Vol.II No.III Pg.1
April 1965

"It's A Good Work"

Robert F. Turner

"It's a good work!" That is commendation enough for some to sponsor, finance, and extol. And, if some poor caution should question such a highly recommended project he is "against everything" -- especially "good works".

What is a "good" thing? Have we checked the use of this word in God's word, or even a "good" dictionary? By what standard, or whose, have we decided a thing is "good".

"Good" soil (LUK.8:8) like a "good" tree (MAT.7:17) refers to the character or constitution of a thing. In a moral sense, God alone is essentially, absolutely "good" (MAR.10:18).

"It is not good that man should live alone" refers not to immorality, but to "fitness"; and "good measure" means "in excess" "not deficient" (GEN.2:18; LUK.6:38). Paul said some, "by good words -- deceive the hearts of the simple" (ROM.16:18). This refers to insincere flattery. One may speak of "good" whiskey, as compared with a poor quality "bootleg"; and have no reference whatsoever to the results of partaking. And everything created by God is "good" (1TI.4:4) but this does not remove the necessity of keeping all things in place. Then there is the "good" (usually accompanied by the article in Greek) and this refers to that which is pleasing to God, and therefore beneficial (see Vine's NT Dictionary).

We are to prove the good, acceptable, perfect will of God; (ROM.12:2) do the good; (ROM.13:3) cleave to the good; (ROM.12:9) and overcome evil with the good; (ROM.12:21).

A thing is "good" for me as a Christian only if it has divine approval. It is a "good work" for the church, if it has divine authority. Christians are "bought with a price; we are servants of God (1CO.6:19). The church has Christ as its Head, and must be subject to Him (COL.1:18).

We may think a thing is "good", or erroneously conclude that the intended end justifies the means (ROM 3:8); only to find we have presumptuously spoken where God was silent, and our "good work" is empty nothing.