Sunday, June 21, 2009

Grim Fairy Tales 2.

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. ESV

One day you will stand before God, and he
will do an audit of your life, a final exam,
before you enter eternity. The Bible says,
“Remember, each of us will stand personally
before the judgment seat of God. . . . Yes, each of
us will have to give a personal account to God.”35
Fortunately, God wants us to pass this test, so
he has given us the questions in advance. From
the Bible we can surmise that God will ask us
two crucial questions:
First, “What did you do with my Son,
Jesus Christ?” God won’t ask about your
religious background or your doctrinal views.
The only thing that will matter is, did you
accept what Jesus did for you and did you learn
to love and trust him? Jesus said, “I am the way
and the truth and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through me.”36 God wants you to
get to know, love, and trust his Son, Jesus,
whom he sent to earth to show us what God is
like and to forgive and save us.
Second, “What did you do with your
life?” What did you do with all that God gave
you—all your gifts, talents, opportunities,
energy, relationships, and resources? Did you
spend them on yourself, or did you use them
to fulfill God’s purposes for your life?

The above quote is from “The Purpose Driven Life” pg 26 by Rick Warren. Many panned this writing as if he came up with something new. Many times sitting through sermons, in conservative and bible believing Churches, one will hear some sort of appeal to good works. It will be stated by using the above scripture that it is up to the Christian how much reward he or she will receive. If you spend lots of your off work time in Church work such as teaching and witnessing you will have more then your counterpart who merely earned a living and cared for family. That is indeed grim for that is the calling of a husband and father to care for family. Indeed it would be neglecting of the vocation of a head of household to leave off caring for his family in order to increase church work and build a career at the same time.

Indeed there will be greater rewards in heaven for some over others. However, we are not given the laundry list of activities which would earn them or the level of activity which would gain them. God has for us work to do by serving our neighbour. If we were to do this service only for the hope of greater reward that is using the neighbour as a means to an end and as our servant. To add to that grim outcome we are slapping the face of our Crucified and Risen Lord as if his good deeds for us need adding to. The reward we have in heaven is given to us by grace not out of payment for service.

In addition nothing we do ever measures up to God. We are constantly falling short. What a grim thing to constantly examine oneself to try to determine what is and what is not reward worthy. What God does admire and reward is his work in us. The fruit of the Spirit love, joy, peace etc are all attitudes and motivation. We can never hope to measure those things in ourselves let alone in others. Suffice it to say that as children of our Father in heaven we do what is given us to do. Our response to anything which presents itself to us about which we should be proud should be repentance for the self centered pride.

Luke 14:7 “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” ESV


Steve Martin said...

"All of our righteous deeds are as filthy rags."

A note of caution to the preachers of good works and the doer's of good works for jewels in your crown, or rewards.

Your motives are tainted so those "good works" are merely filthy, stinky, soiled rags.

Trust in Christ... and then just live, and laugh, and cry, and love.

L P said...

Bro David,

You asked about a third view, between Calvinism's Limited Atonement and Lutheran UOJ.

I have a name for it - the third view is JBFA....

I know you might think I am trying to be cute but that is simply it - justification by faith alone. (LOL).