Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s true.
Ignorance of, or inability to distinguish God’s law from God’s gospel is a plague in the church.
“Well, it says right here in 2nd Macedonians 11 that we really ought to be doing good works to please God.”
So, then why aren’t you?
Why are we so consumed with what the Bible has to say about good works and then utterly ignore them unless it is to tell our neighbor to do them?
Have you noticed that? The do’s and don’ts of the law are never really taken seriously by the one who speaks of them. But the accusing finger is wagged in every direction but back at the self.
There is law language all over that Book. And there is gospel language all over that Book.
Should we, as Christians, ignore the law and ignore the needs of our neighbors?
Of course not! We ought jump in with both feet! We ought do all we can!
But not to aqcuire anything at all for ourselves. We already have all that is needful…in Christ. We have put on Christ in our baptisms! (Gal.3:27)
How can doing good works make you any better of a Christian than that? They can’t!
But if you mix up doing good works for the neighbor and doing good works to gain some elevated status in God’s eyes, then you may be a modern day Pharisee, and you may be in the process of cutting yourself off from God’s grace.
“We’ll then, how am I to know that I’m really a Christian?”
Remember 4/4 … Romans 4:4&5 , that is. “Now to one who works, his wages are not reckoned as a gift but his due. And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.”
Grace trumps Law… and it trumps it every time.
By the way, you are now free (because of Christ) to go out and do all the good works you want, without having to fear messing up in any way.
Your friends, family, neighbors, homeless people, old folks in nursing homes, young people in cancer wards…they could all benefit from your desire to do good works.
So…have at it!
Are you a godly worker? Or are you an ungodly truster?
Sometimes it is a hard thing to admit. But when he hung on that cross and asked the Father to “forgive them, for they know not what they do”, he was speaking about you and me, also. Not just those there in front of him.