The coming day of judgment will prove the works of men, whether they be of men or of God. The Bible is clear that a man’s works will condemn him (Mt 12:37; Rom 2:1; 14:22), and man’s works can never save him. No person is justified before God by his or her own works (Rom 3:20).
Apart from Christ, man’s works are filthy rags (Is 64:6). Sinful man has this all wrong. He thinks his filthy rags are acceptable to God, and he trusts that God sees man as good because of man’s earnest efforts.
Every man must stand before God in Christ, in order to be judged for his deeds done in his body, whether good or bad (Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11). There are some who will be ready to boast of their achievements before Christ, who will reject them, claiming to not even know them (Mt 7:21; 2 Tim 3:2).
Man competes with his neighbor to prove who is more righteous and good (Eccl 4:4). Man thinks he is blessed by God, when he achieves worldly success. Man is deluded into thinking that his wealth and power and success are a demonstration of God’s approval and a reward from God.
Man is selfish and seeks his own benefit. He labors day after day, unaware that his labor is in vain because he and his works are severed from God (Eccl 1:2–3). Man weighs both, his good and his evil actions, and he assures himself the scales are tipped in his favor. He objects to the biblical truth that the smallest sin is worthy of eternal hell. In pride, man boasts of his prowess in whatever sphere he operates during the few days he has on the earth.
All that has been stated, thus far, has made the case for eternal condemnation, for God judges according to truth (Rom 2:5). Man works, and his works are all saturated with sin.
The Christian will also be judged on the day of God’s judgment, indignation, and wrath. Every believer will stand before the Judge (Jesus), who is also the Christian’s advocate with the Father (1 Jn 2:1). All the Christians will be clothed in a glorified body and soul, in white robes (Rev 7:9, 13–14), which they received in the resurrection to life (Jn 5:28–29; 1 Cor 15). Today, and on that day, the words of the apostle Paul will ring true, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1).”
Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit to do the works of God (Jn 6:29; 14:26; 15:26). He is the architect and builder of all things (Heb 3:4). He is authoring and perfecting the faith that justifies a man before God (Heb 12:2). A man is justified before God, by the blood of Christ on the cross (Rom 5:9). He is given faith to believe in Christ alone for salvation to the measure of God’s own choosing (Rom 12:3; Eph 2:8–9; Gal 3:22; 5:22; Phil 1:29).
In Christ, the believer manifests the good works God created for him to accomplish (Eph 2:10). God causes the believer to walk in God’s statutes (Ezek 36:27), to obey all that God has commanded (Mt 28:20), thus, proving the believer’s reflective love (1 Jn 4:19), for the One who loved her and gave Himself for her on the cross (Eph 5:25).
The works of God in the believer are spiritual (Ps 57:2; 138:8; Is 26:12; Jn 6:29). They serve the kingdom of God in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17). The Spirit wills and works His good pleasure in the saint (Phil 2:13), who boasts, exclusively, in the Lord at work in him (1 Cor 1:31). No Christian claims to be adequate as a slave of Christ (2 Cor 3:5–6), but he insists, he is unprofitable when he has done his duty (Lk 17:10).
The Christian presses on toward the goal for the prize (Phil 3:14), with continuing patience (Rom 2:7). She suffers in diverse ways (Col 1:24), as afflictions pressure her life in this fallen world (1 Peter). She is losing her love for the things of this world, and her motive to gain the whole world has been transformed (1 Jn 2:15–17). Her ambition is to please God (2 Cor 5:9), who rewards her diligence in seeking God and His kingdom (Heb 11:6; Mt 6:33).
Christian good works are a product of the Holy Spirit (Gal 2:20), who deserves the credit for every good deed done by the saint. If Christ lives in a person (Phil 1:6), that person seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mt 6:33). His eyes are on Jesus (Heb 12:2), and with his tongue he proclaims Him (Col 1:28), who is able to do above and beyond all we can think or imagine (Eph 3:20).
The will of God, for the child of God (1 Jn 3:1, 10), is sanctification (Rom 15:16; 1 Thess 4:3; 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2). Christ is building His church (Mt 16:18), by crafting living stones into alignment with Him (1 Pet 2:5), as the chief cornerstone of His spiritual temple (Eph 2:20–22). He will bring His work to perfection (Dt 32:4), employing the Word of truth (Jn 17:17). Faithful is He, to do it, in accordance with His predetermined plan and eternal purpose carried out in Christ Jesus (Acts 2:23; Eph 3:11).
Christian, rest in the knowledge of the truth, regarding the mighty works of God in Christ…who lives in you (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11). He does all things well, and He will accomplish all His holy will (Eph 1:11). He has made us to be witnesses (Acts 1:8), to tell of His excellent greatness (1 Pet 2:9). He has decreed all things that shall come to pass. Trust Him…He will do it.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 22, 2021