Nothing good comes from it...

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

God has given us his favor, love, and ultimately, deliverance from judgment - all through Christ Jesus. Our part is belief. Take credit for much more than that and you have elevated the importance of what you have done over God's free gift of grace. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done - it isn't about the good works - it all about his embracing a sinful people made completely right through the work of the Cross of Christ.

We are created anew - not by our good works, but because Christ dwells within us. We can do good works because he creates a new desire within us to no longer follow the deeds of the flesh or our sinful nature. It is that new desire that has us pursuing actions that were once 'foreign' to us. Some equate this new desire to do good works as us 'working our way to Christ', but this is not the case. It is because Christ has worked himself to us that we even desire to see these new choices take root in our lives.

Yes, Christ changes our heart. Sure, he changes our desires. Nothing good comes from our old nature, so when Christ gives us a new nature through believing in him and his finished work on the Cross, we desire to do the things God asks us to do. If we want to say these are 'good works', that is okay, because all that is good, true, upright, and holy come from God, not us. These 'good works' are an outflow of his grace active within our lives.

Do good - it is how we are all called live after saying 'yes' to Jesus. These 'good works' don't earn us anything in God's kingdom, though. They are merely the 'fruit' of being transplanted from very bad soil into the soil of God's grace and goodness. We are called to bear fruit - good fruit - not just some pretense of 'goodness'. The change God works in our desires reveals a change in 'life fruit'. We cannot produce that fruit apart from union with him. As hard as we might try, our 'goodness' is nothing compared to his. Just sayin!


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