By John Foll, written 11/22/2016, updated 11/28/2016.
“Therefore they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’” John 6:28-29 NASB. What shall we do that we may do the works of God? Believe in the one God sent, Jesus. Yes, we repeated it. When you want to really understand a text, it is often helpful to read it again, because the Bible explains itself. Both the question and the answer are both contained in this text. This is another way of stating righteousness by faith!
How can we, who are sinners by nature, do the works of God? You can only do the works of God if you believe in Jesus, whom God has sent to be the Savior of the world!This is the real reason why many Christians do not live the way that they should and are falling into sin over and over again. Then they conclude that it is too hard to do what is right, and hear a sermon telling them that they do not have to worry about this, because they are under grace, and they are falsely comforted. Yes, you are under grace if you have confessed your sins.The requirement for God’s grace to be given to you is IF you have confessed your sins. 1 John 1:9. Why is it that people fall into sin over and over again? Could it not be because there is not a full belief in Jesus in whom God sent, as Jesus says above? Yes, for if they really believed, then they would work the works of God! Jesus also said, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’ John 8:34-36 KJV. Jesus here plainly states that whoever commits sin is the servant of sin, and that ‘the servant abideth not in the house for ever,’ meaning that they will die. ‘But the Son abideth ever.’ Since Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us, He is able also to save us to the uttermost who come to God by Him. Hebrews 7:25. [My paraphrase from the KJV.] Therefore all who come to Jesus and truly believe will be free indeed,because this is what Jesus came to do! Just believe it!
If you believe in Jesus, whom God sent to this world, you will be given the power to work the works of God! Some think that ‘works’ is a dirty word, since we are not saved by works. While it is true that you are not saved by works, if you believe in Jesus you will do the works of God, and can’t help but do them. If anyone does not do the works of God, that means that they do not fully believe in Jesus, if at all. For if they believed in Jesus, they would be given the power from God to have good works. Jesus declares here that believing in Him is the work of God. [i.e. it produces good works.] Thus we see that works are good, if the person doing them believes in Jesus. But does this mean that all Christians are good or doing good works? No it doesn’t. Sadly not all Christians really fully believe in Jesus, even though they may make this claim. If they believed fully in Jesus, they would have the power to live a righteous life and would be working the works of God as Jesus said, and then it would not be self-righteousness. The fact that there are self-righteous Christians does not annul what Jesus said, because only those who really fully believe in Him will be doing the works of God! Everyone else who attempts to do the works of God, will always be self-righteous. All those who claim to be a Christian and think that it is OK to break His law because we are covered by grace, are also self-righteous, since they did not receive God’s righteousness. [If they had received Gods’ righteousness, then He would have helped them to keep His law.]
Someone who is intentionally or unrepentantly breaking God’s Law, and not loving their neighbor as themselves, cannot possibly be doing the works of God, which means that they do not really believe in Jesus. People who are doing bad things, or hurting other people are most definitely not working the works of God, and do not really believe in Jesus His Son, for all of God’s works are love and for the good of humanity! Yes, if you are not trying to do good works, because you think that God’s grace covers you, this is also a form of self-righteousness. Nobody can be good or acceptable to God if they do not have His righteousness! Only God’s righteousness is real righteousness, everything else is fake. “So you shall observe to do just as the LORD your God has commandedyou; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left.” Deuteronomy 5:32 NASB. Neither the left nor the right have real righteousness, only those who follow exactly as God has commanded, and turn neither to the right nor to the left. But God’s righteousness is a gift that will be given to you, if you will believe fully in Jesus His Son to save you. If you have God’s righteousness in your life, then you will be working the works of God for real.
Let’s face it, the only way we can be forgiven (John 3:16-17), be righteous and acceptable before God, is if we fully believe in Jesus His Son. Then and only then will we be able to do the works of God without hypocrisy. This is how you may work the works of God, by truly believing in Jesus as your savior, whom the Father sent to this world to save you from your sins!Amen. If you desire to work the works of God, they are within your reach, for if you will just believe that Jesus the Son of God is your Savior, whom God sent, He will make you free indeed!This is a wonderful truth for all who love God and are tired of disappointing themselves and others by continual falling. God will make you better if you will just trust in His Son Jesus to save you from your sins! Then you will be free indeed! This is the true, complete gospel message that Jesus taught. Amen.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 KJV.
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