It’s pronounced air-gone. As in what I might say if I were on the moon – “It’s hard to breathe with all the air gone.”
It means “daisies”.
It means “works” – as in “faith without works is dead”.
I made a statement a while back, and I said at the time, “I know I’m going to have to back this up.” I said that “works” had two meanings in the New Testament.
Now comes the “backing up” part.
One meaning of “works” is “works of the law”. It’s the Old Testament concept of doing stuff to earn the favor of God. But the gospel plainly states that we cannot do enough, or good enough, “works of the law” to gain our way to heaven.
These are …
the bad kind of “works”
The other meaning of “works” is what I like to call “works of love”.
These works are done after we know Our Lord – and our imperfect “works of love” are covered by Grace.
The quest for perfection but Grace for the quest.
All due respect to the Reformers, but it seems they never really got this dual meaning of “works”. They kind of lumped them together – and labeled “works” as bad.
The word “works” is sprinkled throughout the New Testament like daisies in a field.
And there is no better way to get a handle on what the two kinds of “works” are – than to just run the through the “works daisies” as they spring up in the Bible.
All of the “works daisies” in context…
a context which will define the word…
either the bad and useless kind…
or the nice kind…
the one that gives life to faith.
And without further ado, here’s the first usage of “works” in the New Testament…
A little context…
Our Lord is in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount.
He just finished the Beatitudes,
which by the way are all pretty much impossible,
which I figure He knew,
and He said them anyway,
to show us the impossibility of fulfilling the “law”,
both the letter of the law,
and the spirit of the law.
Then he talks about us being…
and he concludes that by saying this,
“Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (MT 5:16)
And there’s that word, “works” – cleverly disguised in my Bible translation as “deeds”. Some translations don’t disguise the word, and just say good “works” but it’s the same word regardless.
Oh, and by the way– the doing of “good works”, in context, is a command from the lips of God himself.
That somehow seems important.
This is just the first one. There are a bunch more…
a bunch of daisies!
I think it’s best to cover each and every one, to give oodles of context for defining the word “works”.
I’m smiling right now…
because I get to go traipsing through the pages of the Bible for a while,
looking for the “works daisies”,
poking around where they grow,
and then determining which kind of daisy it is,
like a honey bee,
be off to the next daisy.
To me – this is incredible fun – and thus the smile.