaches what Christ told us. ‘Even if a man should be detected in some sin, my brothers, the spiritual ones among you should quietly set him back on the right path, not with any feeling of superiority but being yourselves on guard against temptation. – carry each other’s burdens and so live out the law of Christ. – If a man thinks he is somebody, he is deceiving himself, for that very thought proves that he is nobody. Let every man learn to assess properly the value of his own work and he can then be glad when he has done something worth doing without depending on the approval of others. For every man must shoulder his own pack.’ Galatians 5:14, 6:1, 6:4

If you are angry, be sure that it is not out of wounded pride or bad temper. Never go to bed angry – don’t give the devil that sort of foothold. If you used to be a thief you must not only give up stealing, but you must learn to make an honest living, so that you may be able to give to those in need. Let there be no more foul language, but good words instead – words suitable for the occasion, which God can use to help other people. Never hurt the Holy Spirit. He is, remember, the personal pledge of your eventual full redemption. Let there be no more resentment, no more anger or temper, no more violent self-assertiveness, no more slander and no more malicious remarks. Be kind to each other, be understanding. Be as ready to forgive others as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. ………………Thank God at all times for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And fit in with each other, because of your common reverence for Christ………Husbands must give their wives the same sort of love that Christ gave to the Church, when he sacrificed himself for her. She is to be free from spots, wrinkles or any other disfigurement. Wives you must learn to adapt yourselves to your husbands. Children, the right thing for you to do is to obey your parents as those whom God has set over you…. Fathers, don’t over-correct your children or make it difficult for them to obey the commandments. Bring them up with Christian teaching in Christian discipline…… Slaves, obey your human masters sincerely with a proper sense of respect and responsibility, as service rendered to Christ himself.’ Ephesians 4:23 – 6:24

Live together in harmony, live together in love, as though you had only one mind and one spirit between you. Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of each other than you do of yourselves. None of you should think only of his own affairs, but should learn to see things from other people’s point of view. Philippians 2:14, 16 – Do all you have to do without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be God’s children, blameless, sincere and wholesome, living in a warped and diseased world, and shining there like lights in a dark place. For you hold in your hands the very word of life. Philippians 2:2-4

Paul preaches Jesus’ Word to us’…….be merciful in action, kindly in heart, humble in mind. Accept life, and be most patient and tolerant with one another, always ready to forgive if you have a difference with anyone. Forgive as freely as the Lord has forgiven you. And, above everything else, be truly loving, for love is the golden chain of all the virtues……’ Colossians 3:12 – 4:6 (Emphasis Mine)

Peter explains to us Jesus’s Word – ‘A man does something valuable when he endures pain, as in the sight of God, though he knows he is suffering unjustly. After all, it is no credit to you if you are patient in bearing a punishment which you have richly deserved! But, if you do your duty and are punished for it and can still accept it patiently, you are doing something worthwhile in God’s sight. Indeed this is part of your calling.’ 1Peter 2:19-21

‘…The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer’. 1 Peter 4:7.

‘Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins – forgives and disregards the offenses of others.’ 1 Peter 4:8 -(Emphasis Mine)

‘Practice hospitality to one another – that is those of the household of faith. (Be hospitable, that is, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection, for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.) And in each instance do it ungrudgingly cordially and graciously without complaining, but as representing Him.’ 1 Peter 4:9

‘As each of you has received a gift, a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment, employ it for one another as befits good trustees of God’s many-sided grace – faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor. Whoever speaks, let him do it as one who utters oracles of God: whoever renders service, let him do it as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly: so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, the Messiah. To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever-through endless ages. Amen.’ (Amplified) 1 Peter 4:10-11

2 Cor. 6:2 ‘Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION” ’(Emphasis “Mine”)

2 Cor 6:3-18 ‘…giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing   yet possessing all things.’ ‘Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide. You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections.  Now in a like exchange–I speak as to children–open wide to us also.  Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.”

 2 Cor 6:17,18 – “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.’ (Emphasis Mine) And I will welcome you.  “And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. New American Standard Bible

1 Timothy 1:19 ‘…keep the faith and a good conscience.’ 1 Timothy 4:12 ‘…in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. In verse 13 he basically says‘Go to Church’ when he says ‘….give attention to public reading of scripture, to exhortation and teaching, persevere.’

Matthew 5:14-15 ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under a bushel, but on a lampstand, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, who is in heaven.’ Jesus is explaining that He is the Light of the world, and when he lives in us, He cannot be hidden. If Men put light on a lampstand to give light to all that are in the house, so then your Father also puts His Light in us, and we become’ ‘.. a city that is set on an hill and cannot be hidden…’ (Jesus) ‘…shines before men, that they may see ….and glorify your Father, who is in heaven. (Some think they are the light to the world for Jesus. We don’t ‘shine our light for Jesus’. He is the Light! He shines thru us, as we yield and submit and grow and learn. When one agrees to do a task, ‘in the church’, one must serve as a servant to others in Christ, THE Light.)

The Green Letters, Miles Stanford, Page 48,49 – ‘First of all it is utterly futile to expect a believer, by means of consecration, surrender, or commitment, to step from his ground of substitution (Romans 3-5), onto that of the deeper truths in Romans 8 and 12:1…..The well-meaning believer thinks that since he has the will to obey God and to be what He intends for him, he should attempt to carry it out through personal consecrated effort with His help.’ (Emphasis Mine)

Andrew Murray ‘A superficial acquaintance with God’s plan leads to the view that while justification is God’s work, by faith in Christ, sanctification (growth) is our work…..self-life….. He could never accept it, since in that realm there dwelleth no good thing (Romans 7:18); plus the fact that He has already taken the old life to the cross and crucified it (Romans 6:6; Gal. 2:20; 2 Tim 2:11)

(1 Peter 2:24). Here is the crux of the matter. The question is, which life is to be consecrated to Him, the old self-life, or the new Christ-life? ‘God asks us to present our bodies as living sacrifices to Him (Rom. 12:1)….Crucifixion comes before consecration. …This is why so many people with all sincerity walk down the aisles again and again, consecrating uncrucified self to God:’ H. Duncan.

Read Chapter 6 ofhttp://www.biblebelievers.com/scofield

AND

MARTIN LUTHER

The Apostle exhorts all Christians to practice good works after they have embraced the pure doctrine of faith, because even though they have been justified they still have the old flesh to refrain them from doing good. Therefore it becomes necessary that sincere preachers cultivate the doctrine of good works as diligently as the doctrine of faith, for Satan is a deadly enemy of both. Nevertheless faith must come first because without faith it is impossible to know what a God-pleasing deed is.
Let nobody think that he knows all about this commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” It sounds short and easy, but show me the man who can teach, learn, and do this commandment perfectly. None of us heed, or urge, or practice this commandment properly. Though the conscience hurts when we fail to fulfill this commandment in every respect we are not overwhelmed by our failure to bear our neighbor sincere and brotherly love.
The words, “for all the law is fulfilled in one word,” entail a criticism of the Galatians. “You are so taken up by your superstitions and ceremonies that serve no good purpose, that you neglect the most important thing, love.” St. Jerome says: “We wear our bodies out with watching, fasting, and labor and neglect charity, the queen of all good works.” Look at the monks, who meticulously fast, watch, etc. To skip the least requirement of their order would be a crime of the first magnitude. At the same time they blithely ignored the duties of charity and hated each other to death. That is no sin, they think.
The Old Testament is replete with examples that indicate how much God prizes charity. When David and his companions had no food with which to still their hunger they ate the showbread which lay-people were forbidden to eat. Christ’s disciples broke the Sabbath law when they plucked the ears of corn. Christ himself broke the Sabbath (as the Jews claimed) by healing the sick on the Sabbath. These incidents indicate that love ought to be given consideration above all laws and ceremonies.

MARTIN LUTHER
The whole Law is comprehended in this one sentence, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ God is not particularly interested in ceremonies, nor has He any use for them. The one thing He requires of you is that you believe in Christ whom He hath sent. If in addition to faith, which comes first as the most acceptable service unto God, you want to add laws, then you want to know that all laws are comprehended in this short commandment, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ ”
Paul knows how to explain the law of God. He condenses all the laws of Moses into one brief sentence. Reason takes offense at the brevity with which Paul treats the Law. Therefore reason looks down upon the doctrine of faith and its truly good works. To serve one another in love, i.e., to instruct the erring, to comfort the afflicted, to raise the fallen, to help one’s neighbor in every possible way, to bear with his infirmities, to endure hardships, toil, ingratitude in the Church and in the world, and on the other hand to obey government, to honor one’s parents, to be patient at home with a nagging wife or husband these things are not at all regarded as good works. The fact is, they are such excellent works that the world cannot possibly estimate them at their true value. (Note: I added ‘or husband’)
It is tersely spoken: “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” But what more needs to be said? You cannot find a better or nearer example than your own. If you want to know how you ought to love your neighbor, ask yourself how much you love yourself. If you were to get into trouble or danger, you would be glad to have the love and help of all men. You do not need any book of instructions to teach you how to love your neighbor. All you have to do is to look into your own heart, and it will tell you how you ought to love your neighbor as yourself.
My neighbor is every person, especially those who need my help, as Christ explained in the tenth chapter of Luke. Even if a person has done me some wrong, or has hurt me in any way, he is still a human being with flesh and blood. As long as a person remains a human being, so long is he to be an object of our love.

(Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.), with which believers are to adorn themselves to bring honor to Christ’s name here (Mt 5:16; 1 Tim 2:10; Ti 2:8-10; 3:8; 1 Pet 2:12; 3:3-5; 5:5) and hereafter (Rom 2:7,10; 1 Cor 3:12-14, note; Phil 1:10-11; 1 Pet 1:7; Rev 19:8).

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