Good Works and Free Will


Good works, apart from Christ, are worthless. As Isaiah says in chapter 64, ” all our righteous acts are like filthy rags”. This is why I think that without Christ Jesus, none of our “good” works are really all that good. When religions say that you can “work” your way to heaven by making sure that your “good” acts outweigh your bad ones, I say that their good acts are really bad ones? Why do I say that? Well, because when they do the good acts they are not doing them out of love. They are doing them out of self-preservation. They are doing them so that “I can go to heaven”. I also think that when a good act occurs it has nothing to do with the individual. Philippians 2:13 says that “it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Therefore it is really God who is doing the good act and it it only the individual displaying it. God willed the individual to desire to do the good work. Therefore, when and individual displays a good work it is really God who is doing it. This means that an individual does nothing and God does everything and therefore the individual’s salvation by works is controlled by the One and Only.

You may wonder how then we have free will. Well, and again I cannot say “this is what it is”, but I can take a shot (and this is not necessarily what I believe, but is the only way I can explain it when going through with this thought train). We have free will; and when Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden they had free will to choose God’s ways or Their ways. And when they chose the bad option, they lost their privilege of free will. They became enslaved to the sinful nature and no longer had the power to choose good. But God can and does! And He chose every elected individual and enabled them to have the privilege of free will again (no longer enslaved by the sinful nature). Now that we are in Christ we can choose good once again! Only by his grace, however, are we able to do this.

Another thought, we have free will (even when we are enslaved) in the sense that we can and do make decisions everyday (neutral decisions).

With this thought train it seems that free will and election are both possible when coexistent.

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This entry was posted in Election/ Predestination, Free Will, Sin/ Morality and tagged , , , , , by Hudson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Hudson

I live in Indiana. I enjoyed playing soccer all four years of high school. I co-captained and won the MVP award my senior year. I also have created many film projects, the most extensive of which won a film festival award for Best Cinematography during my senior year. It is a 10-minute short film called Café Encounter and can be watched on YouTube. I have been actively involved in my youth group and am a leader for a middle school boys group on Sunday mornings. I was also blessed to go on two mission trips to Belize and Ecuador respectively. Belize really awakened my faith in Christ and pushed me towards active obedience and love for God. Ecuador gave me a life-changing perspective on missionary work and has helped me to view myself as a missionary in my every day life, but especially with the intent of being a missionary to my work industry.

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