The “Good Works” Baby

No more Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, casting out demons, fasting, or church discipline. Ever. Under any circumstance.

Why? Because people always take these things to unbiblical extremes. Wouldn’t want to end up on that path, so we’ll stay away from it altogether.

And while we’re tossing out bad bathwater, we’ll toss out the “good works” baby, too.

good works

You know. The “you can’t earn your salvation” baby? The “good works don’t save you” baby? The “you can’t be good enough” baby?

Because that baby’s turning all wrinkly in that bathwater . . . “Try as hard as you can, and maybe Jesus will let you into heaven” . . . “Just don’t murder anybody, and he’ll overlook the rest” . . . “Heaven is for good people, so be as good as you can be.”

Ah. If we do good works, it must mean we’re also trusting in them for salvation. I get it.

Yeah, Paul did, too. So he offered four tips.

Be a Model of Good Works. What is a model? It’s an example. A perfect representation of the real thing. People see your good works, and they see good works. You show them how it’s done, and you show it in every respect.

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works. 2:7

Be Zealous for Good Works. An urgent eagerness. Do you ever burn with a desire to do good? Jesus died so that we would burn with a desire to do good works. He wants to own people who are pure like that.

Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. 2:14

Be Ready for Every Good Work. Are you ready? Do you know what good works are? Edit: Do you know what every good work is? Because you must be ready to accomplish every single one. You may not accomplish them all, but you must be ready to accomplish them all. On your toes. Eyes wide open.

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3:1

Devote Yourself to Good WorksIf you’re looking for something excellent, profitable, and fruitful to do, this is it. Commit yourself to it wholeheartedly. Learn the art.

The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 3:8

Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help in cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. 3:14

Some strong words. Be ready to model good works with eagerness and devotion.

The baby’s still in the bathtub, and he never even mentioned the bathwater.

{All references from the book of Titus}

 [image credit: pixabay.com, journeyoftheword.com]


11 thoughts on “The “Good Works” Baby

  1. The only parts I might disagree with as you probably know are the speaking in tongues and maybe the casting out of demons depending on how you think it’s done. They still possess people and so are still able to be removed but not by any miraculous power vested in us (we can’t command them out) but instead by prayer and possibly fasting.

    So, I believe in the Holy Spirit, “casting out demons,” fasting, and church discipline but just not tongues. And yeah, there’s a good long discussion which I’ve already had at least to a limited extent and have again written a book on it lol. Also, just to be clear, the fact that things are taken to unbiblical extremes is of course no reason not to believe them as seems to be your point, and my reasons for not believing in tongues doesn’t have much if anything at all to do with that.

    In conclusion, I think your main point was something like: we shouldn’t stop doing good works just because some people wrongfully trust them for salvation. And on that, I agree 🙂

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    1. You’re right about my main point. Actually, I wasn’t making a statement about the other issues. I was simply using those as examples of things we tend to avoid altogether, as it seems we’re simply fearful of adopting one extreme or the other.

      I believe in all of those issues because they’re taught in the Bible. As for how they play out, that’s another discussion for another time. But the point is, I can be guilty of giving them little to no attention because of the extremes present around me. I should, rather, give thought to a proper, biblical interpretation, live them accordingly, and be willing and ready to acknowledge them and discuss them as I would any other issue in Scripture.

      The Bible addresses the issue of a works-based salvation. But this post comes from the observation that, in Titus, Paul doesn’t address a works-based salvation at all. He urges believers to do good works. And the words he uses as he urges them are strong words.

      We can’t avoid doing good works simply because others do good works in an effort to earn favor with God.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I want to wholeheartedly embrace the fullness of all that God’s Word says is for me, and that includes doing the things, the good works, He wants me to. The purpose is not to earn salvation or His love, but because He’s my Lord and deserves my all.

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  3. I totally agree with your main point. Works won’t save us, but I believe works are an outer manifestation of an inner relationship with the Lord. The Holy Spirit should inspire us to do good. I don’t think it’s salvation if there’s zero evidence of change in someone’s life. It seems harsh, but I think there will always be markers there. However speaking in tongues, I can’t say I agree with, only because the ONLY people practicing it believe it’s NEEDED for salvation, and in my opinion, that’s very dangerous.

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    1. Interesting point you make! Personally, I can’t make a decision based on what other people do. So, just because everyone who practices speaking in tongues does so to earn salvation, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t practice speaking in tongues. I don’t accept the practice for other reasons, but that shouldn’t be one of them, as far as I see it. If God, through his Word, clearly leads me to do {or not do} something, I’ll do {or not do} it even if I’m the only one!

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  4. Great post. I also like the way James writes it: “But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18)

    Thank you for linking up with the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We must be very careful not to tear out pages from our Bible. The things that the early Christians are still for today and that includes the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in other tongues. Many churches are embarrassed about Jesus being the same today as He was yesterday. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit is being poured out in many places all over America and other parts of the World. There is a need for Christians to get into a Bible Believing Church that does not tear pages out of God’s word. I think you have thrown out too much bath water in an attempt to clarify that Good works is not enough, but we need faith with our good works. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story. Remember there is now a limit of two posts (with 3 allowed)

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    1. It seems you’ve misunderstood my post! I most certainly agree we must not tear pages out of our Bibles! ALL Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for us. Perhaps you thought I was sharing my viewpoint in those opening paragraphs. On the contrary, I was expressing the viewpoints of many Christians who mistakenly toss out Bible passages that are uncomfortable to them. Sorry if I wasn’t clear!

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  6. I have been a Christian for many years and at 71years old I will still always, take heed of Gods Word.. Many churches emphasis different things they consider HAVE to be done for someone to be a believer. I do belong to a church however, I do not take as gospel, every word spoken in church. Too many people do that, and it sounds like you followed along with much of this, and now you are tired of it. I believe in reading my Bible and allowing the Holy Spirit to be my teacher. Due to this, yes, I believe we are to have good works. BUT, we are also saved by Grace, so no man can boast (of themselves). I also believe in casting out Demons, as Jesus did it, but not for it to be done for a show.
    I believe in speaking in tongues as a gift, yet not everyone gets that gift, and anyone who does get it, is no more important than another believer who has a different gift. When we stand before God on judgement day, we cannot blame others for our own lack of doing what we read in the Word. We are to show the fruits of following our Lord. Love, and forgiveness are the greatest gifts we can possess. Not hate, malice, distrust or hitting out at others.. Forgive those who have tried to brainwash you, and let Gods love fill you to overflowing. Love and blessings sent.

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  7. Interesting post! Good works is one of those things that makes unbelievers think they can gain their way into heaven. There are many wrong interpretations going on today concerning the Bible, even at some churches. It is best to consult our Bibles and be in the Word for confirmation of what we believe. This is the encouragement and reminder I saw in your post. Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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