But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
There is something to be noted, the works we do, do not make us worthy of salvation because it is obtained by grace, as a gift from God. But once we are saved, we must become doers of the work, doers of the Word, living according to what is written in it. Grace is not a license to sin but a safe-conduct to be doers of works worthy of repentance.
Today many who call themselves Christians do not feel compelled to obey the Law of God because they think that grace is sufficient and they are already saved and have nothing more to do. This thought is a product of the wrong teaching of many churches. Although works do not serve us for salvation, being saved and not observing what God commands is a mockery of the blood shed on the cross by Jesus Christ.
The English pastor Maurice Roberts (1938- ) said, “Although we are justified and saved only by faith, we do not persevere for eternal life only by faith. We must cooperate through obedience to His written Word and daily implore His gracious grace.” Three centuries before Roberts said this, another Englishman, William Jenkyn (1613-1685), had said, “We are not justified in doing good Works, but when we are justified then we do good.”
Doing the work is a logical and direct consequence of having been saved and justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It would be an act of supreme betrayal to the God who forgave us of our sins by continuing to sin. On the contrary, now, through His Spirit we are enabled to do good.
The words another countryman and Jenkyn’s contemporary said are not wasted. The Englishman Richard Baxter (1615-1691) said, “If you have a better master than you had before, now you must work harder than you did before. Will they not serve God more zeal than they served the devil? Will they not strive harder for the salvation of their souls than they do to condemn them? Have they no more zeal for good than they had in evil? If you are true believers, you now have a reserved hope in the heavens; deal with it, in the way worldly people go after the world.”
Another aspect of doing the work is service. The Lord Jesus Christ himself said it in Matthew 23:11, But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. In that sense, let us look at what the Irish preacher Frederick Leahy (1922-2006) said, “It is not an insignificant comment to say that we are ‘saved to serve.’ Without service to God and to others through evangelism and Christian compassion, the Christian’s life would soon be self-centered and introverted.”
The Christian life is not to be carried out in a selfish way. We are called to serve both brothers in the faith and those who are not yet touched by grace. That was the Lord’s command in Matthew 10:8: Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. I close with what American pastor Phineas F. Bresee (1838-1915) said, “We are indebted to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure we have received.” God bless you.