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, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Both grace and faith are gifts from God. Without one of the two salvation does not happen. Good works do not create salvation, but salvation creates good works. Our destiny of good works was created before the foundation of the world, and our salvation activates the good works. The good works we do before our new birth are of little consequence because they, generally speaking, spring up from our own good ideas. Our good ideas are not God’s ideas, just as the destiny we devise for ourselves is not the call of God on our lives. Doing the good works that He plans for us to do is truly, as the French say, la joie de vivre: the joy of living!
We are His workmanship. He planned our lives. He wrote a book about each one of us. We will only be happy when we are doing what we were created by God to do, and we won’t know what that is until we have truly surrendered our lives to the Lord. Get your fingers out of the pie! Stop trying to direct your own life. You are dead to self and alive, truly alive, in Him.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:7-10).
If we allow Jesus to live His life through us, we will obey His desires. He wants us to bless His spiritual family. He calls us His household of faith. The church does not participate well in this calling. It is more profitable to the reputation of a church for them to do humanitarian works than to quietly take care of their own. I’m not being mean. Churches simply succumb to the expectations of a community. Feeding programs for street people draw much approval from the populace, whereas supplying meals for the elderly in the church is hardly noted. If the first church is our example, they shared everything with the believers in their community. They didn’t sell properties so they could feed the atheists, they took care of the members of their church so that everyone was equally blessed. Governments are never going to accomplish a redistribution of wealth. Only those who love Jesus and want to take care of people who are disciples of Christ, only they will come close to that first century church. Every one of us should be thinking of ways we can bless those who bless Jesus.