Q. After you are saved and when the Bible refers to works, what “works” is talking about? Is it just reading your bible, praying, going to church, or is it like being a witness or doing something kind for others? And then what is “fruit”? Is it the fruit of the spirit?
A. The two are very similar. Both come as a result of our salvation and are not part of attaining or keeping it. Neither are intended to benefit us, although we are blessed by them. They are meant to convey the love the Lord has for others, which He expresses through us.
Good works are actions taken at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. They are motivated by the gratitude we feel for the free gift of salvation we’ve received. The absence of good works in our life doesn’t mean we aren’t saved. It means we aren’t following the Holy Spirit’s guidance and are missing opportunities to express our gratitude. Ephesians 2:10 says God prepared things in advance for us to do. Therefore, we all have plenty of opportunities, we just need to take advantage of them.
Galatians 5:22-23 defines the fruit of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self control. These also come from the influence of the Holy Spirit, and like good works will result in positive action toward others.
By the way, nothing we do on our own initiative and in our own strength is considered good in the Bible no matter what the outcome. It’s all about Jesus working through us. He said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).