A Little Time With The 1689: Day 217

Day 217

Of Good Works.

Chapter 16, Paragraph 1.

“Good Works are only such as God hath commanded in his Holy word; and not such as without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretense of good intentions.”

Scripture Lookup

Micah 6:8

Hebrews 13:21

Matthew 15:9

Isaiah 29:13


What makes a work good? Is it the consensus of the culture? Is it what some learned people determine is good? Is it what feels right?

The only good works are those which God has commanded in His word. “No one is good except God alone.” (Mark 10:18). Goodness does not exist apart from God. He has all goodness in and of Himself. As the Creator of all things, He is the sole determiner of what constitutes a good work. Through Scripture, God has declared to us what good deeds are and how they are to be performed.

Due to the Fall, creation and mankind are corrupted by sin. We are utterly indisposed to all good. As a result, without the work of the Holy Spirit regenerating us, we are unable to do good. Even after regeneration, the remaining corruption of sin can entice us to label works “good” that Scripture does not. Eager to demonstrate our holiness, we may ignorantly create commands that do not exist in Scripture. We may even violate a command found in Scripture because of our circumstances. Our intentions may be to do good, but when they are not in keeping with what God has proscribed in His Word, those actions cannot be called good.

If we desire to do good, then we must know what works are good. Study Scripture, that sufficient, certain and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience. Thus you may learn what a good work is, and which works are not.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2

Questions to Consider

  • How have you determined what works are good?

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