Why You Do What You Do

“The righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you….”
Matthew 25:37

What you do when no one is watching – or when you don’t think anyone is watching – is a truer definition of your character and integrity than just about anything else.

Why do you do what you do?

Why do you help a little, old lady across the street?

Why do you return the $20 bill to the person in front of you who dropped it in the grocery line?

Why are you faithful to your wife even when it is virtually impossible for her to find out that you would have been unfaithful?

There are two reasons for doing things like this.

One is to get a reward, to get a payment, or a chit mark in your ledger, to add weight to your scales of life on the “good” side.

But this isn’t a good reason. Not in God’s eyes, anyway.

Some people do things like this in order to earn their way into paradise. But paradise cannot be earned! The only way to get into paradise by yourself is to be perfect 24/7/365 according to God’s standard of perfect.

And that’s impossible.

The other reason people do these things is because they are simply the right thing to do. Something deep within them wants to do the right thing and does the right thing as often as they can.

And they do this only because God has given them the power of the forgiveness of sins and the abundant life through his Son Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

The Scriptural Truth is that the good we do is only done through faith and only done in response to the grace and love God showed and showered on us first.

When people insist that “good works have the right to merit eternal life” we can only answer with the Truth of Scripture:

“He will render to each on according to his works. (Romans 2:6)

Glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good. (Romans 2:10)

Those who have done good to the resurrection of life. (John 5:29)

I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me. (Matthew 25:35)

In these and all similar passages in which works are praised in the Scriptures, it is necessary to understand not only outward works, but also the faith of the heart. Scripture does not speak of hypocrisy, but of the righteousness of the heart with its fruit. Furthermore, whenever the Law and works are mentioned, we must know that Christ cannot be excluded as Mediator. He is the end of the Law, and He Himself says, ‘Apart from Me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5)”(Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article V (III) Love and Fulfilling the Law, quoted from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, copyright © 2005, 2006 by Concordia Publishing House,  p 138).

In other words, we simply go around doing good because we are Christians, saved by the blood of Christ and imitating Christ. We are simply doing what Christ himself did!

And we wouldn’t even realize that we were doing all this good to Christ himself when we did it to the least of his brothers, unless he told us – which he will do on the Last Day!

So go about doing good! Not to get a reward, but because it is God’s Will and is a response to God’s Love!

Lord God Almighty, even as you bless your people with various and unique gifts of the Holy Spirit, continue to pour out your grace on us so that we use them to your honor and glory; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

©2017 True Men Ministries


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