I.       These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith:[1] and by them believers manifest their thankfulness,[2] strengthen their assurance,[3] edify their brethren,[4] adorn the profession of the Gospel,[5] stop the mouths of the adversaries,[6] and glorify God,[7]whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus,[8]that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.[9]

II.       They who, in their obedience, attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are still so far from perfection, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.[10]

III.       We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory that is to come; and the distance that is between us and God, whom, by them, we can neither benefit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins,[11] but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unworthy servants.[12]

IV.       Notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him;[13] not as though they were in this life wholly perfect and unreproveable in God’s sight;[14] but that He, looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections.[15]


[1] JAM 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?[2] PSA 116:12 What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? 13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. 1PE 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

[3] 1JO 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 2PE 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.

[4] 2CO 9:2 For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. MAT 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

[5] TIT 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; 10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. 1TI 6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

[6] 1PE 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

[7] 1PE 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. PHI 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. JOH 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

[8] EPH 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

[9] ROM 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

[10] LUK 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. NEH 13:22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy. JOB 9:2 I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? 3 If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand. GAL 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

[11] ROM 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. ROM 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works. EPH 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. TIT 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. ROM 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. PSA 16:2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee. JOB 22:2 Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? 3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him that thou makest thy ways perfect? 35:7 If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? 8 Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.

[12] LUK 17:10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’

[13] EPH 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 1PE 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. EXO 28:38 And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord. GEN 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering. HEB 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

[14] JOB 9:20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. PSA 143:2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

[15] HEB 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2CO 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. HEB 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. MAT 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.