Paul often talks about doing good works in his epistles. In 2 Timothy 2:21, he says if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy useful to the Master and ready for good works. In the next chapter when he mentions about the inspiration of the Scripture, he lays out the power of the Word of God for teaching, reproof, correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. It seems that good works are the result of living a holy life and submitting oneself to the cleansing of the Word of God.
Here in the epistle to Titus, Paul once again brings in the importance of doing good works. Christians are to be obedient to rulers and authorities, to be ready for every good work, like not speaking evil of another person, avoid quarreling and show perfect courtesy toward all people. Then he insists that those who have believed in God must be careful to devote themselves to good works. These good works are excellent and profitable for people. When he later refers to the needs of Zenas and Apollos, he encourages God’s people to learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need and not to be unfruitful.
It is helpful if you make a list of good works and another list of bad works from the third chapter of Titus, you may easily find out that good works are the fruit of the Spirit while bad works are the works of the flesh. Good works are done in obedience to God while bad works are those done in disobedience. Good works are those that help and benefit others while bad works are those that hurt or harm others. Good works pleases God while bad works gratify the self. Good works brings in harmony and unity within the body of Christ while bad works divide and bring in chaos and confusion. Good works glorify God while bad works glorify the self.
We are saved not because of works done by us but by the grace of God. However, after getting saved, we are empowered to do good works. The Holy Spirit not only gives us the washing of regeneration, He also renews us by pouring out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. The end result is that we may do good works and can profit and benefit others. We must be filled with the Spirit in order to do good works. His outpouring on us is like an empowering presence that transforms us into those who can do good works.
Pause now and look at some of the works you have done recently. Are those good works or bad works? Do they glorify God and profit others? Are those fruit of the Spirit or works of the flesh? Ask God to cleanse and fill you now so that you may be ready for every good work.
Ps 119:49-56 Jer 51:54-52:34 Tit 3:1-15 Prov 26:18-19