Do Our Works Have Value?

“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 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. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.

When I started writing again a couple of weeks ago, I said there would be bumps in the road. And here’s my first, a missed deadline.

Sorry for posting late. I was actually going to write about something else, but decided that topic needed more finesse and time to put together. So, I’ll work on it and present it next week if all goes well.

We know from the gospel itself as well as supporting teachings from the Apostle Paul that salvation is a total gift of grace. Which means we can’t earn it or do anything on our own to acquire it.

That can be a hard thing to accept. We want to be in control. I’ve heard it said many times by many people that the hardest part of receiving Christ is that they can’t believe they aren’t in control of their own destinies. They can’t accept that their works won’t gain them entrance to heaven.

But are works totally worthless? Do works have any value or serve any purpose in the Christian life? And should we strive to do good works?

Paul gives us the answer in Ephesians and 1 Corinthians.

We aren’t saved by good works, but for good works. Until Christ resides in our hearts, none of our works have value. They may do something for someone here on earth, but they have no eternal value, nor will they count for us in any desirable way.

But once we’re saved and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Christ works through us giving what we do real value. We become His hands and feet as it were.

Yet we must remember that it all comes from Him. Jesus said He was the vine and we were the branches. Without Him we can do nothing. We abide in Him, He works through us, and He can achieve miraculous things with us.

So where do our works come into play? Jesus said that men would give an account of every idle word on the day of judgment. I believe that means our works as well.

And Paul outlines how that will play out. Our works will be put through the fire of Jesus’s judgment. Those that have been done for Him will be made of gold, silver, and precious stones which means they can withstand the fire. Those that are selfish in nature or otherwise considered worthless will be wood, hay, and stubble and will burn into nothing.

Paul also reinforces the fact that our salvation is by grace and not of works by sharing what happens if one has no works of value. If someone’s works are all made of flammable material and burn up in the fire, he will have no works left, but he himself will still be saved.

This is what Jesus meant when He said to lay up treasure for yourself in heaven. The works we do after we know Him will be awarded back to us after being judged by Him.

So what will we do with all of the gold, silver, and precious stones? If we’ll have all we need, why would we need material possessions?

“the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne.” Revelation 4:10

Personally I think they will be building material. Our works for Christ will be converted to material with which we can craft crowns to gift back to Him. And like the twenty-four elders, we’ll be able to lay them before the throne.

Yes, our works have value. They bring glory to Christ. So stay connected to Him and allow Him to do great works through you.

Do you know Jesus? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? According to scripture, all anyone must do is recognize their sin condition, realize that Christ died to pay for that sin, and ask Him to save them from it. Salvation is a gift of grace we receive by faith. Meet Him today! Contact me at if you need more information.

Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think!

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