When we were unbelievers, we were dead in sin. All our works were “dead works” that were useless.Nobody is saved by good works.We are righteous by faith in Christ without doing a single work!
Romans 4 “5 But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.”
Romans 3 “21 But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;”
But what about works after salvation?
Are they “dead” works? Not at all.
We do good works after salvation because Christ lives in us. The Holy Spirit bears fruit in us to do good to others.We are called to love one another as Christ loved us.
Ephesians 5 “Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 Walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.”
We are saved by grace without works, but after we are saved, we do good works – and these works are not dead. They are living works because we are not dead sinners. We are alive in Christ who works in us!
Ephesians 2 “8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.”
Our good works are done – not to attain salvation. But they are done BECAUSE we are righteous and perfect by faith. It adorns the doctrine of God.
The GRACE of God teaches us to do good works.
Titus 2 “6 Likewise, exhort the younger men to be sober minded. 7 In all things show yourself an example of good works. In your teaching, show integrity, seriousness, incorruptibility, 8 and soundness of speech that can’t be condemned, that he who opposes you may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say about us. 9 Exhort servants to be in subjection to their own masters and to be well-pleasing in all things, not contradicting, 10 not stealing, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things. 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age; 13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works.“
Our good works of love are a display to a fallen world, that we are followers of Christ.
John 13 “35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.””
Doing Good works is to BENEFIT the other person. Christ loved us to benefit us.
We love others to benefit others because Jesus loved us first.
Hebrews 10 “24 Let’s consider how to provoke one another to love and good works,”
Titus 3 “4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 that being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This saying is faithful, and concerning these things I desire that you affirm confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men;”
1 Corinthians 14 Follow after love and earnestly desire spiritual gifts…that the church may be built up.”