Are Works Necessary?
If one understands even the basics of the creation story and we believe Romans 1:20 to be true, then one understands that God is a God of life and part of the glory of God is that His creation is to be fruitful and multiply. If rightly understood, this tenet of creation is inherent to our highest purpose to bring Him glory. Jesus describe this in John 15:1-8 (emphasis on verse 8)
John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
1 Peter 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
One ought to carefully examine their own life and reflect upon the question…. “Am I being ineffective and unproductive in my knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ?”
Good works in and of themselves are only temporal works with no lasting value and they bring glory to the one who does them and not to God. Thus, you could decide to try and establish a righteousness of your own by dedicating your entire life to good works and self sacrifice and it will profit you nothing. In fact, Paul in speaking of Israel said they were zealous for God in Romans 10:2-4 but that they sought to establish a righteousness of their own and in the next chapter, Paul describes the reality of Jesus’ words in John 15:2 as it pertains to unbelieving Israel… in Romans 11:17-21 (…they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.)
So, we conclude then as the speaker in the video has said… merit does not come from good works but they are necessary. If they are necessary then we must ask the question that was asked in John 6:28… “28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” And this is what Jesus said.
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Eternal fruit can only be produced through faith. Good or eternal fruit can only be produced as long as it comes from the “Vine” Jesus Christ. That is good works apart from God, profits nothing. Good works which come as a result of the goodness and grace of God through Jesus Christ, brings him glory and is eternal. In Gal 5:22&23 we see the fruit of the spirit is…”love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.” With God, all of these are eternal seed-bearing fruit. The worldly version of these things, without God, are all temporal “self” righteous things which do not bring glory to God and are rightly classified as, “works of Iniquity” (Matthew 7:22&23 “22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
And so what do we conclude from this matter? Works do not produce or establish my faith, rather my faith in Jesus produces and establishes my good works for His glory and they are necessary because I was created to glorify God.
By Him and for Him,