Good Morning Friends
Today we will begin a new lesson in our series of "Forgetting What Is Behind". Today we will begin with Chapter 4 titled "It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose". Thank you for joining me and let me know your thoughts about this blog. you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email off of our website www.reachingthebroken.org Lets get started:
For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
The Biblical concept of ‘works’ and our humanly idea of ‘work’ is not the same thing. Even though ‘work’ in and of it-self is self- explanatory, the Biblical concept of ‘works’ is different. In this chapter, we will try to bring a clearer understanding of the concept between the two.
The Humanity side of ‘work’
* God gave Adam responsibilities in the Garden of Eden. He was told by God “to work it and take care of it”. Genesis 2:15
* Paul bluntly informed the Thessalonians that the idle must be put to work. “If a man will not work, he shall not eat”. 2 Thessalonians 3:10
* Human labor and toil….Six days do your work, bur on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed. Exodus 23:12
* Work is also recognized as “painful toil”. Work can be at times unpleasant and frustrating, leaving us with a sense of drudgery that never seems to bring us to a place of satisfaction or profit. To Adam he said, “because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat of it.” “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.” Genesis 3:17
* We are not to be a burden to others…. We are not to be Idle or completely dependent on others. Believers are to remain busy, to take personal responsibility for themselves. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
* Work provides an honest way to do something…it also produces something we can share with others who are in need. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Ephesians 4:28
Within the vocabulary of “work” emerges the concept of “works”.
This takes on special focus in the NT, where Paul and others explore the relationship of human efforts and accomplishments to faith in God. In the Judaism of Jesus’ day, such works were called for by the law and were thought to establish a person as righteous, not only in his and the community’s eyes but also in the eyes of God.
The NT, with its understanding of Jesus as the One through whom God offers a righteousness that is apart from law, reevaluates and clarifies the relationship of good works to one’s relationship with God.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, ---and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God---not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
None of us can “work our way to Heaven”. We will not be able to stand before God when that day comes and plead our case of how many good things we have done hoping it will qualify us to enter Heaven.
We will conclude here for today and next week we will finish this lesson starting with What is "works" all about"? thank you for joining me this morning and may God bless you and your family.