This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that you affirm constantly…
I. THE NECESSITY OF GOOD WORKS IN REGARD TO OURSELVES.
1. The practice of good works is necessary to prove the reality and sincerity of our faith. Faith or belief is a hidden principle which no man can see, and there is no other way of testifying that we possess this principle, but by the benevolent sentiments which it breathes, and the good actions which it prompts us to perform.
2. Good works are necessary to promote our moral improvement, We know very well that there is such an indissoluble connection between a true faith and eternal salvation, that the man who is a sincere believer will be justified and sanctified and glorified; but his sanctification is entirely distinct from, and is only a consequence of, his faith and justification. It is therefore necessary that the principle of a Divine life should operate in transforming him from glory to glory, and from one degree of religious and moral improvement unto another, until he be conformed to the image of the Son of God, and attain to the measure of the stature of a perfect man in Christ Jesus. It is not merely necessary that he should cease to do evil; but he must learn to do well. In short, by a diligent and unremitting attention to the duties of religion and morality, he must cultivate the principle of universal righteousness and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord.
3. Good works are necessary to qualify us for heaven. They are necessary to form us to the temper and disposition of Christ, who went about continually doing good; in order that the same mind may be also in us that was in Him; for we may depend upon it, that if we have not the spirit of the Lord Jesus, we are assuredly none of His.
II. HOW THESE THINGS ARE GOOD AND PROFITABLE UNTO MEN.
1. These works are good, because they flow from a faith or belief in the command of God, and are done from a principle of conformity to His will.
2. But the apostle trot only characterises these things as good, he also affirms that they are profitable unto men. We shall, therefore, conclude, by briefly pointing out how these good works are especially profitable to those to whom they are performed; and we are espressly enjoined in Scripture to do good to all men as far as we have opportunity. Now, all who believe in God have it in their power, more or less, to do good to the bodies and. the souls of men. This is one substantial reason why we are required to prove our faith by our works. He has ordained many to be rich, and more to be poor, that those to whom He has been bountiful might glorify Him with His own. He has bestowed wisdom and knowledge upon many, that they should instruct the ignorant, reclaim the wandering, and those who are out of the way. He commands us to defend the fatherless and plead for the widow; to be the stranger's shield and the orphan's stay; to relieve the oppressed; to pour the balm of consolation into the wounded spirit; to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, that the blessing of those who are ready to perish may come upon us.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: This saying is faithful, and concerning these things I desire that you affirm confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men;