Where do good works fit into your Christian life?
Having a hard time articulating an answer? You’re not alone. A lot of Christians don’t know how to think or feel about good works. We at least know they should somehow be a part of the Christian life, but confidence wanes once we try and articulate just how good works should fit into walking with Christ.
Questions like these make me faithful for good, historic creeds of old. A creed is a document expressing a certain system of Christian doctrine. They are an attempt to give a concise, coherent presentation of what the Bible teaches about various subjects. There are a lot of creeds that have been penned over the millennia of the church, some bad and some really good. One particular creed that I have grown fond of over the past year has been the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. I agree, it’s not the sexiest name ever thought up, but what it may lose in marketing appeal, it more than makes up for in content.
In order to show you the helpfulness and richness of creeds like this one, listen to how it unpacks what good works are and what they do in the Christian’s life.
These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith; and by them believers…
(1) manifest their thankfulness (Psalms 116:12, 13)
(2) strengthen their assurance (1 John 2:3, 5)
(3) edify their brethren (2 Peter 1:5-11)
(4) adorn the profession of the gospel (Matthew 5:16)
(6) and glorify God (Philippians 1:11), whose workmanship they are (Ephesians 2:10), created in Christ Jesus thereunto, that having their fruit unto holiness they may have the end eternal life (Romans 6:22).
Helpful, is it not? There is a lot more to good works than we often think and they are far more important to the Christian life than we give them credit for. So, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).