“Be ready to do whatever is good…stress these things, so that
those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote
themselves to doing what is good…Our people must
learn to devote themselves to doing what is good.”
Thoughts… Paul seems to be pretty insistent that our faith get translated into good—good thoughts, good words, good actions. He was very clear, however, that our good works could never save us—verse five reminds us that: “God saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Nevertheless, the goodness and mercy of God that made our salvation possible must now lead us to demonstrate goodness and mercy through our lives to others.
There seems to be such an emphasis in our day on salvation apart from works, almost as if we are not obligated in any sense to do works. Yet Paul is teaching that authentic salvation is verified by the good that comes from our lives. Salvation is not the result of any good on our part, but our salvation produces good in us and causes good to flow through us.
As Martin Luther pointed out, “Good works do not make a good man, but a good man does good works.” Stated more forcefully, if good works are not a large part of what makes you who you are, it very well could be that you need to check the authenticity of your salvation.
How are you in the goodness area? Are you ready to do good—is there proactive goodness in your life? Are you devoted to doing good—are you strategically active doing good in this present moment? Are you learning to do good—are you contemplating creative ways to express goodness to the people in your world?
Be good! In light of how good God has been to you, you really ought to be really good!
Prayer… God, you have been so good to me. You saved me when I didn’t deserve it. You’ve blessed me when I haven’t deserved it. You love me, are kind to me, and have provided for my eternity when I don’t deserve that kind of goodness. Now, O Lord, help me to pass on that same kind of goodness through my life to everyone I come in contact with. May people know how good you are by how good I am.
One More Thing… “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a sunhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.” —C.S. Lewis