Christian works are the acts of Jesus
dwelling in us.
John 5:36; Hebrews 13:8
"But I have greater witness
than that of John, for the works which the Father has
given me to finish, those same works that I do, these
bear witness of me, that the Father has sent me."
"Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday, today, and for ever."
(I have selected these two verses to begin this subject
in order to show that a
for the works done
by Jesus Christ is to be a witness to the observer that
he is sent by the Father; that is, he is the Messiah, and
his works prove it.
Also, Jesus Christ is the same today as he was then, and
will remain the same forever. He still does works today,
and the works are for the same reason. The works show the
seeker that Jesus is the Messiah, sent for his salvation.
The works show where Jesus is, and who his people are.
That is because he now works in an through his present
day flesh and blood, his church.)
"Then they said to him, 'What
shall we do, that we might work the works of God?' 
Jesus answered and told them, 'This is the work of God,
that you believe on him whom he has sent.'"
(This is a conversation between Jesus and some people
that he had miraculously fed the previous day. He had
caused a few loaves of bread and a few fish to feed about
5000 people, with more left over than they had started
with. They had seen God do a work of power, and wondered
how they could become empowered to do the same kind of
miracles. Jesus told them that the work of God is for a
purpose. That purpose is to allow them to believe on the
of the work. Where the works of God are done,
"And as Jesus passed by he saw a
man who was blind from his birth,  and his disciples
asked him, 'Master, who sinned, this man or his parents,
that caused him to be born blind?'  Jesus answered,
'Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents. This is so
that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is
day. The night comes when no man can work.  As long as
I am in the world, I am the light of the world.'"
(Note: Jesus is preparing here to teach his disciples
an object lesson in using the works of God as a witness.)
 "And when he had said this, he spat on the
ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the
eyes of the blind man with the clay,  and he said to
him, 'Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by
interpretation, "Sent.") He went his way, and
washed, and came away seeing."
(Jesus does the work of power, and now the work will
have its results and bear fruit.)
 "The neighbors, and others that had seen him
before and knew that he was blind, said, 'Isn't this the
same one that sat and begged?'  Some said, 'This is
him.' Others said, 'He just looks like him.' But he said,
'I am he.'  So they asked him, 'How were your eyes
opened?'  He answered them and said, 'A man that is
called "Jesus" made clay, and anointed my eyes,
and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.' So I
went and washed, and I received sight.'  Then they
said to him, 'Where is he?' And he replied, 'I don't
know.'  They took the man who had been blind to the
Pharisees.  And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus
made the clay, and opened his eyes."
(By making clay and healing a man, Jesus had broken
the law against doing work on the Sabbath, as far as the
Pharisees were concerned. Jesus was setting up a
confrontation with the Pharisees.)
 "Then the Pharisees asked him again how he had
received his sight. He told them, 'He put clay on my
eyes, and I washed, and now I do see.'  Therefore
some of the Pharisees said, 'This man is not of God,
because he doesn't keep the Sabbath day.' Others said,
'How can a man who is a sinner do such miracles?' And
there was division among them."
(Jesus had forced the issue by doing the miracle. The
Pharisees would now have to accept the hard facts, or
reject them. This is a choice all people must make when
confronted by Christ's works.)
 "They said to the blind man again, 'What do you
say of him that opened your eyes?' He replied, 'He is a
prophet.'  But the Jews did not believe that he had
been blind and that he had received sight, until they
call in his parents.
(The Pharisees are now being backed into a corner, and
must consider the evidence that God has indeed worked a
miracle through Jesus. Still incredulous, they now know
their only way out is to show that the healing was a
 And they asked them, 'Is this your son, who you say
was born blind? How then does he now see?  His
parents answered them, 'We know that this is our son, and
that he was born blind,  but by what means he now
sees, we don't know, nor do we know who has opened his
eyes. He is of age, ask him. He shall speak for himself.'
 His parents spoke these words because they feared
the Jews, for the Jews had decided already that if anyone
should confess that he was Christ, they would be put out
of the synagogue.  It was for this reason his parents
said, 'He is of age, ask him.'  They called again the
man that had been blind, and said to him, 'Give God the
praise, we know that this man is a sinner.'  He
answered and said, 'Whether he is a sinner, I don't know.
One thing I do know, that whereas I was blind, now I
see.'  Then they asked him again, 'What did he do to
you? How did he open your eyes?'  He answered them,
'I've told you already, and you did not hear. Why do you
want to hear it again? Will you also become his
(At this point, God is still offering an opportunity
to the Pharisees to respond to the proof of his
Messiahship. This time the challenge is direct and to the
 "Then they reviled him, and said, 'You are his
disciple, but we are Moses' disciples.  We know that
God spoke to Moses, we don't know where this person has
come from.'  The man answered and said to them, 'Why,
here is a marvelous thing, that you don't know where he
is from, and yet he has opened my eyes!  Now we know
that God doesn't hear sinners, but if any man be a
worshipper of God, and does his will, him he hears. 
Since the world began it has not been heard that any man
opened the eyes of one that was born blind.  If this
man were not of God, he could do nothing.'"
(The Pharisees were well aware of these things
already. They had no need to be told them. They were very
knowledgeable of the scriptures, and proud of their
zealousness for the law. To be told these basic things by
a common man was undoubtedly a terrible blow to their
egos. They were "playing dumb" concerning
Jesus, and it was obvious. )
 "They replied to him, 'You were born completely
in sins - do you teach us?' And they cast him out."
(Their posturing was irrational and unreasonable, and
they had been exposed. All they could do to attempt to
save face was to point out who was supposed to be the
spiritual leader and teacher, and who was supposed to be
the one doing the listening. Their sin of unbelief had
been laid bare. At this point, they could have repented
and accepted Christ as the Messiah, but they chose to
attempt to preserve their leadership positions rather
than submit to Jesus as their Lord.)
 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and when he
found him he asked him, 'Do you believe on the Son of
God?'  He answered and said, 'Who is he, Lord, that I
might believe on him?'"
(Up until now, the man could only be sure that Jesus
was from God, so he assumed him to be a prophet. He was
still not aware of the full impact of what had just
 Jesus said to him, 'You have seen him, and it is he
that talks with you.'  And he said, 'Lord, I
believe!' And he worshipped him.
(The work has now born its result: Jesus is revealed
as Messiah to all by the work of power that he performed,
and some choose to remain in unbelief, while others
believe. This is the way Jesus still works, and it will
always be the way he works.)
 And Jesus said, 'For judgment I am come into this
world, so that they who don't see might see, and that
they which see might be made blind.'  And some of the
Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and
asked him, 'Are we blind, also?'  Jesus replied, 'If
you were blind, you would have no sin, but now you say,
"We see." Therefore, your sin remains.'"
(This is an example of how it works. Jesus often gives
the choice to people as to whether or not they will
believe on him. As in this example, belief becomes a
choice when someone sees Jesus doing the works of God.
The church today is his body, and Jesus has always
intended to do the works of God through the Spirit
John 10:24-26; 37-38
"Then came the Jews
around him, and said to him, 'How long do you make us to
doubt? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.' 
Jesus answered, 'I told you, and you did not believe. The
works that I do in my father's name, they bear witness of
me.  But you don't believe, because you are not of my
sheep, like I told you.... If I don't do the works of
my Father, then don't believe me,  but if I do, even
though you don't believe me, believe the works, so that
you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I
They asked Jesus to declare, in so many words, that he
was the Messiah, the Christ. This could have been used as
a charge of blasphemy against him, so he avoided
declaring his Messiahship. He instead
people who he was, rather than telling them. The witness
of the works could not be denied. He told them that even
if they could not accept a thing he said, then they were
to consider the works that he did, and know that they
bore witness of his Messiahship.
The church must do more than just preach by words alone.
We should be asking why we cannot do these works, and
even greater ones. Is it because that, even though Christ
in Spirit is one, his present flesh and blood, his
body, the church, is wounded and torn?)
"Jesus said to them (his
disciples), 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No
one comes to the Father but by me.  I you had known
me, you should have known my Father also. And from now on
you know him, and have seen him.'  Philip said to him,
'Lord, show us the Father, and it will be sufficient for
us.'  Jeus said to him, 'Have I been such a long time
with you, and you have not know me, Philip? He that has
seen me has seen the Father, so why do you say,
"Show us the Father"?  Don't you believe
that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words
that I speak to you I speak not of myself, but the Father
that dwells in me, he does the works.  Believe me
that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else
believe me for the very works' sake.  Very truly I
tell you, He that believes on me,
the works that I do
he shall do also, and greater works than these he shall
do, because I go to my Father.'"
(Jesus was preparing his disciples for the receiving
of power. Jesus would leave, physically, but return in
the full power of God through the Holy Spirit to the
church, which he was in the process of founding.)
 "'And whatever you shall ask in my name, that
will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
 If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.'"
(Every miracle that is performed in his name by his
people points to the Father being glorified in the Son.
It is the identifying proof to the unbeliever that the
Son, Jesus, has the power of God the Father at his
disposal, and will use it when and wherever he wills, to
do the work of the one and only true God. It is the
witness that Jesus, the Son, is the Messiah, sent from
 "'If you love me, keep my commandments
had just given them his "new" commandment:
This is recorded in John 13:34,
a few verses previous to this account.),
 and I
will pray the Father, and he shall give you another
Comforter, that he may abide with you forever,  the
Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because
it does not see him, neither does it know him, but you
know him, for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
 I will not leave you orphaned ("orphaned"
is the word in the original language, rather than
"comfortless" as in the KJV). I will come to
you.  Yet a little while, and the world sees me no
more, but you see me. Because I live, you shall live
also.  In that day you shall know that I am in my
Father, and you in me, and I in you.  He that has my
commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me. And
he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will
love him, and will manifest myself to him.'"
(Jesus promised that he would return to us, and be in
us, and do the works of the Father in us and through us,
greater works than he had done before
. He said
that if we will kept his commandments of love, he will
love us and manifest himself to us. He did return to the
disciples, who became his apostles, and also to the
ancient church, to teach them and work miracles through
them. The promise still stands.
Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow,
just like Paul wrote in Hebrews 13:8, (quoted above.) If
there is a lack of these things in the church today, then
it is not because God has forgotten what he said, it is
"'If you abide in me, and my
words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it
shall be done unto you.  In this is my Father
glorified, that you bear much fruit. So shall you be my
(We are to glorify the Father by Christ dwelling in
us, and his words abiding in us, and bearing much fruit.
We are to ask what we will, and it shall be done for us.
That is how we are to be his disciples.
I would like to clarify a point here, also.
Manifestations of God's presence through visible and
mutually tangible miracles are not the only witness that
God gives of his presence. There are miracles within each
of us that continually assure us of his presence in us.
Our changed lives and the working of his love in and
through us serve as a powerful witness to others that we
are his children.
But there has been a dearth of the evidence that
challenges the unbeliever, the kind of unrebuttable
evidence that Jesus gave mankind when he first worked in
the hearts and through the hands of the early church. I
believe that this openly and magnificently manifested
kind of work is still not only possible, but certain to
come, if we will allow him to heal our great spiritual
wounds, and make us whole again. )
"...I also labor, striving
according to his (Christ's) mighty working, which works
in me mightily."
(The apostle Paul attributed his spiritual
accomplishments to Christ working mightily in him.)
"For he that worked effectually
in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcision (the
Jews), the same was mighty in me (i.e., Paul) toward the
(Christ doing the work through Peter and Paul.)
1 Peter 4:11
"If any man speak, let him speak
as the oracles of God, if any man minister, as of the
ability which God gives, that God in all things may be
glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and
dominion forever and ever. Amen."
(Peter understood that we serve God and glorify him
through Jesus Christ who dwells in us, and by his power
alone can we do the works of God.)
"For we are members of his
(Christ's) body, of his flesh, and of his bones... 
This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ
and the church."
(We are the actual flesh and bones of his body in this
present age. God works through his church...or, at least,
he intends to do so if we will truly unite as members of
one body that
be lived in and
worked through. Please read and study these passages
yourself in their context from verse 22 through verse 33.
It is speaking of the church as both the bride and the
body of Christ, using marriage as a physical example. It
is not just, as some would maintain, the great biblical
model for marriage, using Christ and the church as an
example. In fact, it is quite the other way around. If
you begin at verse 21 rather than verse 22, you will be
especially enlightened concerning the marriage angle, but
even so, marriage is the secondary subject here, thus
explaining the way verse 33 is stated. )
(Miracles take many forms, including
the cleansing of the church. Many people avoid unity
because they are afraid that the church will somehow
become "contaminated" with false believers.
Consequently, God has allowed us to try it "our
way." Some are "divided for conscience
sake." Can a reunited church be kept
"clean"? Can God cleanse it according to
purpose? Read on.)
"But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his
wife, sold a possession,  and kept back some of the
price, with his wife's full understanding, and brought a
certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet."
(The Christians in the young church were selling their
houses and land and giving the proceeds to the apostles
to be shared with those that had need. Many people that
had been in Jerusalem for the celebration of Pentecost
and that had repented, been baptized, and received the
Holy Spirit, were remaining there, far from home, and in
need. Therefore, many Christians were selling their own
possessions to provide for everyone.
Ananias and Sapphira conspired together to enter the
church by fraud and deception. Perhaps they hoped that,
to give over all they
owned to the church, they would be rewarded with position
The miracles that God was working through the first
Christians were known by all, and this power was
undoubtedly greatly desired by many non-believers.
In Acts 8: 9-24 (which read), yet another example is
given of a man named Simon, who performed miracles by
Satanic influence. This Simon tried to purchase with
money the ability to perform miracles through the power
of the Holy Spirit. Because Simon was so ignorant of what
was happening, and didn't fully understand that
repentance and the acceptance of Christ as savior was
involved in the receiving of the Holy Spirit, he was
merely rebuked and sent away to repent and pray. This is
evident by Simon's naive offer to somehow "buy"
the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ananias and Sapphira were not ignorant of the truth, as
Simon was. These examples are recorded here as a warning
to all who would knowingly attempt to infiltrate the
church without repentance, for personal gain.)
 "But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has Satan filled
your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back
some of the price of the land?  While you possessed
it, wasn't it your own? And after it was sold, wasn't it
in your own power" Why have you conceived this thing
in your heart? You have not lied to men, but unto
(This was a direct affront to God, and it was not done
in ignorance, but deliberately. God knows our hearts, and
can reveal what he knows about us when he chooses to do
so. We can determine this by looking to the word of God.
In Acts 3:17, Peter tells the very people who had been a
party to Jesus' crucifixion that
that they had done this great transgression against the
Son of God in ignorance, and in Acts 3:19-20 he tells
these co-conspirators in Christ's murder that they can
repent, and be converted, and Jesus Christ will come to
them. He told these same people, in verse 26, that they
were the very first people that God would bless, by
sending Jesus to them and turning them from their
iniquities. Peter also warned them. He said that those
would not hear
to them would be destroyed from among the people. They
would no longer be able to claim ignorance.
It is highly probable, considering the circumstances,
that Ananias and Sapphira acted in full knowledge of
these things, turning their back on the blessing of
forgiveness and refusing to repent, and taking the
foolish chance that they could somehow confront God and
In Romans 5:13 there is a brief statement of fact
concerning the nature of sin. It states that "until
[the time of] the law [of God], sin was in the world, but
sin is not imputed when there is no law.
In other words, if you violate a law of God, but do not
(this is important!)
conscience does not convict you
, then sin is
not imputed to the one who sins. Sin has been commited,
but it does not have the same consequences as if it were
done with full knowledge of the law.
However, even if we are not aware of an explicit law, our
conscience itself, in most cases, bears witness against
us that we have not done right. This is enough to brand
us as sinners, and place us in need of the cleansing
blood of Jesus Christ (Read Romans 2:13-16 about our
conscience bearing witness of right and wrong in our
The point: Ananias and Sapphira would have been offered
the opportunity to repent from this thing if it had been
done in ignorance,
or if they had a desire to
. Peter had preached repentance to the
crowd the day before, even though they had Christ's blood
on their hands. God is just towards all, Ananias and
Sapphira included. Perhaps they had stood in that same
crowd and heard the very message that Peter had preached.
Now they stood before him and attempted to commit fraud
against God himself.
When Peter said that they had "lied to God," he
meant exactly that. Had they thought that they were only
attempting to lie to a group of men, it would have been a
sin of ignorance, and would have been dealt with
I am appalled by those who have no knowledge of God who
would pretend to assume that they know God to be a cruel
and violent God, pointing to this example of Ananias and
Sapphira. They do not
and Sapphira, or what evil was in their hearts . . .
however, God did.)
 "And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and
breathed his last. And great fear came on all them that
heard these things."
(The heavy price that Ananias paid for his sin made
clear to all, believers as well as onlookers, that there
is a grave responsibility given to all who hear the
message of salvation, and who recognize it to be truth.
Also, one cannot enter the Kingdom of God by fraud and
deception, but only through the blood of Christ.)
 "And the young men arose, wrapped him and
carried him out, and buried him.  After about three
hours, when his wife, not knowing what had happened, came
in,  Peter said to her, 'Tell me whether you sold the
land for so much?' And she replied, 'Yes, for so much.'
 Then Peter said to her, 'How is it that you have
agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold,
the feet of those that buried your husband are at the
door, and shall carry you out.'  Then she immediately
fell down and breathed her last, and the young men came
in and found her dead, and carrying her forth, buried her
by her husband."
(Again, this illustrates the magnitude of the sin.
Let's examine what has been said about this. God has
inspired Peter with insight concerning the sin. First, he
Ananias' heart to lie to the Holy Spirit. Ananias allowed
himself to do the bidding of the evil Adversary himself.
Next, Peter identifies Sapphira as guilty of the same
sin. Then, Peter says that they have conspired together
test the Spirit of the Lord.
word here that is translated "tempt" in the
KJV, and "try," or "put to the test,"
in some other translations, is the Greek word,
"peirasai" and it means to "try ,"
"tempt," or "prove," To
"peirasai" the Holy Spirit is to challenge God
to his face.
The same word is used in Matthew 4:7, where Christ told
Satan in the wilderness, 'It is written, "You shall
not tempt (challenge or test, 'peirasai') the Lord your
God."' This was said by Christ in response to Satan
challenging Jesus to jump off a pinnacle of the temple.
In this account, Satan is once again challenging God,
with the full cooperation of Ananias and Sapphira. The
result would be inevitable, swift, just, and necessary.)
 "And great fear came upon all the church, and
upon as many as heard these things."
(This word "fear" is from the Greek
"phobos." Like many English words, it can have
more than one meaning. It can mean dread, or terror. It
can mean reverential fear.
God does indeed judge. In the book of 1 Peter , Peter
writes, "Since he who has called you is holy, so you
be holy in all manner of conduct. Because it is written,
'Be holy, for I am holy.' And if you call on the Father,
who judges without respect of persons, according to every
man's work, pass the time of your sojourning in
fear" (1 Peter 1:15-17).
This reverence serves to keep us careful in dealing with
others. The goal is to love one another, and our holy
conduct is worthless unless motivated by love (Read 1
Corinthians 13). But if we are having difficulty loving,
then we are not excused. Our conduct must still be holy,
and will be if we have reverence toward God.
Eventually, we should grow to always be motivated by
love, rather than fear..."There is no fear in love,
but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has
torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love"
 "And by the hands of the apostles were many
signs and wonders wrought among the people (and they were
all with one accord in Solomon's porch.  And of the
rest, no man dared to join himself to them, but the
people magnified him.  And more believers were added
to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women),  to
the extent that they brought forth the sick into the
streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the
least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow
some of them.  There also came a multitude out of the
cities around them to Jerusalem, bringing sick people,
and those that were afflicted with unclean spirits, and
they were healed, every one."
(When God works in and through his people, there is no
uncertainty as to where he resides. His power is evident
wherever he chooses to make it evident, and it is evident
to whomever he reveals his presence. After the deaths of
Ananias and Sapphira, those who were "of the
rest" dared not join themselves fraudulently to the
true believers, but
magnified him, or held him in greater regard (verse 13).
As a result, more
added to the Lord. The people
Jesus is the Lord, the Messiah sent from God!
This is the way he works, for Jesus is the same
yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Don't let
anyone tell you that he doesn't do things the same today
as he did yesterday, that he has a new "modus
operandi," or method of operation. This "hands
off" theory is not substantiated by his own holy
word, the Bible. It is merely a conclusion that is
reached by looking at the evidence. We see no great works
of power, so we then absolve ourselves of all fault by
conjecturing that it must be God's will that things are
the way we are.
We must believe the word of God. The word of God decides
the issue. God has withdrawn his hand in the doing of
miracles such as these throughout the church because we
are in sin.
God will not bear false witness against himself by
working great miracles by the hand of a fragmented and
argumentive and contentious church. To do so would be a
lying witness, for the risen and glorified Christ is not
Our flesh and bone, which is his own flesh and bone, is
divided one from another.
If we would only believe that we are members of
with him, then we
would be one (Ephesians 5:30,32). We are to be
,together as a
as well as
one in the
Spirit. This doesn't mean that we must all meet under one
roof, but it does mean that we must all be
to meet under one roof without qualms if and when an
opportunity arises. The result is effective evangelism,
and a witness to all, in and out of the church, as to
the Messiah dwells and
how he works
(Please click on any of the highlighted boxes (
) below to go to the
in-depth study of each statement.)
Jesus lives in the members of the church,
and the church is his body in this age.
Everyone sins and breaks the spiritual
law, even Christians.
To love God and to love our neighbor is
the fulfillment of all spiritual law.
God's forgiveness is ongoing and
limitless, and available to all who truly accept Jesus Christ as
their personal savior.
God will never leave us, nor
Who We Are
and What We Believe
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