It has been said, “Doing good will not get a person up to Heaven. But doing good can bring bits of Heaven down to Earth.” The Bible has a lot to say about — and in favor of — us doing good. Give this 130 year-old song “We All Can Do Good” a sing-along listen, then let’s look at a few highlights from Scripture about “doing good”.
Salvation … and then everything else
Our salvation required work — but not work from us. God our Father and His Son, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ saved us. It was their work, not our own, that won salvation for us. Ephesians 2 says, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Another song on this song site says, “There’s nothing more that I can do, Jesus paid it all.” So do we throw away our alarm clocks and just sleep in every day until we feel like getting up? After all, Jesus paid it all.
Of course not. Jesus paid for our salvation. That is the most important purchase ever made on our behalf. He did the work, and we receive the benefits.
But NOW we need to keep our alarm clocks working to help us get up and get after it. Why? The very next verse in Ephesians says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.”
You and I are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus … UNTO … GOOD … WORKS.
It is a remarkable truth that our works don’t get us saved — but getting saved enables us to do good works.
People who keep trying to get saved by doing good works have it backwards. They need to get saved so that they can do good works God wants people to do.
God has set things up so we all can get in on doing His kind of good work — that His will might be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
“Doing good” — a job description from the Bible
Our Father Who art in Heaven is currently seeking to employ people to do good.
The qualified applicant will have completed the following:
Confess Jesus as Lord and believe God raised him from the dead
According to the Bible, the work may include:
praying for – blessing — and loving those that hate you
lending with no hope of return
trusting God instead of trusting in riches
speaking evil of no one
not being argumentative
being meek (coachable)
letting God’s light in you shine
The successful applicant will receive on-the-job training, and learn:
doing good is not always the easiest path
doing good does not “just happen” naturally
doing good is the result of deliberate effort
gaining wisdom from God is a partner to doing good
it is sin to know to do good but not to do it (James 4)
it is important not to get tired of doing good (rewards will come if we hang in there)
the time to do good is at every opportunity
love, joy and peace help — and increase — in the doing
For doing good by praising and thanking His name: God is pleased
People might glorify God because of your good works
Doing good promotes fruitful living
Since God loves a cheerful giver, expect rewards maybe now and certainly later
▬►▬►▬► Apply now! ◄▬◄▬◄▬
Begin right away!
How much GOOD must we do for it to COUNT?
Short answer — the measure of size of work that counts ranges from near zero to infinity. Our song correctly suggests that a cup of cold water, a smile or a kind word might make all the difference for a person who is hurting. Is there anyone among us who could not do that amount of good? It counts!
As we head from zero toward infinity, we see — in the Gospel of John — Jesus Christ declaring, “Verily, verily, I say to you, he who is believing in me, the works that I do — that one also shall do, and greater than these he shall do, because I go on to my Father.”
Do you imagine it would count if we did the same kinds of works Jesus Christ did? I would think so! But do you see in that verse Jesus adding the words,
“and greater [works] than these he shall do …” ?!?
If we did greater works than Jesus did, how big is that?
I’ll pass along to you some thoughts offered to me years ago:
- Doing greater works than Jesus is not a typo or error in the text. Jesus said what he meant and meant what he said.
- To do a greater work than Jesus Christ did, it must be something that was not available at that time for Jesus Christ to do. One such thing is to lead someone into the new birth. Jesus could not do that because the new birth was not available until he died, rose up and ascended into Heaven. (HEADLINE: When God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, it made a difference.)
- Recall that Ephesians gives us a clue on how we became able to do works like Jesus did: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” If we want to do works like Jesus Christ, we should get saved — born again — becoming the kind of person described in Colossians as “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. With Christ in us and we taking our places doing the work God created us to do as members of the body of Christ (Ephesians 1), we will be drawn into doing works Jesus did — and greater — because Jesus Christ did indeed “go on to the Father” and is now head of his body — the church. The Captain of Salvation is leading His people to victory.
Paul wrote to Timothy: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” (ESV)
Let’s get in the habit of bringing a smile, a cup of cool water, a kind word and a life full of holy spirit power, love and the joy of the Lord everywhere we go. We all can do good!
God bless you lots,
LYRICS – We All Can Do Good
Text: Fanny Crosby (1892)
Tune: John R. Sweney
1. Our lives, we are told, are but fleeting at best,
Like roses they fade and decay;
Then let us do good while the present is ours,
Be useful as long as we stay.
Do good unto others, do good while we can,
Our moments how quickly they fly;
Remember the proverb, remember it now,
We all can do good if we try.
2. A smile or a word that in kindness we give,
May comfort a desolate heart;
May sweeten a life that is lonely and sad,
And hope to the weary impart.
3. How many around us are strangers to God,
How many poor children we see;
If such we could bring to the foot of the cross,
How grateful and glad we should be.
4. We all can do good and are able to give
Kind help in the name of the Lord
A cup of cool water, a radiant face
Doing good brings the sweetest rewards
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