IS OBEDIENCE TO GOD "WORKS?"

When a person obeys the commands of the Lord, is he working? Are the actions of obedience considered "works?" Of course, we recognize that such acts of obedience are NOT "works" of the law of Moses, "works" of man's wisdom, "works" of disobedience, nor "works" of merit, but are they "works?" When "works" are commanded or praised in the New Testament, what are they? They are "works" of obedience to God, aren't they? They are "works" of righteousness that God has commanded (or in some way required) and thus are essential to pleasing God and to receiving eternal life. Obviously we do those "works" when we obey God.

Please consider the following questions:

1. If obeying God's will is not "works," then what are the "good works" of 2 Timothy 3:16-17?

2. If obeying God's will is not "works," then what are the "works" of James 2:24?

3. If obeying God's will is not "works," then what are the "good works" of Matthew 5: 16?

4. If obeying God's will is not "works," then what are the "works" of Rev. 2:5, 19?

5. If obeying God's will is not "works," then what are the "works" of Titus 2:14?

6. If obeying God's will is not "works," then what are the "works" of Hebrews 10:24?

7. If obeying God's will is not "works," then what is the "work" of James 1:25?

8. If obeying God's will is not "works," then what is the "good work" of 2 Timothy 2:21?

9. If obeying God's will is not "works," then what is the "good work" of Hebrews 13:21?

10.If obeying God's will is not "works," then what is the "good work" of Col. 1:10?

11.If obeying God's will is not "works," then what is involved in "your work of faith" in 1 Thess. 1:3 and 2 Thess. 1:11?

12.If obeying God's will is not "works," then what is involved in "the work of the Lord" in 1 Cor. 16:10?

13.If obeying God's will is not "works," then what is involved in doing "good" in 3 John 11?

14.If obeying God's will is not "works," then what is involved in working "good" in Romans 2:10?

15.If obeying God's will is not "works," then what is involved in working "out your own salvation" as mentioned in Phil. 2:12?

In John 6:27-29 Jesus said: "LABOUR ... for that meat that endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he hath sent." In this passage believing on him whom God hath sent is spoken of as "the work of God." How is it "the work of God?" It is not God's work because God does the believing. It is "the work of God" because God planned and willed that man believe on Jesus Christ. But it is man that does the believing. It is "the work of God" although man believes! Since it is "the work of God" when man believes it should not be difficult to see that when God commands (or teaches us some other way his requirements) and we obey them, they are "works" of God! So, when God commands repentance and baptism and we do them, we are working the works of God! (Cf. Acts 17:30; 2:38).

Yes, obedience to God certainly involves "works!" One cannot be saved without such "works."

- Carroll R. Sutton, The Instructor, Albertville, AL,

EDITOR'S NOTE: You can say all you want to say in praising God for His marvelous, unmerited grace, but without obedience on our part, God's grace is frustrated and void as far as our being saved is concerned. Your personal salvation is not solely the result of the "100% grace" of God as some preachers claim. If we have to go to the extreme of trying to credit one thing of God that has most moved Him in saving man, it would have to be 100% LOVE! Without His love (John 3:16), there would be neither grace nor mercy!

We often sing with great faith and fervor the song: "Trust And Obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." Believe and obey is God's way for the sinner to be saved by Jesus Christ. - cah