Work of God

Doing the work of God

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JOHN 6 BIBLE STUDY
11-13 Twelve Baskets
14-17 The Prophet
18-21 Do Not Be Afraid
22-25 Seeking Jesus

26-29 Work of God

30-34 Bread From Heaven
35-71 I Am the Bread of Life
JOHN 6:26-29  26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, ye seek Me, not because ye saw the signs, but because ye ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” 28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom He sent.”

What is Jesus saying in John 6:26?
You appreciated the feeding miracle (see "Twelve Baskets") but not what it pointed to. You're here for the wrong reason.

What about in John 6:27?
Don't work for physical goods that don't last. Work for me (see John 5:27 notes for "Son of Man"), and I will give you "everlasting life."

What does it mean to work for God?
“This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:29)

Believe what about Him?
That He is God who so loved us that He paid the death penalty for our sins, and then rose from the dead to prove His deity, and that we have access to heaven because of what He did for us.

But to go to heaven, don't we still have to do something in addition to believing that?
"For by grace ye have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law." (Romans 3:27-28)

Does that mean that we shouldn’t get involved in any works? Don’t they matter?
They do, but please read 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 carefully: "9 For we are God’s fellow workers; ye are God’s field, ye are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." The "fire" in 1 Corinthians 3:13 is not the fire of hell since this is addressed to Christians or "God's fellow workers" (1 Corinthians 3:9) above. The "Day" in the same verse is the day when Christians die and stand before Jesus\, not to be judged between heaven and hell but to receive in heaven their "reward" based on their "works" on earth, and the "fire" represents the adjudicating eyes of the Jesus: "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first." If you look carefully at the items listed in 1 Corinthians 3:13, the first three - "gold, silver, precious stones" - are those that will make it through the fire, and represent the works done from a true intent to bring glory to God, while the next three items - "wood, hay, straws" - are those that will be consumed by the flames and represent the works done from a heart to glorify oneself or anyone else besides God. If you bring a mountain of work but they were all done to bring glory to yourself, you will lose your reward in (not "of") heaven, while someone who brings a handful of works that were truly done to glorify Jesus will get his rewards. But here is a very important point: 1 Corinthians 3:15 says that even if your mountain of works counts for nothing, you yourself still "will be saved."  Why? Because salvation from sin and into heaven is a free gift from God that doesn't depend on your works. You can't work your way into a free gift. All you can do is to receive it, sincerely thank the Giver, and try your best to live your life to honor and glorify Him.

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