Today, the hosts talk amongst themselves about a topic that brings with it many common misunderstandings: the topic of good works. Some religious groups, such as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, teach that good works are a means by which a person can try to earn salvation. At the same time, it is all too common for Christians to embrace either legalism or antinomianism, placing either too much or not enough importance on good works. Thinking well about good works as a Christian requires keeping two theological categories in mind: justification and sanctification. When a person becomes a Christian, that person is declared “not guilty” before God once and for all; God saves the person monergistically, by grace through faith. However, the person is saved into the process of sanctification, the synergistic process by which one grows to be more like Jesus. As this process goes on, the Christian is able to do good works, and should be zealous to do so out of gratitude and a sense of the fittingness of doing good. As branches on the Vine (Jesus!), Christians will naturally produce grapes (good works!), and they will be driven by the worthiness of God to do the good works He has prepared for them.
These two categories of justification and sanctification must be linked, but not confused with one another. Otherwise, we lose sight of the glorious truth of the gospel! Not only that, but we lose a great tool in the work of evangelism. After all, as the hosts’ stories testify, Christians doing good works (especially not out of any need to earn something) has an effect on recipients. It silences the foolish talk of evildoers, and even draws people to glorify God.