Monday, October 12, 2009

Good works in the sight of God?

Many boast today about their philanthropy, and all the wondrous things they think to do for humanity. Many Christians also praise these things as "good works", even though they may be done by the vilest atheist, and ungodly heathen. What is this preposterous notion they have that the unregenerate can do "good works"? That these carnal and wholly unspiritual people, enemies of God, and totally depraved in nature, can truly love their neighbour by all these deeds (Rom. 8:7-8)?

What measure are they using? It is certain that these people are not using God's measure - the only measure that counts (Rom. 3:9-18). Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize, and the praise of men, but does he have the praise of God? If not, then what does he have at all (Rom. 2:29)?

It is nothing but a proud insanity and most of all an impossibility to attempt to keep second table of the law while discarding the first table. For all of God's commandments are inseparably joined, such that if we are not keeping all of them, we have kept none of them (Jas. 2:10). If we have not loved God in our supposed "love" for our neighbour, we are nothing but hypocrites (Matt. 23:23). Such is our vast need for the imputed righteousness of Christ (Rom. 4:5-8). By grace alone this is imputed to us, through the gift of faith (Eph. 2:8-9).

The only sacrifice which God regards from us is that sacrifice sanctified by the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:10), and which proceeds from the new heart (upon which is written the two tables of the law - to love God and our neighbour - II Cor. 3:3; Ezek. 26-27; Jer. 31:33), and which in profound humility and brokenness cries, "UNWORTHY!" Those who by grace alone (and not of themselves at all) make this their offering, "God, be merciful unto me, a sinner," are those who are freely pardoned and fully justified by the blood of Christ (Luke 18:13-14).

If any of this hits home with you, please take time to read and study this article by Herman Hoeksema: "The Curse-Reward of the Wicked Well-Doer".

Sam W.

1 comment:

manuelkuhs said...

Good stuff! Funnily enough I just read about the Three Points of Common Grace, part of which says that unregenerate man is able to do "civil good", i.e. keep the second table of the law. Of course one cannot even love his neighbour without loving God first! Homer Hoeksema said that according to the 3 Points, there is in practice not one man alive who is totally depraved - contrary to all of Scripture.