If you have your Bibles, turn with me to Romans 2 and let me welcome those who are watching us livestream. Literally, everywhere I go, people come up to me and say they’re watching on livestream. Thank you for being a part of this study. You’re really sitting around the table with us and we’re in Romans 2 and I wanna begin by reading what’s gonna be our passage that we’ll look at today and the heading on this is really part two from what we looked at last time, the moralist condemned and the moralist is the person who is outwardly very moral, but inside their heart, they’re just as corrupt as the person who is involved in deep sin actions of sin and so Paul wants to address the moralist now, that don’t think that you will escape the wrath of God if you’ve not been born again.
I do want to read this, but before I read this, let me just remind us — get a walking start, beginning in verse 1, I gave you five statements last time, and I’m just gonna walk back through those and I wanna make sure that you got these because we’re gonna expand the fifth and final statement here. In verse 1, Paul says, “You practice the same sin. Therefore, you have no excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who judge practice the same things.” He’s referring back to the end of chapter one.
You practice the same things, just different manifestations of the same thing, different extent of the same thing, but you’ve been weighed in the balances, and you’ve been found guilty of the very same sin, and then second, in verses 2 and 3, you’ll suffer the same judgment, he says. Verse 3, “But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?” It’s a rhetorical question implying the negative answer, no. You will face the same judgment. You’ve committed — you’ve practiced the same sin, you suffer the same judgment. Verse 4, “You resist the same kindness or do you think lightly of the riches of his kindness?” Then in Verse 5, “You store up the same wrath. You are storing up wrath until the day of wrath.”
You’re in the very same boat as these immoral people at the end of chapter 1, and then the fifth and final statement is, “You will be judged by the same principle.” That leads us now into verse 6, and this is where we find ourselves. Let me read this passage, beginning in verse 6, “Who will render to each person according to his deeds? To those who by perseverance and doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality eternal life, but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, they obey unrighteousness, wrath, and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good. So, the Jew first and also to the Greek for there is no partiality with God.” Now, these verses really need some explanation, but once we have this unfolded before us, I think you’re gonna see how powerful these verses are, and it’s a very simple little outline to follow under you will be judged by the same principle.
I. THE PRINCIPLE
First in verse 6, is the principle. Verse 6, states the principle by which every person in the world will be judged both believer and unbeliever. Now, in verse 6, I’m gonna read it again, “Who will render to each person according to his deeds.” This is a direct quotation from Psalm 62:12 and Proverbs 24:12 and the reason Paul quotes it from the Old Testament is to show us it’s always been this way. This is the way God has always operated. This is not something new in the New Testament times. He quotes from the Old Testament to show how timeless this principle is. Now, every word of verse 6 begs for some kind of comment. When he — it starts off with the word who, which is a reference to God. God is the last word of verse 5, and we call that the antecedent. The executor of this judgment is God himself. God is the one who will render this judgment. The word will speak to the certainty of it.
God will render to each person according to his deeds. It is absolutely certain this is going to happen. Then the word render, means to pay as wages. It means to give a recompense for work done. It would be like if I came over to your house and I mowed your yard, then you would give me a certain amount of money as payment. Not as a gift, I’ve actually earned this. I’ve worked hard for this and what you would give me would be my recompense. That’s the very word that is used here and there’s gonna be a payday someday. There is going to be a payoff, in which God will render, note, to each person. That speaks to both the individuality of it and the universality of it. I guess that’s a word. Every single person will be rendered according to his deeds and what we’re gonna find in this passage, not only unbelievers, but also believers. We all need to pay attention to this.
Then, he says, according to, which means in direct proportion, to his deeds, and his deeds speak of the accountability of this. The word for deed is a Greek word that means according to his labor, according to his work, according to his actions, according to the things he has done, according to his industry or his business, and the word has all of these meanings. This is the principle that Paul is establishing here. Now, we need to remember that God is keeping impeccable records on every person’s life. Every deed, every action of every person in the entire human race, God has it all recorded in his book and just for a moment, if you wanna turn with me to Revelation 20, I mentioned, I just preached on this this past Wednesday night and I think it would be good just for me to draw our attention for a moment to Revelation 20:11, this is at the end of time. In Revelation 20:11, “Then I saw a great white throne.”
Great speaks of its power, white speaks of its purity, throne speaks of its purpose. “And him who sat upon it,” referring to Jesus Christ, “from whose presence Earth and Heaven fled away and no place was found for them and I saw the dead, the great and the same.” The great referred to people who have lived with great influence and great power in human history whose names are well known to us around this table as well as the small, the little insignificant people who live little insignificant lives and we don’t even know who they are, they will all stand before the throne, every unbeliever, and books were opened and these books are the detailed record of every action and every deed and every thought and every motive of every unbeliever in the history of the World and this is the evidence that will be presented in this court on that day. Every idle word, Jesus said, men will render account of it in the judgment and then he said another book was opened, which is the book of life and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, please note, according to their deeds.
So much sin, so much judgment and it will not be the same for everyone and there will be degrees of punishment in hell according to degrees of evil deeds that were done by unbelievers. This is a terrifying passage. Verse 13, “And the sea gave up the dead, which were in it and death in Hades gave up the dead, which were in them, and they were judged every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown in the Lake of Fire.” This is the second death, the Lake of Fire, and if anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the ultimate fulfillment for unbelievers of the passage that we are reading in the Book of Romans.
Come back to Romans and we see the principle established. Now, not only will this be so of unbelievers, there is a judgment for believers, also, and if you’ll come to Romans 14:10-12, we will read of the judgment for our deeds when we stand before the Lord at the judgment seat of Christ and in Romans 14:10, “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.” The you refers to believers and we, too, will stand before the Lord, and we, too, will have our live and our ministry examined and scrutinized by the Lord, and there will be a judgment for our works as Christians and as believers and rather than there being degrees of punishment for the unbeliever, there will be degrees of reward for the believer. For those of us around this table, there will be different degrees of rewards given at the judgment seat of God according to how strategically and purely we have invested our lives in the things of God and in the purposes of God.
Now, we will never stand in the judgment for our sins. There’s now, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, but we will stand in judgment and there will be a scrutiny of how we invested our time, our treasure, and our talent for the things of God. Come back now to Romans 2, that is the point that Paul is establishing. This is the principle. I want everyone to understand that this principle is applicable not only to the unbeliever, but also, to us as believers, and if you want another cross reference, 2 Corinthians 5:10, says, “Therefore, we shall all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each many may receive a recompense for the deeds done in his body whether good or worthless.” All right, now, verse 6 is the principle.
II. THE APPLICATION
Verses 7-10 is the application and as we look at versus 7-10, and these are just an initial reading of these versus, they’re a little hard to understand. What is Paul saying here? Here’s what he is saying. The believer will have this principle applied to them and that’s verses 7 and 10. The unbeliever will have the principle applied to them and that’s verses 8 and 9. And this is what we call an a, b, b, a argument, a, b, b, a. This will go believer in verse 7, unbeliever verse 8, unbeliever verse 9, come back to believer in verse 10. It’s called a chiastic argument.
THE BELIEVERS DEEDS
Now, he starts in verse 7 and he says, “To those who,” this is referring to believers, “by perseverance in doing good, only a believer perseveres in doing good,” and this presupposes the new birth. This presupposes a new heart with a new direction and with new affections.
The word perseverance here, this is the mark of the true believer. You’ve heard of the perseverance of the saints? We know the five doctrines of grace. This is the fifth and final doctrine of grace. The perseverance of the saints. This is one passage that teaches the perseverance of the saints. It means to endure with constancy and steadfastness throughout the entirety of one’s Christian life. Now, we just have to go to two cross references. Come to Hebrews 3:14, I mean, after all, this is a Bible study, right? Hebrews 3:14, just for us to see that perseverance and doing good identifies the elect and identifies those who are true believers. Hebrews 3:14, the writer of Hebrews says, “For we have become partakers of Christ.” Another way to say this, we have become believers in Jesus Christ. We have received Christ and are partakers of Christ. If we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.
You have heard me say before “the faith that fizzles before the finish had a flaw from the first”. Let me repeat that. The faith that fizzles before the finish had a flaw from the first, indicating that was not a true believer. That a flawed, counterfeit faith, if you do not persevere faithful all the way to the end, because God is the author of saving faith and when God grants saving faith, it is a faith that causes one to persevere in obedience throughout the entirety of one’s life. That’s just Bible doctrine. Now, Colossians 1:22-23 is the other passage and we just need to touch on this very quickly, but what we see is the consistency with which scripture teaches this, and trust me, there’s 20-30 other verses we could hit. This is just a little mountain peak. Colossians 1, look at the beginning of verse 21, “You were formally alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet he has now reconciled you in his fleshly body through death in order to present you before him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”
Verse 23, “If indeed you continue in the faith, firmly established, and steadfast and not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which you have heard.” It couldn’t be any more clear. The one who is a true believer begins in the faith, perseveres in the faith, continues in the faith, and there is a finality at the end of their life in doing good and in pursuing godliness. There may be seasons of pockets of carnality, times of being tripped up, doesn’t mean perfection. This is the direction that a true believer is headed. Period. Paragraph. Continue to look at this with me, now. Come back, now, to Romans 2, and I’m going to try to keep us in Romans 2 now. Verse 7, “To those who by perseverance in doing good.” This word doing, I just had to look it up and this is a Greek word that means labor, toil, and work. It’s a very strong word. There’s no passivity in this word doing.
It speaks of labor to the point of exhaustion, labor, toil, work, and the word good, means that which is upright and honorable before the Lord and morally excellent. True believers persevere throughout the entirety of their Christian life in doing good and here we see that this habitual conduct reveals the condition of one’s heart. You’ll know them by their fruit. Now, continue to look at this, because this is so good. “Seek for glory and honor and immortality and eternal life.” Now, this word or this verb, seek for, is in the present tense, meaning they are habitually, continuously keeping on seeking for glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life. Now, this needs some explanation, because I know what you’re thinking is what I was thinking. It’s like, we’re not supposed to seek our own glory, right? It’s not about us, it’s about God.
This glory here is actually a glory that we do seek. It points to our final stage state of glorification that Paul will have much to say about in the rest of the Book of Romans and in reality this seeking for glory is seeking for the glory that God will give to us in Heaven as we will share in his character and we will become like his son, the Lord Jesus Christ and just to take you quickly to a couple passages, Romans 5:2 says, “The out working of justification by faith is that we exult in hope of the glory of God.” That refers to not giving praise to God. That refers to our being glorified in Heaven and becoming fully conformed to the image of his son, Jesus Christ. We are seeking this. We are seeking this right now, to become more like Christ, and to become more Godly right now in the way that we conduct ourselves and the way that we conduct ourselves and the way that we live our Christian lives, because we are followers of Christ and we are seeking that future day when we will be fully conformed into Christ’s likeness. Now, the next word is honor.
Do you see that? We are seeking glory and honor. This is not an honor for ourselves. It is an honor that God will give to us on the last day when he says, well done, good and faithful servant, and you’re gonna wanna hear that from the Lord on the last day. This honor is honor that comes from God to us on the last day as he recognizes our faithfulness in doing good works. This is the Lord’s approbation on the last day and then he says, “immorality” and that is referring to the resurrection. That we will be raised in a resurrection body in which we live forever and ever and ever with God and then he says, “eternal life” and this is really the full and final realization of our salvation. Eternal life really begins the moment we’re born again. The life of God is put within us, but this is pointing to the final outcome of this life with God when we will be glorified, when we will receive honor from him when we will receive immortality from him in a resurrection body, and we will receive the final phase of eternal life, life in the very presence of God in Heaven forever and ever.
Now, this is true not of unbelievers. This is true of believers and we as believers are those who pursue good deeds, we practice good deeds and we will be judged for our good deeds. This is quite a motivation for us to be serving the Lord and to be obeying the Lord and to be doing God’s work. R. C. Sproul writes an article and every Tabletalk magazine that is entitled “Right Now Counts Forever” and I want to tell you how you live your Christian life right now counts forever and we can’t be lulled to sleep by grace and just think it doesn’t matter how I live as a Christian. No, it does matter and on the last day, we’ll face the record and we’ll give an account to the Lord and some of us will have built with gold, silver, and precious stones and others of us would have built with wood, hay, and stubble, but the last day will test the quality of each man’s work according to what he has done and some will receive greater reward than others, because they were far more engaged in what God had for them to do.
Now, let’s just keep pressing on this and one last comment before I press to the next verse. I just want to stress this that real obedience will receive a real reward on the last day. Your obedience is a very important matter to God. Now, as we come to verse 8, verse 8 begins with the conjunction but and this tells us we’re shifting from believers now to unbelievers. This word but makes a stark contract with the preceding verse. In verse 8, he will now talk about the application of verse 6 to unbelievers. Verse 7 was the application of verse 6 to believers. Verse 8 is the application of verse 6 to unbelievers.
THE UNBELIEVERS DEEDS
“But to those who are selfishly ambitious,” this refers to unbelievers, and different translations translates selfishly ambitious in different ways, but the idea is you just still are living for yourself. You have never denied yourself. You have never died to self. You have never come to the end of self. You’re still doing what you want to do, how you want to do it, when you want to do it, with whom you want to do it. You’re not living for Christ, what he wants you to do. You’re living for self and he says, “But to those who are selfishly ambitious,” and now he identifies them with a negative and positive. There can be no misunderstand with whom he is addressing. He says, “They do not obey the truth” and that’s in the present tense. They keep on not obeying the truth. It is a big picture of their life. It’s a snapshot of their entire life. It’s not a movie of every incident of their life, it’s one big picture, snapshot.
It can be characterized, they do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness. Please note everyone lives a life of obedience. You’re either living in obedience to the truth and God or you’re living in obedience to sin and unrighteousness. Everyone is a slave. You’re either a slave of God for righteousness or you’re a slave of sin for unrighteousness. No one in the purest sense is just doing their own thing. Every one of us has a master. Either Jesus Christ is your master and you are serving Jesus Christ and following him or sin is your master and you are living in open sin and you do not obey the truth and you are obeying unrighteousness and there’s not a middle category. Now, this is a very strong text and we saw the same a couple of months ago when we looked at Romans 6:16 and it really begs to be read right now.
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves to obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey either of sin, resulting in death or of obedience resulting in righteousness, but thanks be to God, that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed? Everyone is obedient to their master and you either have Jesus as your master and you now follow him in obedience to the truth or you have sin as your master and you are living in obedience to unrighteousness. That very clearly is what verse 8 is teaching. Now, he goes on to talk about the recompense or the reward that unbelievers will receive for not obeying the truth and for being selfishly ambitious and for obeying unrighteousness and here is the unfolding payback from God when God judges them for this kind of a lifestyle, wrath, indignation, tribulation, distress. \
THE UNBELIEVERS REWARD
That’s the payback. That’s the wages that they have earned and that is the paycheck they will receive. The word wrath is a Greek word, I’m going to pronounce it, because you can hear an English word in. You can hear the word orgy. Heated passion, in an orgy it’s heated wrath. It is heated divine passion. Holy passion and it speaks of the violent anger of God against the ungodly and the word indignation, means much the same. The idea is boiling up. Something is so heated and so hot that it’s boiling up and bubbling up and that is the angry, heated passion of God against the wicked, because God is a holy God, and all that is antithetical to his holy character. He strongly reacts against it and he pours out vengeance against all that does not conform to his character and in those who are outside of Christ and then he throws in there will be tribulation and distress for every soul, and every soul here refers to an unbeliever who does evil.
This is the antithesis of what we saw in verse 7 of the one who seeks to do good deeds. This, now, is the mark of the unbeliever who habitually does evil and the word does here is a very strong word and it means to perform, to work, it’s in the present tense. This one continually does evil and the word evil doesn’t need much comment, but it is that which is wicked, that is which is bad, corrupt, and depraved. What we have here is the principle in verse 6 being applied to two different groups. First to believers who seek to do good deeds, then to unbelievers who are continually performing evil deeds and both will receive a recompense. Believers will receive reward. Unbelievers will receive punishment. According to the measure and the number of works that they perform. For the believer, good works. For the unbeliever, evil works. Now, continue to look at the end of verse 9.
It’s kind of an interesting thing he concludes with, “Of the Jew first and also of the Greek.” Now, that’s interesting, because we read in chapter 1:16, that the gospel will go first to the Jew, then to the gentile. What this is saying judgment will come first to the Jew, then to the gentile. We ask why? Because they have had greater light. They have rejected greater light. Therefore, there is greater accountability and greater responsibility. There will be greater judgment depending upon the measure of light of the truth that you have had. That is why he adds that. Now, in verse 10, he comes back to the believer. We know that because verse 10 begins with the word but. Again, a strong contrast, stark contrast, but, and now this is what comes to the believer who seeks to perform good deeds, glory, which is praise from God, affirmation from God on the last day, and being conformed more fully in our final state to the character of God. Paul says in Romans 8:30, “Those whom he called, he justified and those whom he justified, he glorified.”
This is that glory, but glory and honor, this is a repetition of verse 7, he’s already said that. This is a literally device meaning inclusion, where you finish the argument the way you begin the argument. In other words, you start by saying something, then you say other things, and then to end, you come back with what you started with. It’s a very effective teaching method and that is what Paul is doing here. He is coming back to the beginning of his argument. Glory, honor, and now he says peace and peace speaks of two things, one it speaks to the wellness of our soul and it speaks to the tranquility of our soul and in Heaven, there will be no sorrow, no pain, no illness. It will be a state of pure and perfect peace. Now, what is the mark of the one who receives from God glory, honor, and peace? He says to everyone who does good. He repeats this emphasis on deeds.
Please see the focus on deeds that is running throughout this entire chapter and this is something that is really not addressed today in many, even reformed, circles. There is such an emphasis on grace and rightly so, but at times, there is a neglect on the importance of the deeds that we perform, and people go, “Performance. See, you’re just on a Pharisees treadmill.” You need to read this passage to see how important deeds are for the believer in order to receive a measure of glory and honor and peace on the last day from God and so, verse 11, we’re seeing the principle, we’re seeing the application, third is the explanation, verse 11.
III. THE EXPLANTION
Here’s the explanation for verse 6, for there is no partiality with God. This means God will judge both the believer and the unbeliever, both the Jew and the Greek. There’s no partiality with God. God will judge everyone on the last day.
That’s why I think of this verse often for me, James 3:1, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing as such we shall incur a stricter,” what’s that last word? Judgment. There is a stricter judgment if you teach Sunday school. It will be stricter for some than for others, but there is a judgment that is coming even for us as Christians. This is a strong passage that as I’ve looked at it the last couple of days, has really kinda grabbed me by the collar and grabbed me by the lapels and it’s just kinda drawn me up straight in my chair as I need to be reminded of this that obedience is very important to God. Obedience is very important in my life and it’s very important in your life and the deeds that I do. I mean, we can’t just sit back on a sofa and be a spiritual couch potato and we have to be in the game and we’ve got to be doing what the Lord has put in front of us to do.
I’m going to wrap up now.
Participant: As you look at your life, it is with awe and fear and trembling, specifically, when you consider what you’ve already done and the time you’ve wasted. There’s a gravity, there’s a weight to it. There’s also a pleading with the Lord that he would, in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, empower me to stay on the right path, to encourage me — to energize me to walk in these good works that he’s prepared beforehand. To truly — in this passage, there’s a battle that goes on in each one of our minds daily as a believer, am I going to satisfy myself or am I going to seek to live obedient to him? That’s the battle and that’s the — it’s the awesomeness of the calling. I think that sometimes we view salvation and we think, we were lax and we think we’re good, but we don’t realize and think what — time is limited and we’ve gotta redeem the time. I mean, that’s what this is for the believer.
I really like your cross reference to Ephesians 2:10. “God has prepared good works for us to walk in.” There is an accountability on our part to perform these good works that he has prepared for us to walk in. That’s good, Mark. Thank you. Someone else? Grant.
Participant: I wanna get your take on what you were saying in the beginning about greater judgment from believers, but also this idea of greater reward for believers, and I’ve heard multiple opinions about this, but what’s kind of the take on if there’s going to be, tiered system of believers, how is it going to be in Heaven? I guess, as a human being, we would think, I’m gonna have envy of somebody else or I’m gonna have regret about something I didn’t do. What do you think about when we’re all perfect at the end how that’s gonna look?
We’re gonna receive an approbation and we’ll also receive crowns. Now, we’re — this crown is gonna be cast back at the Lord’s feet. We’re not gonna be strutting around Heaven like it’s a letter jacket. In Heaven — no, we’ll have this crown. We’ll cast it back at his feet, but you’re gonna want some crowns to cast back at his feet, and he says, “Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me to give to each man according to,” I think it’s his deeds. I need to even check myself on that, Revelation 22:7, but — ask me the follow up question, ’cause I wanna be — I missed it by a verse here. Why am I having trouble finding in my own Bible? Anyway, he’s coming back and his reward is with him. How about that?
Participant: Yeah, verse 12?
Is it verse 12?
Participant: “Behold”, this is Jesus talking, “Behold, I’m coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one”?
Yes thank you, Eric. “Behold, I’m coming quickly, and my reward is with me to render to every man according to what he has done.” I mean, that means something. I mean, how this is gonna look and flesh out, there’s not gonna be any envy in Heaven. In fact, I will be excited for you to receive great reward. I mean, almost like a stadium cheering the team on the field when it wins. There’s no envy in the stands. There is excitement. That is the excitement we will have for one another as we are recognized by the Lord for our good deeds. Ask me something else on that Grant. I’ve told you more than I know on that. Yeah, someone else?
Participant: I think grace is such a huge emphasis, and it should be as you mentioned, and I think of a story where a young lady told me and I think it applies to this. I know in my life where she was in a counseling session with Christian women somehow and this woman said, “I’m a Christian. I can go ahead and get an abortion, because God will forgive me.” The tendency, I think, in our sinful nature is to think, okay, I’ve got this hall pass to live and do whatever I want, because I’ve got this forgiveness, and I mean, that’s — it’s in my own life. There’s just not enough, because we want balance. We don’t want to get too far this way or that way, but it’s so important we talk about teaching the whole council of God, not just this, but all of it. This is something that we don’t talk about much.
Yeah, no, we don’t.
Participant: Why not?
I think we’re drawn probably most easily to passages that talk about grace and forgiveness and, again, rightly so, but that we pass over verses like this to get to those verses, and it isn’t being a pastoral emphasis to encourage people, and again, rightly so, but we also need a fire lit under us as well to motivate us, and I know grace is a motivation, but so also is judgment a motivation as well, and it’s not either/or, it’s both/and, and so it would be incomplete if we only spoke of grace and it would be incomplete if we only spoke of judgment. It’s both grace and judgment should be great motivators in our Christian life. The sense of accountability before God, but also the sense of his forgiveness and empowerment in our lives. Allen, what do you think?
Participant: I think about what Kevin was saying, there are people that think like that, that you have a _____ to do whatever you want, and that’s evidence of your lack of knowledge of scripture. Your preacher or someone failed you. You failed on your own, and I guess a wakeup call for all of us that we have people that we’re teaching, you need to let them know what this means, exactly, what’s the application? And as you were saying, the good news, there’s also bad news. Bad news or what made the good news really good news and then for us is knowing what the scripture says. It is really important and, as you were saying, there’s gonna be a stricter judgment and if you’re in front of a group of people, you have the responsibility of knowing this exactly. What does this mean for me and for you?
Yeah. No, absolutely. Thank you, Allen, for that — reinforcing that. _____, how does this strike you?
Participant: I feel a great tension in the verses, because when I look at the — I desire to persevere and do good, but I often see myself giving — having evil thoughts and just the internal struggle that I have. I just — just thinking about Paul in a few chapters about —
Yeah, Romans 7.
Participant: The desire to do good and just so thankful that this perseverance in doing good is all contingent upon Christ’s imputed righteousness and that — my entrance into Heaven is not contingent upon my good works, my rewards might be, and I’m just — I feel a great tension in the midst of the verses, just personally as I set an example in my heart and thoughts.
Uh-huh. Sure. We persevere in reality, because the Lord is persevering with us.
Participant: Philippians 1:6.
And in us. Being confident of this very thing that he who began a good work and you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus and then in next chapter Philippians 2:12-13, “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work within you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” It’s this tension, human responsibility and divine sovereignty and that tension.
Participant: And you said the encouragement and judgment and there’s encouragement and grace and we’re not — 2 Corinthians 5:15, is one of my favorite verses on this motivation, “And he died for all so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who died and rose again on their behalf.” _____ _____. I strive to do good works, because I know that I’m right with God, and I want to honor him in what he has already accomplished on my behalf.
Participant: I think you make a note of that, ’cause that’s just a heart thing, right?
Participant: Because you can still play the outside and be wrong on the inside and that’s the battle —
That’s the pharoses. That’s the pharoses.
Participant: I want you to do it for the outside to prove myself, instead of a proper response for what Christ has done for our —
Participant: Still that tendency a Christian or my life to check the boxes, but I’m not where I need to be.
Participant: You quoted precious stone, woods, straw from 1 Corinthians 3 about fire revealing it at the end, which is — which is right on what you’re talking about.
Yeah, it is. I mean, it’s the same foundation, which is Christ, and we build up with different materials, and some build with gold, silver, and precious stones, others with hay and stubble, and says, the fire will test the quality of each man’s worth. Now, Rick, you’re kind of a builder, aren’t you?
Participant: Uh-huh. See, I feel like I may have a little gold and a lot of hay.
Participant: I gotta fix something.
Yeah. Let me tell you, you’d rather have a handful of gold than a truck full of hay. That’s why he says he will test the quality, not the quantity. We in America and in American churches, we’re into quantity. Bigger is better. God is into quality and he will test the quality of each man’s work and — think about this. Gold, silver, and precious stones go through the fire. In fact, it actually purifies the gold, the silver, and the precious stones. They last and he says, they shall receive reward. The wood, the hay, and the stubble, when the fire is put to it, and it pictures the Lord testing us on the last day by fire. It will be consumed, because they are combustible and it says, “They will be saved, yet so as through fire.” And the idea is — I mean, there’s no reward. I mean, you poorly invested your Christian life. You’re saved, yet so as through fire. That’s a challenging passage I would think for all of us that we’ll stand before the Lord one day and each man will be rendered according to his deeds. We gotta be in the game and we gotta widen our stride and pick up our pace.
Participant: No neutral. You can’t —
I mean, there’s just no room for neutrality. In fact, if you’re neutral, you’re going backwards, and it’s like you said, there’s only so much time, as Mark said, and Jonathan Edwards has an incredible sermon, called The Preciousness of Time, that really launched the great awakening, and he just talks about when you waste time, you now have less time to do more work, and you just don’t wanna get in this catchup mode. Who else?
Participant: One of my favorite verses as one who’s reformed is 2 Peter
Participant: I mean, we’re elected, we’re chosen, and we wanna confirm that. I think that goes along with really the gift of assurance. If we look and we’re living like one who is the elect, it’ll confirm and _____ to us that we’re — that we are new creation, that we don’t look like we once did, and we’re not still walking with the power of the flesh, but I love that verse. It goes along with, I think, _____ to say, if you’re not sure if you’re part of the elect — if you don’t know if you’re part of the elect, make sure that you are. It’s a great _____.
Yeah. No, he got a way — yeah, I’m just looking here at that passage you just quoted and the previous verses talk about those things by which we make certain our calling and election. One of which is perseverance. In fact, it’s mentioned twice in the previous verses. Yeah. You can know that you’re one of the elect by your pursuing that which is pleasing to the Lord, because the non-elect are not doing that. I see that it’s 8:00. Anyone else have a parting word of wisdom for us? I wanna thank you for all that you’ve contributed and I want to thank those who’ve watched with us on this study.
Let me pray. Father, thank you for this study this morning and for these verses. I pray your spirit would be the primary teacher in what we’ve taught and what we’ve discussed. I pray great clarity, even greater clarity, would be brought into focus in our thinking and in our lives. Father, thank you that you have changed our affections and you have changed our direction by the new birth and that you’ve put us on the new path. Father, we pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.
© 2019 Steven J. Lawson