There appears to be a universal affinity to help others and do good works just as there is a universal affinity to sin; and, it appears that this nature to do good works is, at least somewhat, independent of religion.
Here is a scripture that supports the notion that we were created with the inherent tendency to do good works:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
If we continue to explore this concept, we realize that this affinity to do good works must be hardwired into man; and, if so, we cannot take credit for them. This principle is unique to, and ever present in, Christianity.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
I appreciate this principle. It would be very unpleasant to be in paradise with someone boasting about how much he or she accomplished. It would be so much more pleasant to be with those who were saved by grace and had nothing to boast about, except the power and glory of Christ.
This is why the Bible teaches that faith, not good works, is the only way to please God; faith is independent of the hardwired nature of good works and the hardwired nature to sin. Here is a scripture that makes it clear:
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him:
So, if we do good works, we should not boast – it is expected; we were created to do good works. If we perform great acts of benevolence, assume a high position in the church; conduct successful evangelical campaigns; or discover the cure for cancer, we have no reason to boast; this is what is expected of us.
One day a group of people presented themselves to Jesus; they wanted to do good works that were pleasing to God. They posed a very interesting question to Jesus:
John 6:28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (ESV)
John 6:29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (ESV-words of Jesus in red)
This is the heart of Jesus’ teachings: it’s all about faith. Our work is to believe. Good works are in our nature, in our DNA, and we are ordained to do them; but, faith “in him whom he has sent” is the work that is pleasing to God.
Please also read our blog on The Genetics of Sin Nature .