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What are we saved to do?
The Bible answers this question: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10). We are re-created by God for the purpose of “good works.” Righteous deeds are the natural fruits of a converted heart (Titus 2:7,14; 3:1,8,14). The purpose of the plan of salvation is the transformation of man’s Character to reflect that of His Creator (Genesis 1:26,27).
Of himself man cannot bring forth good works. It is necessary for him to be spiritually re-created in Christ before he can produce the good works God purposes, he shall bring forth. By a change of the will, affections, and purposes, the privilege and duty of witnessing by good works become possible (Matthew 5:14–16).
The duty of man
The wisest man wrote under the inspiration of God, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14).
The whole duty of man is summed up in the recognition of God and obedience to His wise Commandments that are listed in Exodus 20:3-17. Paul stated the same truth in Acts 17:24–31 and Romans 1:20–23. It is man’s duty, his destiny, to obey God, and in so doing he will find supreme joy and peace (Psalm 40:8). Whatever his situation in life may be, whether it is in difficulty or ease, it remains his duty to give a loving obedience to his Creator and Redeemer.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). It is impossible to love the Lord and not keep His commandments. The Bible says, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Therefore, “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).
The apostle James affirms the necessity of having good works, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can faith save him? But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:14-26).
The standard of judgement
Men’s thoughts, words and deeds will be judged at Day of Judgement (Matthew 12:36, 37; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Matthew 5:22, 28; etc.). People may hide their words and deeds from other men, but “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13). In the judgement, it is those who have done the will of God who will enter the kingdom (Matthew 77:21–27).
To claim loyalty to God and at the same time disobey even one commandment that His wisdom and love may ask of us, is to worship God in vain (Mark 7:7–9), for in that great day, every man will be rewarded “according to his works” (Matthew 16:27; Revelation 22:12).
God gives the power to do His will
But the good news is that God gives man the power to fulfill his duty for without Him man can do nothing (John 15:5). Through the life and death of Christ (John 3:16), the Father provided all the grace necessary for man to live a pure life. Paul declared, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
When the divine commands are faithfully followed, God makes Himself responsible for the triumph of the work undertaken by the believer. Thus, in the Lord there is strength to fulfill duty and power to resist temptation. In Him there is grace for daily growth and service. By faith, the Lord grants the believer both the will and the strength to overcome sin: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). And finally, He rewards him with everlasting life in glory (Jude 1:21).
In His service,
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