“And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.” This saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on such truths, so that those who have placed their faith in God may be intent on engaging in good works. These things are good and beneficial for all people…..Here is another way that our people can learn to engage in good works to meet pressing needs and so not be unfruitful.” Titus 3:7-8, 14 NET
The Scripture is unequivocal in teaching that people cannot earn their way to heaven by doing good. A perfect God requires perfect obedience, which we are perfectly incapable of doing because our very nature from birth is rebellious against God and man. Jesus lived a perfect life. His nature was not corrupt at birth as ours is, so He could offer Himself as a perfect sacrifice to pay for all the disobedience of imperfect people. This offering was accepted by God the Father and proven by the resurrection of the dead by God the Son, Who is Judge and Lord over all humanity, determining the dwelling place of all people for all eternity. Those who trust Jesus for a pardon, basing their performance necessary to please God upon the works of Jesus appropriated to us, will be forgiven, and will be welcomed into eternal life with God and all those who have ever loved Him. This incredible grace and mercy received by God through Jesus are to drive us toward doing all we can to please God, Who desires all people to be reconciled to Him through Jesus the Savior. The good works we are to do are those things that help people become reconciled to God through Jesus the Savior. We bear fruit when we see lives changed from ignoring and hating God to loving and obeying God. We also are fruitful when we help those on the front lines in the world, sharing God’s story with people who have not heard of Jesus. The Great Commission is the mission of every Christian. Only the fruitful will be received in the kingdom of heaven because they truly understood the grace of God in Jesus and shared that wonderful grace with others so that others could benefit from Jesus’ work for them.