Where do good works fit into salvation?
Written by Dr. John Clark
You may be surprised to learn, that good works actually hinder someone’s chances to get saved and that they don't help us get right with God in any way. Now, that will come as a shock to many of you, because most people have the faulty and incorrect view that people who do good things will go to heaven. The problem with this view, especially as it relates to good works, is that the Bible actually says something which is quite different. In fact, it says the very opposite.
Ephesians 2:9 says emphatically, that salvation is "not by works."
Isaiah 64:6 says, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags...” Isaiah holds nothing back here! First, we might expect him to say that our unrighteousnesses are like filthy rags, but he doesn’t! He says our “righteousnesses” (that is, the things we think we are doing are good) are like "filthy rags." And then he uses a graphic description for “filthy rags” when he uses a Hebrew word that describes a woman’s menstrual rags.
Titus 3:5 says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” So, what we actually see the Bible teaching is that GOOD WORKS HINDER someone’s ability to get saved! Our good works are like "filthy rags" in God's sight, and they actually cause people to depend upon themselves for their own righteousness. But the truth is that NO ONE will get to heaven based upon their own righteousness – it is IMPOSSIBLE!
This is why Romans 4:5 says, “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.” Notice that it says, “to him who DOES NOT WORK” but to him “who believes...” – The Bible teaches we must, believe in (trust) in THE GOOD WORK OF WHAT JESUS CHRIST DID FOR US ON THE CROSS when He died for our sins, paid their penalty in full, and rose again. Our good works, devotion and personal commitment can't save us, only what Jesus has already done for us on the cross can make us right with God and truly righteous in God's sight. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved..." (Acts 16:31)
Written by Dr. John Clark, pastor of Grace Community Fellowship in Newnan, Georgia (USA). You can watch many excellent videos by John Clark on his YouTube channel
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