Work; Works

wurk, wurks: "To work" in the Old Testament is usually the translation of `asah, or of pa`al (of the works both of God and of man), and "work" (noun) is most frequently the translation of ma`aseh, or mela'khah; in the New Testament of energeo, ergazomai (and compound), with ergon (noun). The word "works" (erga) is a favorite designation in John for the wonderful works of Jesus (5:36; 10:38; 15:24, etc.; "miracles" to us, "works" to Him). "Works" is used by Paul and James, in a special sense, as denoting (with Paul) those legal performances by means of which men sought to be accepted of God, in contradistinction to that faith in Christ through which the sinner is justified apart from all legal works (Ro 3:27; 4:2,6, etc.; Ga 2:16; 3:2,5,10), "working through love" (Ga 5:6; 1Th 1:3), and is fruitful in all truly "good works," in which Christian believers are expected to abound (2Co 9:8; Eph 2:10; Col 1:10; 2Th 2:17, etc.). When James speaks of being justified by "works" as well as by "faith" (2Th 2:14-17), he has in view those works which show faith to be real and vital. "Dead works" avail nothing (compare Heb 9:14; 10:24). Judgment is according to "works" (Mt 16:27, the Revised Version (British and American) "deeds," margin "Greek: `doing' " praxis; Ro 2:6; 1Pe 1:17, etc.), the new life being therein evidenced. A contrast between "faith" and "good works" is never drawn in the New Testament.

See, further, JUSTIFICATION.

W. L. Walker

 
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