Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God (Hebrews 13:16)
We come to an end of this short series of emails looking at a small passage in the seventeenth century book “All Things for Good” by Thomas Watson. If you are interested, you may find it here. As he draws to a close, this great Puritan writer discusses the influence we might bring to bear upon others.
Christianity is not a private affair, but is lived out in the public sphere. As God has done good for us, so we do good for others and thereby win influence for the gospel. We are saved to do good works in the name of Christ. Note: saved to do good works, not saved by good works! We are to be a sweet ornament to wider society, and a spreader of God’s grace.
This is the ordinary life of the Christian, a life lived out in wider society and a life which reflects the grace of God. Jesus uses the imagery of salt when describing this: as salt preserves and brings flavour, so must we.
As Mary poured the ointment on Christ, so by good works we pour ointments on the head of the gospel, and make it give forth a fragrant smell. Good works, though they are not causes of salvation — yet they are evidences. When with our Saviour we go about doing good, and send abroad the refreshing influence of our liberality, we walk worthy of our high calling.