Works righteousness.

Works righteousness [wərks RĪ•čəs•nəs, noun/adj.] Attempt to earn or merit a right standing (with God or others) through good behavior.

When kindness and love for humanity was revealed by our savior God, it wasn’t from the righteous things we’d done. Instead, he saved us from his mercy, by the Holy Spirit’s washing, rebirth, and renewal. He richly poured out the Spirit on us, through our savior Christ Jesus. Because we’re declared righteous by that grace, we can become his heirs, and have the hope of eternal life.


As Paul told Titus, we aren’t saved by our good deeds. As far as salvation is concerned, our good deeds—which we should’ve been doing anyway, and in no way make up for our evil—are rubbish. We’re saved entirely by God’s grace. And now that we have, as Paul told the Ephesians—

You’re saved by grace, through a faith which doesn’t come from you: It’s God’s gift. It doesn’t come from doings; nobody can brag about it. We’re God’s poetry, composed in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things God got ready for us, and walk in them.


We were saved by grace so we could do good deeds. We clearly weren’t saved by those good deeds; let’s make that as clear as Paul did. We’re saved by grace. But the product of being saved should be walking in the path God laid out for us.

Problem is, whenever we do just that, and encourage others to do likewise, we regularly get accused of “works righteousness.”

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