GOOD WORKS FOREORDAINED
“Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37
Sometimes good works are not what you think they should be. He has foreordained the works of the man He is making to end at perfection (Matt. 5:48). He has been ahead of me preparing the place to which I am coming, manipulating all the resources of the universe in order that the work I do may be a part of His whole great and gracious work, working together with Him (2 Cor. 6:1, 4-5). God has foreordained good works. He has prearranged the forces of nature and the facts of life so that when I rise in the morning and begin to make my effort, it may be an effort in harmony with His character, a good work, whether I preach or play, whether I labor for pleasure or profit.
In the discovery of this fact lies the conviction which makes a man ready to submit wholly to the will of God. Joseph said to his brethren in the midst of their sorrow for the wrong they had previously done him, "It was not you that sent me hither, but God." In that moment—perhaps previously he had seen it—in that moment he confessed the fact that the pit, the brutality, the exile, the imprisonment, and the long waiting were all foreordained of God. They were all part of the "good works" which God had prepared for him. Or, if I may most reverently quote the utmost instance of this thing, and bring you to that moment when Jesus of Nazareth stood confronting the power of the world in the person of Pilate, I hear Him saying, "To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." (John 18:37) The latter words I am not careful to deal with now, but I ask you to notice Christ's great conception that there was purpose in His life, arrangement made beforehand. There is another word which He said to Pilate, "Thou wouldest have no power against Me, except it were given thee from above." There He stood amid all the darkness and brutality, and travail and pain, and agony of an hour of overwhelming defeat, conscious that God had foreordained the works of all the days. He came to tragedy and to suffering and pain, regnant, mighty, sublime, because He knew that all were part of the "good works, which God afore prepared that He should walk in them."