Can Good Works Save You?

If good works cannot save us, then why does the Bible encourage us to do good works? Is it possible that good works save you after all, or is there something else to learn from these verses?  #WomenLivingWell #Bible #Salvation

Today we complete our reading in the book of Titus and next week we will conclude the “Truth In Love” series with a discussion about “wolves in sheep’s clothing”.

Let’s read through Titus 3 together…

Titus 3

 1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

According to verses 1 & 2, what 7 Christian duties are we obligated to live out in our lives?

Examine your own life, does the world see this holy living in you?

3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

Remember your former condition.

4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

According to verse 5, can good works save you?

How does the above passage say we are saved?

8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

According to verse 8, what should those who believe devote themselves to?

So which is to come first, salvation or good works?

9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Who or what should we avoid according to verses 9 & 10?

According to verse 10, should you confront this sort of person and should you remain in fellowship with them?

Why should we avoid them according to verses 9 & 11?

12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer andApollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. 15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.

In closing, what is Paul’s final admonition to his faithful friends in verse 14?

Dear reader, if you are depending on your good works or a good life – to get you into heaven, you are being misled.  John 3: 16 says – that God loved us so much, He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish but have eternal life.

I encourage you to read again verses 4-7:

4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

No amount of good works can save us from the sin that is in our lives. Only the blood of Jesus shed on the cross can cover over our sins and make us right with God.  Repent of your sins and place your trust in Christ today and be saved!

Chime In:  Do you have a sure hope of eternal life? We’d love to hear your testimony in the comment section so we can rejoice in your salvation with you!

Walk with the King,


The other posts in this series:
Speaking the Truth In Love
The Authority of Scripture and 5 Ways to Defend Truth
The Ultimate Cultural Sin –Intolerance
How to Respond to the Labels – Intolerant, Judgmental, and Hater
What is Sound Doctrine?
Should Christians Simply Unite Around the Gospel?
Can a Woman Be an Elder or Pastor?
Should a Wife Submit To Her Husband?
Can Good Works Save You?
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing


  1. Yes I have the assurance of eternal life because of what Jesus did for me. Having said that I feel that we, as Christians, are called for works of mercy out of our response to what Jesus did for us. Our works do not save us but that doesn’t mean we just sit around and do nothing to help those around us.

  2. “Almost every page in the New Testament emphasizes the need for us to work the works of righteousness. However, many churches teach that our works are unnecessary. I’ve been told that I need to “confess the Lord Jesus Christ with my mouth” and that I would be saved. I have done that. However… is not the act of me opening my mouth and confessing the Lord’s name a work in and of itself? Do I not need to repent? What of baptism or serving others? Can I honestly do none of those things and expect to be received into the Kingdom of God? Every logical bone in my body tells me that the only way I can show my faith in God is to do the works that He has asked me to do. Throw Revelation 22:12 and Revelation 20:12 on top of that logic and I can see no logic in someone telling me that I do not need to do any works as a servant of Jesus Christ.” – Greg Timble

  3. His grace and mercy covers and comfort me. I don’t work for God because I want to be save, I work because He already bought me with His blood and saved me. Whatever work it’s to let you “know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind”Numbers 16:28.

    God as call me to “Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations” 1 Chronicles 16:24. I need to work for God, not work for myself to be save, because only what I do for God matters.

    Peace to all.

    1. This is a beautiful reply. He bought me, and for that I am so grateful. I want to spend my whole life trying to “pay” Him back knowing it could never be enough, that my “works” are filthy rags in comparison. But, I love Him so much how could I want to do anything else. And what has He commanded me to do? To love Him and to love His people! Could anything bring more joy?! And how could I not want to tell people about Him? He is true joy. And everyone needs some more of that.

  4. When I was staking my eternity on being a good person or even my prayer to “ask Jesus into my heart”, I continued to have doubts. When I was honest with myself I had to admit that I sinned frequently and still do (the little ones do count – James 2:10) and I often worried that I hadn’t said the right words in my prayer or been sincere enough. Then I came to the realization that it was the Lord’s work, not mine, that saved me (as the above verses say). The work needed to save was finished once and for all by The Lord on the cross (John 19:30) and God accepted the full payment then and there (Isaiah 53:11). Thinking I can add something to what His Son already did is a blantant travesty! There is peace in not having to guess how good is good enough.

    Once saved, the seed of salvation in a person’s soul will produce fruit. A child of God should want to be model their Father’s behavior and will seek opportunities to show the same kind of love and compassion for others that He has had on us. The Word of God never teaches doing good things as a way to secure Heaven, but it does teach (throughout the book of James and elsewhere) that what we do does reflect our unseen inner change of heart. An unchanged life should make us examine whether we ever had real life at all (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    1. Oh wow! I feel I could have written almost exactly what Dee wrote. This is why sharing your personal testimony is what was intended, so we can learn and grow from others experiences. I was saved at a young age probably 7 or 8, I can’t tell you the date or time, but I prayed for god to save me in my bedroom by myself with a precious moments bible. I never told anyone about it and honestly I am sure I prayed that prayer handful or times after that because I didn’t know if I had “done it right.” Fast forward to junior high at church camp. I honestly and this sounds horrible but I hated church camp every summer, mostly I would get a depressed feeling being constantly confronted with the feeling that I wasn’t sure, was I really already saved, while the altar call was being done over and over. So one night along with several other girls in our cabin, I this time publicly asked Jesus into my heart once more and that’s when I followed in believers baptism. Ever since then I have believed and felt saved but every now and then I would get a feeling that maybe I said it wrong, wasn’t sincere enough, my experience was kind of dull in comparison to a miraculous moment.. And the main thing even after all these years I am now 28.. Is I sometimes wonder if there is a chance I wasn’t saved bc I should know which time out of the 2 times was I the most sincere. When my amazing preacher started the altar call (yesterday!) and telling us to make sure we are sure, my heart started pounding in my chest like never before. I went down to talk with one of the pastors and since then I have prayed and read that the bible says he paid it all with his blood, all I do is believe and ask . He did all the work. I have always heard it but it has new meaning. It is that simple. I know now in my heart I believed as a young child, I don’t know what to call the 2nd experience , maybe a recommitment? I know there had to be people that struggle with the same issue as I have when they get saved as a child. The devil had been holding this doubt over my head for so long , I think God just finally allowed my near panic attack out of the blue at the altar call bc he wanted me to face it and know why I know I am saved. 🙂 I prayed today to God and told him I know he is enough and I believe when he said have faith and come to him so I know my salvation is real and to remove satans lies and I got a peace that I am so blessed to have. Sorry for the novel girls but I really had to share. Thanks for reading and for your comments:)

  5. I just wanted to tell you Courtney how much I am enjoying these posts. So far I have agreed with you on each one but even if I didn’t it wouldn’t matter. I would still respect what you are doing, letting the Word speak, being bold for Christ. I know the internet can be discouraging to people trying to be a light. Just wanted you to know someone really appreciates what you are doing!

  6. Amen! I know that I know that I know that I’m saved – redeemed by the blood of the Lamb! When I was growing up I’d usually go to church with my dad’s parents. I found out later that my parents used to go also but a bad experience turned my dad off from going. I didn’t know all the differences or reasons then, I just knew I liked going to Sunday School & seeing friends. After my dad’s parents passed (grandma @ 7, grandpa during early teens) I didn’t go as much & not to same church. My mom’s aunt invited us to go with her, so mom, her mom, & I went with but pretty much mostly on special occasions or around holidays. Then as I got older, graduated from high school, etc., life “took over” for a few years. It was while I was going thru my divorce that God intervened in a way that changed my life forever. A friend who was trying to help resolve things, then saw/revealed some detrimental news, encouraged me (with my son) to go to church again. He helped us & we visited a few but just didn’t seem like “the place” – then I remembered the one my great aunt belonged to. We went & knew it was where we were supposed to be. I’m not sure how long after that it was, but one evening when he & I were talking, he asked me an important question… “if something were to happen to you right now, do you know for certain – without a doubt – that you would go to heaven?” My answer was ‘no’ & that night he led me thru Scripture & to Christ! That was in April 1994, I was baptized Oct 30, 1994, he came forward to be & was baptized in April 1995, we were married May 1995, he surrendered to the ministry in Aug/Sept 1995, a couple years later we led my son (our son – he adopted him as his own) & he got to baptize him, & we served in that church for 16 years before God led us to that same church’s mission work an hour south for about 2 years & then led us to where we are now – he pastors a small church in central New York.

  7. Thank you for the speaking the truth in love. I am a sinner saved by the grace of God! My works are as filthy rags without the shed blood of Christ covering me. Because I am a new creature in Christ I strive to obey His Word AKA good works. I am by no means perfect, but I am perfectly forgiven. Praise His holy name!

  8. I am reminded of a woman who was always pointing out what she had done or was doing for someone in the congregation or a committee or a project or the poor, etc. One day the pastor took her aside and tried to speak with her about the constant need of affirmation she was displaying to anyone that would listen to her. He used Titus verses to gently lead her into a more positive outlook, but she became highly offended. She screamed at him and said he would regret losing such a “good” parishioner. It was a sad awakening for me to realize that she had been basing her life on her “goodness” and it made me look at mine closer. Was I thinking my “good works” were paying for my little sins like gossiping over the garden fence, or bucking my husbands decisions behind his back, or the little white lie to get out of something uncomfortable? It was an eye opener and I have never forgotten the lesson. When God makes things so clear, it is amazing how quickly we can muck it up with our own need to interpret His will. Thank you Courtney, for bringing that lesson to the forefront.

  9. I am saved by grace through faith that the Holy Spirit gives me. I am unable to save myself–that is why I need a Savior! Thanks be to God that He loved me enough to provide salvation!

    In response, I want to become closer to Him, and when He works through me–that is how I can do anything good.

    Thank you for showing us the Word of God–not someone’s opinion or such–just His Word.

    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  10. I know and believe that my eternal Salvation is secure.
    I have a blessed Hope that one day I will meet my Savior.
    I believe what the Word of God says and I trust God at His Word!

    These things can only be revealed to us through the Holy Spirit.
    Scriptures that remind me of this surety, which I memorized as a child are:

    Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are you saved through faith, it is not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so no one can boast! (So in other words God will share His glory with no one).

    Romans 10:9-10 That if we confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    Take the dying thief on the cross he ‘essentially’ asked for forgiveness of his sins (“Jesus remember me”). Jesus forgave him, and accepted him into paradise, but he had no time for any works of righteousness or baptism. Though this shouldn’t be an excuse to anyone to not “work the works” if Christ reveals Himself to them while there is time (which applies to most).

    The sooner we come to know Christ the more time we have to bear fruit for His name. These are public declarations to the world that we are new creations in Christ, and want to walk circumspect before God. How many will be saved in deathbed prayer situations like this? God is merciful!

    For a long-standing Christian, Salvation comes first, then good works and the characteristics of a changed nature followed in the life of the true believer. Good works, and fruits of righteousness are an outwork ing of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

    When we love God and have put our trust in Him we want to please Him, and bring forth much good fruit…and good works. It’s after this life that we will then receive awards and blessings from God from how much good fruit we bring forth.

  11. I am also secure in my salvation. Romans 3:23 tells us that we are all sinners and Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin in death. We will be separated from God unto eternal death unless we are saved from that death by the blood of Christ. Eph 1:7-8 ” In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;” and Eph 2:8-9 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” The Bible also tells us to rightly divide God’s word in 2 Timothy 2:15. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.” We need to divide God’s word by looking at WHO it was written to. The comments above about–all through Jesus’s life scripture talks of works is simply not something we can take as our own. The Apostle Paul says that he is the apostle to us today. Matt-John were written to the Israelites. This is the same idea as looking at Genesis and saying that we should build another ark or slaughter animals. There are different portions of scripture written TO us. While it is all written FOR us, for our understanding and knowledge. “All scripture is 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.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Not all scripture, is written TO us. There are many rules and regulations that were given to the Israelites and not to us today. We are indeed saved into eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord and not through anything that we do. The doing can be after but it is as “filthy rags” to God until we are His. Isaiah talks of (in 64:6) how he sees the sinner, sinners of all times. He says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Thankfully we can be clean of these rags and be promised eternal life! 🙂 Thanks for proclaiming it!!

  12. Are homosexuals who are in same-sex “marriages” also saved, if they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and believe in Him?

    1. Well first before we answer this “very controversial in our society” question let’s look at what the Word of God tells us about the practice of homosexuality.

      I’m going against the grain of what society thinks here, but I’m standing by the Word of God, as I believe it to be absolute truth!

      Gen 19. God destroyed the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because they were practicing this particular sin which in Gods eyes is immoral. The people there had reached the lowest form of degradation.

      Leviticus 18:22 Thou shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind, it is an abomination.

      Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was due.

      God can and will forgive us of our sins. When we repent of our sinful lifestyles, also we must turn away from it completely. The Holy Spirit helps us to do this if we ask Him.

      Just as a repentant murderer has to stop murdering. A repentant thief has to stop stealing..etc….
      Yes all will be Saved who call upon His name and turn away from sin.

      Romans 6:23 for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    2. I will ditto to what Emma said.

      Annie, I don’t know if you’re asking this question for yourself or someone else, but if you long to be saved by God and be in eternity with him one day I pray that you (if it’s you) will make a 180 turn from this sin. God gave us our minds and hearts ways to be attracted to people, but he wants us to use those tools to honor him. One man and one woman today. I encourage you to read 2 Cor. 10. Especially vs 5 speaks to me when I have any sort of ungodly thought in my mind… “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

      If you are seeking help to turn in a Godly direction… one resource is a gal that I recently met who spoke to our church’s teens at a retreat and then to people in our congregation who wanted to attend this meeting to hear her story was Sally Gary. You can find her info at

      Please use the bible as your first resource and pray for God to bless you with wisdom while seeking Truth.

  13. I just had to put a shout out that I LOVE this series… Amen, amen, amen Courtney! Thanks for being bold! Thanks for being loving! Thanks for calling it out like it’s written, girl! 🙂 Hugs from Maryland!

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