Jeremy Sarber

Can a person be saved by good works?

Paul writes, For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10). Our good works are the fruits of eternal life.

Do you remember what God promised about the new covenant through Ezekiel? He said, I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Eze 36:27). Since the people proved themselves incapable of keeping God’s law over and over again, God said, I’ll fix that. I’ll give them the divine power to obey me.”

Paul told Titus, Our great God and Savior Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Tit 2:13-14). He told the Philippians, It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Php 2:13).

You are not saved by good works, but you are saved for good works. Do you see the difference?

The tenth verse is a sneak preview of what’s to come. Paul is building up to a series of practical exhortations that begin in Ephesians 4. In other words, what we know about our salvation is not where a gospel sermon ends. What we know is only the beginning of discipleship.

Examine your life. What was it like before Christ? What is it like after Christ? If there is no difference, there’s cause for alarm. Do you see what a marvelous thing God has done?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Eph 1:3).