16 May

Romans 14:10-12
10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me [Paul], as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may
receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

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 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

E-mail, Curt Crist. May 5-2010.

Every grace-age believer will stand before ‘the Judgment Seat of Christ’ (Also called ‘The Bema’).
This judgment is not for sin, but for ‘our work of faith’, our ‘labor of love’ and our ‘patience of hope’. Sins were judged at the cross and therefore, will not be judged again. Our Savior bore them upon himself at Calvary, satisfying God’s justice for them. The judgement believers will undergo is not a judgment for sins, but for our work of faith (that’s how we study the Word of God rightly divided), our ‘labor of love’ (that’s how we relate to one another as fellow members of the Body of Christ) and our ‘patience of hope’ (this has to do with believers who are suffering, putting their patient hope on display (through) that suffering. The statement about ‘according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad’…is in the context of ‘good for reward’ or ‘bad’ (non-reward worthy).This is not a judgment about ‘sins’ but to see the reward-worthiness of the believer. The word ‘fire’ in the expression of ‘the fire will try every man’s works’ is a reference to the refining judgment of God. In other words, it is God who will judge. His judgment is oftentimes referred to as ‘fire’ because ‘fire refines’. God will (in a sense) hit the delete button and all that is non-reward worthy will be deleted to never go into heaven in order to be a ‘look at what I brought’ or ‘look at how I deserve to be here’ testimony. Again, it is not for ‘sins’. Our ‘work of faith’, ‘labor of love’ and ‘patience of hope’ will either stand the test of being ‘good’ (reward-worthy) or ‘bad’ (non-reward worthy). But, rest assured, all your ‘sins’ were already placed upon the Savior at Calvary and he bore them on your behalf. And the good news is, God never collects a debt twice. Christ PAID for you sins. This should motivate us all the more to love him and to serve him by serving others.

E-mail, Curt Crist. September 9-2010

Our ‘work of faith’, of course, has to do with our study of God’s Word in the manner He prescribed through Paul. I believe that most people who have trusted in the finished cross-work of Christ know nothing of the tool of ‘right division’ (2 Timothy 2:15). When they are told about it, they either are open to hear and learn more, or they are closed to that aspect of Paul’s ministry and therefore, not worthy of reward at the Bema. A failure of proper study of His Word is a failure to glory Him in this life. Those who are aware of Paul’s exhortation, and study in the proper manner, by their very study, enable the Holy Spirit to work through their lives on behalf of others who need to learn about it also.

Our labor of love is all about ‘agape’. Here again, its not about ‘reformation’, but about ‘transformation’. The bottom line, again, is our intake of the Word rightly divided. As we take in the Word, that Word is able to ‘transform our thinking’, such that ‘transformed thinking’ begins to manifest itself through transformed ‘relating’. It becomes more about ‘who we have become’, rather than about ‘who we are tying to be’. The more we know about ‘who we were apart from Christ’, and ‘who God made us to be ‘in Christ’, the more we see our own ‘human sin-nature bent’. And thus, the more we can see ‘why’ folks who have not believed the gospel are functioning in the manner they are. The only thing working in their lives is the flesh. And none of us should expect and ounce of goodness (without self attached to it) from the flesh. Unsaved people can do ‘good things’, but only from earthly perspective, because ‘self-elevation’, ‘self-protection’, ‘self-accolades’ lie at the root. God is able to see through all that we think we’ve done for Him that is really ‘self-serving’, rather than God-serving. This is why I believe that most of the Bema rewards will be in those things of which we’re least aware.

Our patience of hope has to do with Romans chapter 8 and being strengthened with His might in the ‘inner man’, rather than trying to get God to alter the circumstances of our outer man. Most folks who consider themselves “Christians” are continually praying for God to ‘fix’ the outer, rather than to strengthen the inner (which, again, comes from a proper intake of doctrinal truth’). The degree of our ‘work of faith’, ‘labor of love’ and ‘patience of hope’ that comes from our staying in, and our study of, His Word, is the degree to which we are glorifying God in the here and now. Paul tells us that our rewards at the Bema (that which remains) will be the degree to which we will be an eternal reflection of His glory through eternity future. In a sense, we could say, the ‘reflection factory of God’s glory’ believers are in ‘this life’, will be directly related to the reflection factory (monument) of God’s glory…they’ll be in heaven.


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