Do We Automatically Do Good?
Many well-meaning Christians are waiting for God to push a button, so to speak, to make them willing servants of others. They think that God will give them the desire to serve others, and that just having God's Spirit will automatically catapult them into a life of good deeds for Christ. Meanwhile, God keeps waiting and waiting and waiting for them to start their new life in Christ.
Many of these same people feel that if you force yourself to do good works for God, you are engaging in self-righteous works and are trying to gain your salvation by doing good works. What's really going on? What does the Bible have to say? Let's find out.
The Bible says you glorify the Father by doing good works (Matt. 5:16). You enter the kingdom of heaven with righteous works (Matt. 5:20). Jesus Christ told His true followers that they would do more works for God than He did (John 14:12). Being zealous for good works is part of putting on the full armor of God (1 Peter 3:13; Eph. 6:11). By keeping Christ's works, you overcome your nature and put on Jesus Christ's righteous nature (Rev. 2:26). In the Bible, believers are cautioned against becoming weary in doing good works (Gal. 6:9; 2 Thess. 3:13).
The apostles told believers to engage in good works (Titus 3:8). They stressed that it was something they would have to learn to do (Titus 3:14). It would not come automatically. They would have to strive, be diligent and persevere in doing these good works (Luke 13:24; Heb. 4:11; 10:24; Rom.2:6-7). They were told to be hot, zealous, or enthusiastic for good works (Rev. 3:15; Titus 2:14). Even the rich were told to be rich in good works (1 Tim. 6:17-18). It was a requirement for widows (1 Tim. 5:10). It was what disciples of Jesus Christ continually did (Acts 9:36; 10:2).
Paul forced his body into subjection so that he would become a willing slave to righteousness (1 Cor. 9:27; Rom. 6:18-19). He was a slave to Jesus Christ, doing God's righteous works from the heart (Eph. 6:6). He knew that doing righteous works would allow God to crush his old satanic nature under his heel (Rom. 16:20). He understood how to force his way into the kingdom (Luke 16:16; 17:21, KJV). And, by resting from all works of the flesh, he entered God's rest and found inner peace (Heb. 4:10).
Satan is the enemy of all who would practice righteousness for God or who live as God lives. Satan preaches against any form of good works done for God's glory so that people will continue to be held captive by him, doing his will instead of doing God's Will as it is being done in heaven on a daily basis (2 Tim. 2:26; Matt. 6:10).
Don't be religiously deceived. You will know Jesus Christ's followers by their works (Matt. 7:20-21). God's word says even Satan's ministers will be judged by their works, whether they like it or not (2 Cor. 11:15). How blessed are those who practice righteousness at all times (Psalm 106:3).