Posts Tagged ‘Good deeds’

I want to share this from my Reference Bible, because it’s such an important message that we don’t always understand.  So often we want to do everything for ourselves and earn God’s love or salvation, but it’s just not possible to earn it in any way.  It’s just by the grace of God that we receive anything from Him:

Romans 4:4-8 (NIV):  4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.      5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.  6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:  7 Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

“Paul’s argument in these verses is this:  You are rewarded when you work.  When you do a good job you get money for it.  If you do a bad job and your boss suffers a loss because of you, you will not get paid, and you end up in debt with your boss.  In the previous verses (Romans 1:18-3:31) Paul proved that our own efforts to earn rewards from God based on good deeds only plunges us deeper into debt with Him.   Paul quotes from Psalm 32:1-2 to prove the truth about what he says here.

A lot of people are afraid that they will not be saved, because they think their faith is not strong enough.  Those people make a good deed out of their faith.  They act like they must earn salvation with strong faith.   Your faith is not the reason God saves you, but it’s the way you accept that salvation and make it your own.

David did not try to hide his terrible sin, or to try and cancel it out with good deeds.  When he realised the fact that he did sin, he did not try and deny it, but he confessed his sin, he accepted forgiveness gladly, so that Paul could quote these words from him.  If you are someone who feels guilty about past sins in your life, follow David’s example and ask God:  Psalm 51:10-11 (NIV):  10Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.”  You will experience the joy of total forgiveness.”


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Revelation 11:18 (NIV):  18 The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.

I was really struck by the notes in my reference Bible for the above verse.  It says:  “God rewards his children in the Bible according to what they deserve.   We see time and again in the Old Testament that obedience very often resulted in a reward in this life (Deuteronomy 28).  But obedience does not always lead to an immediate reward.  If that was the case the all “good” people would be rich, and suffering would always have been the result of sin.   If we were used to being rewarded for every good deed, then very soon we would start to think that we are “good”.  Then we would do good deeds for selfish reasons.  It is true that God will reward us for our conduct here on earth (Revelation 20:12 (NIV):  12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.), but our greatest reward will be that we will live for eternity with Him!”

Luke 17:7-10 (NIV):  7 Suppose one of you had a servant ploughing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?  8 Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’?  9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?  10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’

My reference Bible says:  “We are only doing what is expected of us when we are obedient to God.  That means that He never owes us anything, no matter how “good” we may be.  That means that we never have to be rewarded if we avoid sin, as that is also what is expected of us.  Do you sometimes feel like you deserve some credit because you serve God?  Obedience is our duty and cannot be seen as a special deed of charity.”

You will see I put the word good in inverted commas, because there is no such thing as a “good” person.  We are all sinners, and because of the sin in our life we cannot be called “good”.  The only person that was without sin was Jesus Christ and therefore He is the only one that can be called good.  We often think of ourselves as “good” and it is not easy to accept that in the eyes of God we are not “good”.  That does not mean that He does not love us because we are not “good”.  He knows it is impossible for us not to sin, but we must still confess those sins and ask for forgiveness. 

I once heard Joyce Meyer say that a lot of people expect God to give them what they want and when they eventually have what they want they will work on their attitude and everything that is wrong in their life.  She said that it is imperative that we find God and change ourselves first, like He wants us to be, and then we will most probably receive what we want.  It does not work the other way around!  So what do you know must change in your life?

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