The Christian and His Work
The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans )
The Holy Spirit commands each Christian to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). That makes this thing we call Christianity an individual work. It is true that we are workers together as the church, but we serve and follow God as individuals above all. One day our Father will judge us - each according to our own individual work. Thank God, your standing with God does not depend on what I do or have done (or what anyone else does). You stand on your own before God. From time to time each of us will stumble and sin as we attempt to serve God. Yet, we should stop judging each other in the labors we attempt to do before our Master and King. We must keep our eyes in two places - on Jesus and in the mirror (James -25) - for each one of us will one day give an account for OURSELVES to God (Romans 14:10-12; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10).
Where are we going with this; what are we talking about? We are dealing with the WILL OF GOD FOR MAN. For a few moments, letís talk about the work of God and the type of work God desires from man Ė His highest creation.
Christians are to work the works of God while it is day (John 9:4). The Bible teaches that the work of God is for man to believe in Jesus (John 6:28-29). When one believes in Jesus his faith will begin working in love (Galatians 5:6). That faith and love will cause the person to obey Jesus; thus, becoming a Christian (cf. Mark ). Coming up out of the waters of baptism, that born again person has been created anew in Christ (John 3:3-5; 2 Corinthians ). What is God's will for him as a new creation? Paul answers, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).
Thus, the work that Christians have been created for are GOOD works. Whatever good work we do we must do it with ALL our might, knowing that we are serving God, not man (Colossians 3:23). We are to show ourselves in all respects to be models of good works (Titus 2:7). Everyone around us should know that we are Christians because they can't help but see our faith working through our good works (1 Timothy 5:25; James 2:14-26). But more important than that, as we build on the foundation of Jesus Christ our work will be manifest to God (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).
You may be a new worker in God's vineyard, and that might cause you to stand in awe of those who have been laboring for the Lord 20, 30, 40, or 50 years. Yet remember, we are all "God's fellow workers" (1 Corinthians 3:8-9). Even a new Christian can hold his head up high and thank God for placing him in this ministry of doing good. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus have made the last equal with the first. In other words, "the last will be first and the first last" (Matthew 20:1-16).
Concerning the rich Jesus said, "Only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:23). But be of good courage you who are rich! The Holy Spirit has given you the answer to cure your difficult situation. He said through the apostle Paul, "As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life" (1 Timothy 6:17-19). If you are among the monetarily rich in the church, you are also commanded to be RICH in GOOD works. Please don't frustrate the Holy Spirit power (Rom. ) that is working in you (Ephesians , 20) by being covetous with your wealth.
Love ones, in His grace and mercy, God has given us the tool (His word) that will equip each of us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). His word is working in those of us who believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13). We must study and use this tool (obey it) in all areas of our life. Then we can be workers "who have no need to be ashamed" (2 Timothy 2:15). Why not? Because "God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do" (Hebrews 6:10).
So that we might always remain humbly depended on God to work in us (Philippians 2:13), we are warned that our salvation does not come because of works done by us in righteousness, "but according to his own mercy" (Titus 3:5). While we were yet sinners in the world, God allowed Jesus to die and save us, "Not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace" (2 Timothy 1:9). We therefore have nothing in which to boast as we serve the Lord (Ephesians 2:8-9).
In closing, all faithful children of God can rest in the promise, "That he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). Our prayer for each other should be: "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word" (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). Again, "Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen" (Hebrews 13:20-21).
We hope and pray that God will use these words to stir you up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). REMEMBER: Faithful men should teach these things to others (2 Timothy 2:1-2).