Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
Get all the Soul Foods online @:http://www.olivebranchministries.us
Created To Do Good Works
Ephesians 2:8-10:For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Romans 2:5-7,10: But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds'': eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;"…. but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."
When we become born again, we are new creatures. We are born again into good works, because the life and love of God dwells in our heart. We are not born again because we do good works, we do good works because we are born again!
Exactly what is meant by good works? Surprisingly it is not exactly what you may think!
The first good work we are to do is described in the Book of James.
James 1:22: "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
We are to know what God expects of us and to do it. We are to be familiar with the Word of God, His commandments and follow them, not because we have to, but because we want to! When we are doers of the Word it opens the doors for Father God to bless us in every way He promises in His Word.
It is a choice we make to be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
Deuteronomy 11:26-27: "Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: "the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today;"
We can also find another good work described for us again in the Book of James.
James 4:7-8,10: Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded….Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
We must submit ourselves, our thoughts, and control of our lives to God. We are to be obedient to the commandments Jesus gave us and to the truths He personified while here on earth. Jesus death on the cross redeemed us from the curse of the law, but it also fulfilled the law, making the truths given apply to our daily lives. We need to understand and grasp this important fact. One of the ways is to cleanse ourselves of all unrighteousness and resist the devil and his wiles. We decide not to yield to temptation.
Psalms 119:59-60: I thought about my ways, And turned my feet to Your testimonies. I made haste, and did not delay To keep Your commandments.
When you go after God, seek Him with all your heart, listen to His Word and be guided by It, the enemy must flee from you, it. It is a promise of God! And you will emerge Victorious! Humble yourself before God and He will lift you up.
There are many ways you must resist the enemy after you have humbly submitted to God. You refuse to allow anger or strife to enter a situation, you refuse to allow doubt or unbelief cloud your thoughts. You refuse to walk in unforgiveness. You refuse the temptation to spend your money on alcohol or drugs. You refuse to gossip, you refuse to hate. You yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit and follow God’s Word and the devil will flee from you and your situation.
Romans 6:12-13: Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
It is a choice we all have to make, to maintain that right relationship with God.
When we make these choices and walk the path God has purposed for us, we must decide that God’s Word is true, and speak and act like it is true. We cannot be doubleminded!
Mark 11:22-24: So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, `Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says. "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Faith is an action, not a thought. It is practiced in 3 ways, you believe God’s Word, you say God’s Word and then you act like God’s Word is true. The greatest example of this is the moment you were born again. You believed in your heart that Jesus was the Son of God, died and rose again. You believed, you spoke it with your mouth and then prayed the prayer of salvation and acted on this belief and you were born again.
Romans 10:8-10: But what does it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart'' (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.
Doing the Good Works we were created into, means believing that God’s Word is true, saying it is true and acting like it is true!
This action of faith makes us more than conquerors, we have now become overcomers!
Romans 8:37: Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us
1 John 2:13-14: I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.
1 John 4:4: You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 5:4-5: For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Yes, because we are born again and the life and power of God dwells in us, we are overcomers. We can overcome any situation through our faith in Jesus who loves us. We overcome the traps of the enemy by our belief in Jesus as the born again Son of God. Upon His death and resurrection, the enemy was defeated and the victory was won!
Colossians 2:15: "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it."
We as believers need to realize and accept that Satan is a defeated foe, Jesus won our victory on Calvary.
We need to walk in that victory.
The wonderful thing about God, is that His promises are true. He makes us promises and if we are obedient, we will receive rewards now and in heaven.
Revelations 2:7,11,17,26: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God…. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death… He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it…..
When we were "saved" we were not saved out of something, but into something. We were born again into eternal life with God the Father and into good works. The time spent here on earth is time in training. To prepare us to walk in the blessing of God now and to prepare us for our future in heaven.
1 Timothy 6:18-19: Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
One of the most important things we have to learn is how to walk in love one towards another. This was the only Commandment Jesus gave to us and we are expected to follow it!
Matthew 22:36-39: "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, " You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
1 John 2: 8-11: Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
When we do the works of God, the good deeds that we associated with "good works", will naturally follow. We want to help others, intercede for others, and help with church activities. We want to share the Gospel with others, we want to lead others to Christ and we want to be a blessing to others. We do this because we "are born into good works"
If you do not know Jesus as your savior, if you have not been born again, then I urge you to pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37), So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "… with the heart one believes to righteousness…" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.