What Good Works, Titus 3:8

Paul wrote Titus that we are to be careful to maintain good works. The obvious question should be what good works are we to maintain?

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”.  To “affirm” is to express a strong belief in or dedication to.  “Constantly” is without variation, deviation, or change, and with regular occurrence. “Careful” is an attitude of earnest concern or attention.  “Maintain” is to continue or persevere in: Carry on, Keep up.  “Profitable” is defined as yielding advantageous results.

So, Paul told Titus to constantly affirm that we believers should be careful to maintain good works.  Therefore, I’m going to do what Paul told Titus to do. 

What good works should we be doing?  The Bible gives us a very clear understanding here.  In Jn 14:12 Jesus said, “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”.  According to Jesus, the works we do are the same ones he did.

What works are these?  In Lk 4:17-19 Jesus read this passage from Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,to preach the acceptable year of the Lord”. 

He preached the gospel to the poor, Mk 1:14.  And at the end of his earthly ministry Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”, Mk 16:15.

He healed the brokenhearted, Lk 7:11-16.  Jesus healed as a sign to Israel and to restore the health of his people.  Israel’s salvation is connected with the restoration of their health, Jer 30:10, 17.

He preached deliverance to the captives, Lk 13:11-13, 17.  At his resurrection he delivered the captives in Abraham’s bosom, Eph 4:8.  And we can help to deliver captives, 2 Tim 2:24-26

He preached recovering of sight to the blind, Jn 9:24-25.  And we can help the blind to see, 2 Cor 4:4-6.

He set at liberty them that were bruised.  Ps 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.  And, by preaching Jesus, we can help sinners find liberty, Jn 8:32-36, 2 Cor 3:17.

He preached the acceptable year of the Lord.  Yet, Israel wouldn’t accept their Messiah when he first came.  For us in 2 Cor 6:2, “now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation”.

Do you see how most of these things are connected directly to preaching the gospel?  In other words, there are many good things that we can do.  But ultimately, the good things that God wants us to do involve preaching the gospel to the lost.

But we’re not Jesus.  So, how can we do these works?  You must first see that it was not Jesus but rather the Father that did the works through Jesus.  In Jn 10:32, “Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me”?  Jn 14:10 “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works”.

And in the same way that the Father did these through Jesus, he will likewise do the works through us.  Jesus said in Jn 14:12, “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”.

God ordained that we should walk in good works.  We are created in Jesus to do them.  Eph 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”.  Titus 2:14 says, “who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works”.

You ask, then why am I not doing these things?  One distinct possibility is that you are not throughly furnished in his word.  2 Tim 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”.  The Father’s work in us is inseparable from the words of God in us.  Notice how many of the good thingss Jesus did in Lk 4 were connected with preaching.  In other words, must be in his words, to see his works.  In Jn 14:10, the words and the works are connected.  So, get into his words and let him do his works through you.

Conclusion.  Finally, as we saw in Titus 3:8, “These things are good and profitable unto men”.  The good works are profitable to men and they are fruitful in us.  Titus 3:14 says, “And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful”.  So, God gets his good works done through us for necessary uses and allows us to be fruitful in them.  The Father is glorified when we bear fruit.  Jn 15:8, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples”.

For more on this topic, see the Sunday school lesson on this passage titled Maintain Good Works.