Good works, properly so called, spring out of the inward operation of God's grace. By making the tree good he makes the fruit good (Matt. 12:33). He works in us first the will to do that which is good, and then he gives us the power. He thus works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). Under the operations of his grace we are transformed by the renewing of our mind to prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2); and as this will is sought after to be known and done, good works follow as the necessary fruit.
All those acts of love and affection, of kindness, sympathy, and liberality towards the Lord's people; all those instances of self-denial and willingness rather to suffer than to do wrong; all those proofs of disinterested desire to do all the good we can according to our means, position, and circumstances of life; all that striving after and maintaining integrity and uprightness of conduct in all matters of business and trust; all that strict and scrupulous adherence to our word, even to our own injury; all that Christian fulfilment of our relative duties, and the social relationships of husband and father, wife and mother, which the Scripture has enjoined—in a word, all those works which by almost unanimous consent are called "good" by men, are only really and truly good as wrought in the heart, lip, and life by the power of God.