“I Know Thy Works.”

Revelation 2:2

Our Lord Jesus Christ says, "I know thy works." He makes this statement seven times (2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15). He says to every church, to every professed believer, to the true believer and to the mere false professors of faith in him, “I know thy works.” He does not say, “I know thy feelings,” or “I know thy desires,” or “I know thy profession.” He says, “I know thy works.”

The works of God’s elect are important.

Our works have no merit before God. Our works can never atone for our sins. Works cannot save us, justify us, sanctify us, or earn us some imaginary special place of honor and reward in heaven. Anyone who is even faintly familiar with the teachings of Holy Scripture knows that God’s grace and God’s salvation in Christ are absolutely free. All who know the Bible know that the believer’s standing before God is a matter of free grace alone. We earn nothing from God by our works, except his wrath.

Yet, if you think good works are insignificant, useless, and of no value because they are not meritorious, I am afraid your religion is but a sham, a show, a pretense. Grace always produces good works. All true believers walk in good works for the glory of God. There is no such thing as a saved man or woman who does not live (in the habit of his life) in willing, voluntary, submissive obedience to Christ as his Lord. Our obedience and works are far from perfect. In themselves, they are just filthy rags (Isa. 64:6), of no merit whatever before God. Yet, God’s saints do perform good works. It is the nature of spiritual men and women to walk in the Spirit (Rom. 8:5-10). Let me show you this from the Word of God.

The principle of grace reigns in all believers.

All who are saved by the grace of God, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, perform good works from a principle of inward grace. The apostle James tells us most plainly that, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-26). Good works are those things which give evidence to others that our faith is real Our Lord says, “Every tree is known by its fruit” (Lk. 6:44). Abraham believed God; and he proved it to all who knew him by his works of obedience toward God. Rahab believed God; and she proved it when she hid the spies.

The grace of God secures good works in his people.

God has ordained that all who are saved by his grace walk in good works for the honor of his name (Eph. 2:8-10). And that which God has ordained, God will bring to pass. He will see that his people walk in good works. The indwelling presence power, and grace of God the Holy Spirit makes all believers new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). If we walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). And all who are born of God walk in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). The Scriptures do not teach that we shall not have the lusts of the flesh, but that we shall not fulfil, we shall not live after the flesh (Rom. 8:12-13). If I am in Christ, I have a new, holy nature, that which is born of God; and the bent of that nature is toward God (2 Pet. 1:4; Gal. 5:17-22).

Don Fortner