Q&A: God's Conditional Blessings?

God's Conditional Blessings?

If some of God's blessings are contingent on our obedience, does this mean that our good works contribute to our salvation?

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Answer

When we consider the role of good works in the life of the believer, we really have to think on two different levels. There is, on the one hand, the big picture, the big, redemptive, historical picture where God is working on our behalf to do what we could not do for ourselves, where we rest and trust in Christ's work on our behalf. That's the first step in recognizing the role of works in the life of the believer. But in light of that, once we rest in the work of Christ on our behalf, there is, therefore, at the actual daily level of living, the fruit of that resting which is good works in the life of the believer. And the good works in the life of the believer does produce blessing and does produce good things, good marriages, good families, good education, good community involvement… So, on the one hand, at the big level, we rest in someone else's work, the work of Christ on our behalf, but that produces fruit in our lives, and that fruit produces good works, which is the result of a greater good work. So, you have to get that priority right. It's not the lower level that affects the upper level. It's the upper level that makes the lower level possible.

Answer by Dr. Miles Van Pelt

Miles Van Pelt is Associate Professor of Old Testament and Academic Dean at the Jackson campus of Reformed Theological Seminary.