Good Works – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

Good Works

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Intro: It is important to understand the definition of good works.

First of all – they are GOOD. (Not debatable, questionable, gray area, personal preferences…)

Secondly, they are WORKS.

There is no mention of GOOD IDEAS, or GOOD INTENTIONS, or GOOD WISHES.

  • Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

They are actually performed. They are done. They are only good works ONCE YOU DO THEM.

This is not a state of being. This is DOING.


  • Not sinning is NOT good works.
  • Not doing bad works is NOT the same as doing good works.

               A. Our Example

  • John 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

               B. Our Expectation

  • Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

               C. Our Exhortation

  • Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

I. The Picture of Good Works

The verse is clear. Our good works are a light.

You let your light shine by having good works.

The brightness of your light is a direct correlation to the amount of good works.

Question: How much light is too much light?

In such a dark world, how much light is too much?

  • Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

II. The Portrayal of Good Works

There is a key truth in these verses (Matthew 5:14-16)

People need to see.

Vs. 16 “…that they may see…”

Your good works must amount to enough to be seen.

The Apostle Paul spoke of this many times.

  • Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine [shewing] uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
  • Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

III. The Product of Good Works

The purpose of our good works is to bring glory to God.

  • Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

There are multiple passages of Scripture that teach this.

  • 1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Though our good works are to be seen, that is not the primary objective.

Though our good works are to be performed as a testimony, that should not be our primary motivation.

Bringing God glory is paramount.

Conclusion: What “good works” are you doing? How bright is our light? What do men see?

Is God being glorified by your good works?