Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Good Works Without Strings Attached

God is good all the time. The popularity of the saying does not decrease its truth or the value of that truth to us. Because God is good, He does good things. Interestingly enough, void of the pride and pettiness that we humans carry, God aims at doing good for everyone.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Even in the physical realm, God displays His good works to all.

Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

God's good works are not just directed toward those who are good and obedient.

So often we are willing to be charitable toward those that in our eyes "deserve" our help. If God had taken this attitude, none of us would have the opportunity for salvation, or even air to breathe for that matter.

In this age of church growth seminars many times the idea is floated that if the church would just do more good works (and possibly force those who receive our "generosity" to sit through a lecture on their sin and need of Jesus) then the church will grow. God does not do good with strings attached. That is not saying that the church should not be aggressive in preaching the Gospel. However, to have church growth as the motive for good works is unbiblical. God does good because He is good. Unfortunately, I have heard good, well-meaning Christians say something callous like, "I'll buy you some groceries if you promise to come to my church with me this week." That statement does not reflect the heart and method of God. God's goodness to us is not a trade or some kind of gospel trap.

God's goodness has a purpose. God displays His goodness to contrast against our wicked and self-centered world.

Look at: Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

More to the point, please go to an online concordance and read every verse in the Bible that talks about the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the fatherless. It will break your heart for them, and it will help you feel the heart of God.

In conclusion let me leave you with some thoughts and verses from Torrey's Topical Textbook. (a great free online resource). In regard to showing love toward our fellow man Torrey makes these points:

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