What Does the Bible Say About Works? With Scripture References

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Lord’s Library editors answer the question “What does the Bible say about works?” with specific Bible references.

Have you ever asked yourself the question “What does the Bible say about works?” If you have, you’re definitely not alone! And since the Bible helps Christians form a foundational understanding of important topics, it’s imperative that one know how Scripture describes works in different contexts. The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines works as “To labor; to strain; to move heavily.”

Now armed with a basic works definition, Lord’s Library editors thought it would be a helpful exercise to provide Biblical context. As a result, we compiled this short resource which captures all notable mentions of the word works, as well as its other forms. If you’ve been wondering what the King James Bible says about works, scroll on for additional detail.

Note: If you want to know what the Bible says about works and 206 other important topics (to be exact), our editors recommend Spencer Smith’s Doctrine Matters: Bible Topic Guidebook.

What Does the Bible Say About Works?


Romans 11:6

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

2 Corinthians 11:15

“Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

Galatians 2:16

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

Ephesians 2:8-10

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

1 Thessalonians 1:3

“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;”

2 Thessalonians 2:17

“Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”

2 Timothy 1:9

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”

2 Timothy 2:15

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:21

“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”


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Timothy Andrew
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Timothy Andrew

Timothy Andrew

Tim is the Founder and Ministerial Editor at Lord's Library, a Christian resource hub focused on helping readers grow their faith in Jesus Christ. Tim became a Christian in April 2021 and believes 1 Peter 4:11 commands him to share The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) "as of the ability which God giveth."

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