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Become Alive From Dead Works


Become Alive From Dead Works

In the book of Hebrews above we learn that the first doctrinal teaching is Repentance. Repentance is a change of mind that engages you to the superior power inevitably resulting in a change of action. The above scripture clearly tells us that we are repenting from dead works.


Dead works are all efforts by man outside of grace and faith trying to earn salvation, please God and get rewards and favour from God. It is interesting that we find these teachings in writing to the Hebrews where the writer is speaking to a people who had a form of worship of works and effort to please God. 

It was to a people who were being drawn back to Jewish traditions of observing the Law and ordinances in an effort to please God and earn salvation. In that context as he is pointing them to the salvation of Christ he points them to the need of turning away from their efforts to please God.

This is the yoke of all religions. Religion is man in all efforts and ways trying to reach God and please Him. The Kingdom message carries the good news of a God who came to meet man who was failing to qualify for a relationship with Him. Christianity is not a religion but the Kingdom lifestyle. It is divinity manifesting itself in humanity.

All efforts and “good” works of man in his quest to earn salvation or please God are dead. Man at his best cannot meet and match the least requirements of God.

Religion whether Islam, Buddhism and most of all that is masquerading as Christianity teach people to do certain works that God wants, to be accepted by Him. In this same perception people came to Jesus to ask Him of more things that they had to do. They thought that Jesus was God’s beloved because of what he did.

Then they said, what are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?] 

Jesus replied, this is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on and have faith in his Messenger] [John 6: 28-29 Amp]

The work of God is to believe in Him for everything was Jesus response and not all the works that the people were asking Him. How many people even in our time will be able to accept this truth?

 We have to understand that nothing good can be found in man separate from God. Paul after getting the revelation of the Kingdom lifestyle, describing his life before he was saved whilst he was still a Pharisee depending on their ‘good’ works said,

For I know nothing good dwells within me, that is in flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.] [Romans 7: 18 Amp]

If nothing good could come out of his life then all his efforts of piety as a Pharisee were dead works. Dead works in this sense were not the so called sins of immorality, the same writer describing his walk as a Pharisee before salvation said,

touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. [Philip 3: 6]

According to the human assessment of Paul’s works he was blameless but the same person now viewing himself in the light of God said nothing good could come out of his life. All the seeming successes in obeying the law are what the writer to Hebrews who is probably the same Paul calls dead works.

When you are at your best to be righteous before God, the word has a description of the effort.

for we have all become like one who is unclean [ceremonially, like a leper], and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment. [Isaiah 64: 6 Amp]

Your righteous acts are like filthy rags. Nothing that can come from man after the fall can please God. To get the full picture of dead works and their negative impact on one’s life we read from the book of Hebrews.

How much more surely shall the blood of Christ, who by virtue of [His] Eternal Spirit [His on pre-existent divine personality] has offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice to God, purify our consciences from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the [ever] living God?[Hebrews 9: 14 Amp]

The above verse shows us that when Christ the man offered Himself as a sacrifice, for the sacrifice to be acceptable, He lived this whole life through total faith and dependence on the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit was the power, grace and life in His work to make Him a sacrifice without spot. He was led and powered by the Spirit to offer Himself.

The word then goes on to say that His blood is able to purge and clear our consciences from dead works. What defiled peoples’ consciences was condemnation and guilt from the commandments, ordinances and requirements of the law. 

The writer then tells us that these demands of the Law and man’s efforts to abide by them are dead works. The amplified version above uses the phrase lifeless observances to describe dead works.

The Law tops the list of dead works and Paul’s letter to Timothy describes the law and the teachers in an interesting way.

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrine .Some have wondered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous- and for whatever else that is contrary to sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. [1 Timothy 1: 3-11]

He is warning Timothy of people who teach false doctrine. He describes these teachers as the teachers of the law implying that the false doctrine was teaching people to go back to the law. He describes why he calls teachers of the law dangerous. 

He explains that the law is made for the unrighteous, yet the church is composed only of righteous people hence inapplicable. The only true doctrine from this portion is that of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who obeyed the law and fulfilled it allowing it to pass and become obsolete.

These dead works and failure to meet the requirements would fill the people with guilt, condemnation and insufficiency thereby disqualifying people to serve God. There is never a time when a believer is not qualified to serve God.

 This is because the blood of Jesus washed all our sins past, present and future. For those who believe in Jesus Christ and have been born again, there is never an instant when they are not forgiven.

The word says we have been perfected even though we are in the process of being sanctified. This means that we have been perfected by the blood of Christ but to continually demonstrate a life above the works that are unlike the character of God is a process.

 The grace of God is working and patiently awaiting the Spirit’s work in us to be fully washed and separated from our shortcomings but He sees us as perfect. Our sins and iniquities, he remembers no more.

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. [Heb 10:14-17]


There is nothing a believer can do to qualify to serve God. All efforts by man to qualify and please God are dead. You are not expected to do anything other than believe and faith in Him. [Romans 4: 1-3].

Many are still living in bondage for they feel closer to God some days when they think they have lived right throughout the day and are downcast and guilty when they think they have sinned and offended in some way. These are dead works. One is qualified to serve God and enjoy His presence because of what Christ did for us and not based on what we have done. [Colossians 1: 12; 2 Cor 3: 4-5]

Live everyday without any condemnation or guilt but with a conscience cleaned and purged from dead works by the blood of Christ which ever speaks mercy before God. [Heb 12: 22, 24] The blood of Abel was crying for vengeance. 

It was always crying and asking God when he was going to judge and avenge the sinners. The blood of Abel’s testimony was, "they are sinners so they should die and be judged’. The blood of Jesus is saying, they are sinners but they should live happily because of what I have done. It’s crying, forgive them Father.


Copyright © Tonderai Goncalo [All Rights Reserved.] 



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