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A PEOPLE OF GOOD WORKS

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.     When Jesus Christ addressed the seven churches of Asia, there was one statement that he made to all of them:  “I know thy works…”  (Rev. 2:2, 2:9; 2:13; 2:19; 3:1; 3:8; 3:15).

 

B.     Three things stand out about this point:

1.       The early church was engaged in works, some of them were good and some of them were bad.

2.       The Lord was aware of their works.

3.       The Lord judged the churches based upon their works.

 

C.     This morning, we want to talk about the subject:  “A People of Good Works.”

 

I.             THE EARLY CHURCH ENGAGED IN GOOD WORKS

 

A.     Providing for those in need due to their extended stay in Jerusalem after the events of Pentecost.

1.       Acts 2:45

 

And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

 

2.       Acts 4:34-35

 

Neither was there any among them that lacked:  for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet:  and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

 

B.     The daily ministration of the widows of the early church.

1.       The daily ministration and men appointed over this work (Acts 6:1-7).

2.       The requirements given for a widow to be taken into the number to be supported by the church (I Tim. 6:9-10).

 

C.     The support of missionaries.

1.       II Corinthians 11:8

 

I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.

 

2.       Philippians 4:18

 

But I have all, and abound:  I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, and a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

 

D.    The collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem (Rom. 15:26).

 

For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaiah to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.

 

E.      There was some type of teaching program within the church.

1.       Timothy was to train faithful men who could teach others (II Tim. 2:2).

2.       The older women were to teach the younger women (Tit. 2:4).

 

II.           EXAMPLES OF THOSE WHO DID GOOD WORKS

 

A.     Jesus (John 10:32)

 

…Jesus answered them Many good works have I shewed you from my Father…

B.     Barnabas (Acts 4:36-37)

 

C.     Dorcas (Acts 9:36)

 

Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas:  this woman was full of good works and alms deeds which she did.

 

D.    Mary (Rom. 16:6)

 

Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.

 

E.      The church in Thessalonica (I Thess. 1:3)

 

Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God our Savior.

 

F.      The church in Thyatira (Rev. 2:19)

 

I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be greater than the first.

 

III.         THE BIBLE EXHORTS US TO DO GOOD WORKS

 

A.     Several passages

1.       Matthew 5:16

 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

2.       Ephesians 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.

 

3.       Titus 2:14

 

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

 

4.       Titus 3:8

 

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou constantly affirm, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.

 

5.       Titus 3:14

 

And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

 

6.       Hebrews 10:24

 

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.

 

B.     Good works can be done in different ways.

1.       Individually (i.e., Dorcas making coats, Acts 9:39)

2.       As a congregation (i.e, Philippi supporting Paul, Phil. 1:5)

3.       We need to engage in both if possible.

 

 

IV.         WE WILL BE JUDGED BY OUR WORKS

 

A.     The Shepherd divides the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:34-36)

 

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  naked, and ye clothed me:  I was sick, and ye visited me:  I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

 

B.     Before the great white throne (Rev. 20:12-13)

 

And I saw the dead small and great stand before God; and the books were opened:  and another book was opened which is the book of life:  and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them:  and they were judged every man according to his works.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.     Summary thoughts:

1.       Good works are essential to the Christian life.

2.       There is never a shortage of opportunity to be involved in good works.

3.       Good elderships create opportunities for their members to do good works (i.e., VBS, clothing giveaway, mission trips, assisting members of the church).

4.       Good works benefit others and the ones who do them (i.e., visiting Miss Elizabeth Smith from Eastwood).

 

B.     Titus 3:8

 

This is a FAITHFUL saying,

and these things I will that thou affirm CONSTANTLY,

that they which have BELIEVED in God

might BE CAREFUL

to MAINTAIN good works.