Good deeds

This is a quite short sermon about one Bible verse.

Consider the verse (Eph. 2:10) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.”

Some preachers conclude from it that we should do not every kind of good deeds, but only these for which God has given us a revelation to do it. Their logic is understandable as the verse is about “good works, which God prepared before”.

But I interpret this verse differently.

Recall that I believe in multiplicity of meanings of the Bible, that is one verse may have several senses, and among them there is not one correct translation or correct interpretation, but there are several correct translations and several correct interpretations. See my other sermon named “Bible interpretation”.

I will repeat the verse which we study: (Eph. 2:10) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.”

In this verse there is the word “which”. In English this word has double meaning and, as far as I understand, the same is true for Greek which New Testament was written in.

The first meaning: “created only for these good works, which God prepared before.” Still, as it seems, the interpretation remains unchanged.

But there is the second meaning: “created for good works, all of which God prepared before”.

The second meaning says that all of our good works were prepared to use by God. If a Christian does a good deed, this deed was prepared for him by God, independently on whether the man or woman knows this.

This is like a prayer of repentance: If a person accepts the sacrifice of Christ for his sins, then he is destined by God to salvation in advance. It looks like that a person can himself choose Christ, but in fact it is that God chose this person in advance, before creation of the world. Likewise every good deed is predestined in advance.

It may seems that in my logic there is a contradiction: I state that all good works of a believer are predestined by God, but we already concluded that we should do only these good works which were predestined by God. In fact here there is not any contradiction, because all good deeds of a believer were predestined. Thus, when it is state that we are to do only predestined works, this means that we are to do all good works, because all good works are predestined.

Moreover not to do any good deed which we can do is a sin: (Jam. 4:17) “To him therefore who knows to do good, and doesn’t do it, to him it is sin.” This means that we should do all good which we can (within our forces and capabilities).

If Christians did all good which they can, the world would be quite different.

And one more confirmation of my concept:

In my free time I do scientific research in mathematics and computers. That is I am a scientist.

One of the main parts of the profession of a scientist is to choose a topic for research by himself. A correct choice of a topic for a research is a half of success.

But if a scientist did only these works about which he received a revelation from God, it would mean that he denies the most important thing in his profession, the choice. A scientist isn’t a prophet which should say only what God said to him.

In some degree this also applies to businessmen: One of the main parts of the profession of a businessman is to choose a profitable sphere of business. We should not lay every decision on God and stop to think ourselves.

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