[quote="mackbrislawn, post:1130, topic:442045"]
I'm puzzled by this idea that we need to show evidence of being born again, or our works show our faith, because that seems to conflict with what Jesus said about not showing off our piety.
Furthermore, evidence to whom? God? No, He already knows. To others? No, we are not to boast nor show off our piety. To ourselves? Maybe, because if we do not have works that is evidence we are not saved, so we do works to prove to ourselves we are indeed saved.
So the question is, have I done enough works to prove I have saving faith?
That's what it looks like to me.
I think you can know if you have saving faith because you know what is in your heart. Only two know what is in your heart, you and God. That is one reason we balk at the idea of being saved by our works. Because God judges the heart. Our works fluctuate based on health, life situations, financial ability, family responsibilities and so forth. However, our hearts can be full of faith and love no matter the circumstances of life.
However, it is very biblical that our faith is expressed in our actions. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said : In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matt 5:16
I think "your light" refers to the Holy Spirit living with us and guiding us to have a Love for others that goes beyond anything we could do by ourselves.
So I would say one of the key reasons for our good works is to influence others that the Gospel is the truth and hopefully, influence some to accept the Gospel.
Boasting and showing off our piety is not for the Glory of God, it is to puff ourselves up. It is so folks will look as us and think, "Wow! what a great guy. He is a really strong Christian". However, when we serve others out of the Love of God in our hearts and do so in a way that exalts Christ (instead of ourselves) we are being faithful to the calling of the Gospel.
I would also say that another reason for works is to give evidence to each other that we are indeed children of God. 1 John 3:10 says 'By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother."
If someone claims to be a child of God the evidence is in how they live their life.