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Easton's Bible Dictionary
The objection has no validity. The gospel of salvation by grace shows that good works are necessary. It is true, unchangeably true, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. "Neither adulterers, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards" shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Works are "good" only when, (1) they spring from the principle of love to God. The moral character of an act is determined by the moral principle that prompts it. Faith and love in the heart are the essential elements of all true obedience. Hence good works only spring from a believing heart, can only be wrought by one reconciled to God (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:18:22 ).).
Good works are an expression of gratitude in the believer's heart (John 14:15,23; Galatians 5:6 ). They are the fruits of the Spirit (Titus 2:10-12 ), and thus spring from grace, which they illustrate and strengthen in the heart.
Good works of the most sincere believers are all imperfect, yet like their persons they are accepted through the mediation of Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:17 ), and so are rewarded; they have no merit intrinsically, but are rewarded wholly of grace.
These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.
Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Works, Good'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/w/works-good.html. 1897.