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Works and deeds

If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not;
doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it?
And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it?
And shall not he render to every man according to his works?
Footnote 1

Will you object, ‘But look, we did not know’?
Has he who weighs the heart no understanding,
He who scans your soul no knowledge?
He himself will repay a man as his deeds deserve.
Footnote 2

If you say, "But we knew nothing about this,"
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?
Footnote 3

           Well, there goes the statement that all it takes is faith. But this is not all. There are many references to works in the Bible. Many refer to the works of God. Many refer to the works of the law. Some refer to vain pride in the works of your own hand. Most of the rest indicate that works will help. Some even indicate that works are unavoidable.

           You will find that the derogatory references to works are often pointed toward those who thought that their salvation was only through following the old laws of the Old Testament. These laws were guides to customs, food & health laws, and modes of worship. There is nothing wrong with following these customs. It was not the customs that were being condemned, but the insistence that only by following these customs could you achieve salvation.

          Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. Footnote 4

           When I refer to works, I am referring to works for others. The things you do for others without expecting any return are the only works that have any value. If the works are for yourself, then they do not qualify as good works for this purpose. This is true even if the good works happen to benefit others. This is true anytime you even think about how it may benefit yourself. This includes if you do these good works to help yourself get to Heaven.

           Only God has the purchasing power to buy you a ticket to heaven. He has bought the ticket and handed one to each person who ever lived. Are you going to use yours?

           I am writing this book not for you but for me. Therefore, it is not one of these good works, because it is for me. If you benefit from it then that is nice, but my primary purpose is my own exploration of my own faith.


1.    Proverbs 24:12 -- King James
2.    Proverbs 24:12 -- The Jerusalem Bible
1.    Proverbs 24:12 -- The New International Version
2.    John 14:12

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copyright© 2007 George L Snyder