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Good works are only such as God hath commanded in His Holy Word,
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Hebrews 13:20 Hebrews 13:21
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
and not such as without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intentions.
Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Isaiah 29:13 Isaiah 29:14
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
2. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith;
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
James 2:19 James 2:20 James 2:21 James 2:22
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
and by them believers manifest their thankfulness,
Psalm 116:12 Psalm 116:13
What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
strengthen their assurance,
I John 2:3 I John 2:4 I John 2:5
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
II Peter 1:5 II Peter 1:6 II Peter 1:7 II Peter 1:8 II Peter 1:9 II Peter 1:10 II Peter 1:11
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the Gospel,
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God,
I Timothy 6:1
Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
I Peter 2:15 I Peter 2:16
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
Philippians 1:9 Philippians 1:10 Philippians 1:11
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto,
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
that having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end eternal life.
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit
unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
3. Their ability to do good works, is not all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ;
John 15:4 John 15:5
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
and that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is necessary an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do of His good pleasure:
II Corinthians 3:4 II Corinthians 3:5 II Corinthians 3:6
And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty, unless upon a special motion of the Spirit but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance
6:11 Hebrews 6:12
of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
4. They who in their obedience attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.
Job 9:1 Job 9:2 Job 9:3
Then Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
5. We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come, and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them we can never profit nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins,
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Romans 4:6 Romans 4:7
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants; and because as they are good, they proceed from His Spirit,
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God's judgment.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Psalm 143:2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
6. Yet notwithstanding the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him;
Ephesians 1:3 Ephesians 1:4 Ephesians 1:5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
II Peter 2:4 II Peter 2:5 II Peter 2:6 II Peter 2:7 II Peter 2:8 II Peter 2:9 II Peter 2:10
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreprovable in God's sight; but that He looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections.
Matthew 25:21 Matthew 25:22 Matthew 25:23
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
7. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them, they may be things which God commands and of good use both to themselves and others;
II Kings And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is 10:30 right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.
I Kings 21:27 I Kings 21:28 I Kings 21:29
And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house.
yet because they proceed not from a heart purified by faith,
Genesis 4:4 Genesis 4:5
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
Hebrews 11:4 Hebrews 11:5 Hebrews 11:6
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
nor are done in a right manner according to the Word,
I Corinthians 13:1
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
nor to a right end the glory of God,
Matthew 6:1 Matthew 6:2 Matthew 6:3 Matthew 6:4 Matthew 6:5
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
they are sinful, and cannot please God, nor make a man meet to receive grace from God;
Amos 5:21 Amos 5:22
I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.
Titus 3:4 Titus 3:5 Titus 3:6 Titus 3:7
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
and yet their neglect of them is more sinful, and displeasing to God.
Job 21:14 Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. Job 21:15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?
Matthew 25:41 Matthew 25:42 Matthew 25:43
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
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