on God’s view of righteous human works

Our next installment in our ‘Law, Legalism, and Life’ series addresses the subject God’s Viewpoint of Righteous Human Works.

The main idea of the message is that God evaluates all human works. The Bible reveals that certain kinds of human works are unacceptable to God while other kinds of human works please God. The devoted Christian must turn his mind to understanding what those works are that please God.

There are two sorts of righteous works that are unacceptable to God. First are those that are intended to oblige God’s grace. This is salvation-by-works legalism. It is an attempt to manipulate God as if he were an idol. The notion is this, ‘If I stroke God certain ways, he will give me what I want.’ Thus the prophets of Ba’al attempted to manipulate their idol on Mt Carmel. The fact is God’s grace is obliged to the works of one man, Jesus Christ, who perfectly kept the law for fallen men. All men who are ‘in Christ’ are recipients of God’s obligations to the perfect obedience of his Son.

The second sort of righteous works that are unacceptable to God are works intended to impress man. These are the works of the Pharisees who sounded the trumpet when they gave alms. They had their reward. These are the works of the Pharisees when they sought to please themselves with their own righteousness. God has no time for self-righteous hypocrisy. No higher spiritual plane is found by ‘working the right works.’

Nevertheless, there are works that do please God.

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

There are many other passages that highlight this concept. Eph 2.8-10 tell us that salvation is not of works, but unto works that we were ordained to walk in. This is where a godly Christian ministry points the saints to. I said this, ‘Our ministry among you is to call you to a life of spiritual fervour — we aren’t satisfied with merely supplying ‘fire insurance’, i.e., ‘get out of hell free’ cards.’ We are after developing devoted saints who delight to please God and delight in the things of God rather than the things of the world.


After the morning message, two of our youngsters and I are off to Alberta for C.O.W.s – a traveling mission camp ministry that we are glad to support. While the kids are at camp, I will get to hear Dr. Bob and Stephen in Calgary, then off home to Drayton Valley to visit my parents.

Rory is preaching our afternoon message as we travel. We plan to be back next Saturday for another great day in the Lord.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3


  1. stuart says:

    Thanks for the link to our website! I will add you to my blogroll! It was great to have your kids!

    Stuart Noggle
    COWS Program Director