To answer your good question, let’s first read Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” These verses show us the way of salvation so clearly. We are saved by the grace of God through faith. This is one of the clearest verses in the Bible to let us know that we cannot earn our salvation by doing good works. You may be a very kind person. You may give your time and money to help out the less fortunate. You may work hard to gain salvation, but you cannot save yourself by your good works.

Isaiah 64:6 says, “But we are ALL AS AN UNCLEAN THING, and all our RIGHTEOUSNESSES ARE AS FILTHY RAGS; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” All those efforts you may put forward in order to be saved…the Lord calls them “filthy rags.” They are worse that worthless. Titus 3:5-6 tells us, “NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” This is a necessary truth: we cannot work for our salvation!

Now let’s read Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” We, meaning all believers, are the handiwork of the grace of God. We are ‘created in Christ Jesus’. It is God that created the natural man and it is God that creates the ‘new man’. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATION; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (NKJV). When we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, the Lord causes us to become ‘brand new’. We are a NEW CREATION. We are not the OLD CREATION made better. NO! We become brand new creations when we have Christ. In that NEW CREATION, we have been “created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS.” It is as saved believers that we can truly do “good works.” It is only those who are saved that can work for God; that can truly serve Him and glorify Him. As Christians, the Lord has created us to work for Him. Indeed, we should walk according to the good works the Lord gives us to do.

So, what have we learned here? We have learned that:

* Works do not justify, but the justified man can work for God.

* We do not work so that we WILL BE saved; rather, we Christians work because WE ARE saved.

Titus 2:14, speaking of Christ says, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a people for his own possession, ZEALOUS OF GOOD WORKS.” Once again, it becomes obvious. REDEMPTION comes FIRST, and then GOOD WORKS will naturally come as we walk with and learn more about the Lord Jesus. (274.4)