“Good works” vs. “works of the Law”. We must not confuse the importance of maintaining good works with the equally vital truth that we are not to pursue a righteousness based upon “works of the Law”. Consider Paul’s very strong exhortation to Titus – “This is a faithful word and concerning these things I desire you to strongly affirm, in order that those who have believed in God should maintain good works.”
“Maintain” here is a word meaning – “to practice as a profession.” These good works that we are to practice are not “works of the law”, but acts of compassion that flow out of faith working through love – especially “the love of the brethren.” Paul reaffirmed the urgency of maintaining good works as he closed his letter to Titus – “And let our people learn to practice as a profession (maintain) good works unto urgent needs.” Since Paul urged that all believers be taught to maintain good works, we must not allow misguided men take away from this urgency by confusing good works of faith with “dead works of the Law.”
Paul taught that Jesus came to redeem us from all lawlessness – and to purify to Himself a people zealous of good works. In light of this truth, never let men negate the importance of maintaining good works. These good works have nothing to do with “works of the Law”, they are “works of faith” that flow out of brotherly love. We are not saved “BY” maintaining good works, but we are saved “TO” practice them as a profession!
Maintaining the good works of meeting the urgent needs of our brethren is “a trustworthy saying” that Titus and the rest of us are to take thought to strongly affirm. May we become just as zealous for maintaining good works as Paul urged Titus to make those saints under his care!