Skip to main content

re Judgment

The believer's judgment by his Lord is not the same as the divine wrath that will fall on unrepentant humankind in general. I Corinthians 3 tells us the believer, built upon the foundation of Christ will -- though personally secure -- be judged as to the quality of his work for Christ:

1 Corinthians 3:12-13 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw- 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.

Which raises the question, how do we determine which works are in the first category (gold, silver, precious stones) and which are in the second (wood, hay, straw). Big difference between the two and no mention of any kind of "in between" works.

One clue follows in chapter 4: (1 Corinthians 4:5) Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

It appears that hidden motives & purposes are critical in determining the value of a work. If I do something good for the following reasons:
  • to be seen and thought well of by others
  • to earn spiritual brownie points
  • to feel good about myself
  • to lessen feelings of guilt or fear
  • to receive reciprocal favors back from others
...then it seems the works --though good in relation to others-- are not valuable in God's sight as flowing from a relationship of grace, of love, of gratitude toward him.

If I do something good for the following reasons:

  • out of thankfulness to God
  • in response to his goodness and grace
  • as a loving response to who he is
  • to be a blessing to his creation & those who bear his image
  • to bring attention to God by honoring him
...then it seems that those kind of works would be valuable.

These motives are polar opposites, hence no middle ground. Outwardly we cannot tell if someone is praying, or serving, or giving, or sacrificing, or any good thing because of right motives and purposes.

Hence we really need the judgment of Christ that those who have served him well might receive their commendation.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

bible reading nov 1-2

  Bible reading for weekend Nov 1 -- 2 Nov 1 -- Hosea 7 and Psalms 120-122 Nov 2 -- Hosea 8 and Psalms 123-125 ================   "Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing." (Hosea 8:12) THE RESULTS OF SIN (ch 7-8). Notice the words and metaphors to describe Israel's sinful condition: they are surrounded with, and proud of, their evil (7:1-3); like adulterers in the heat of passion (7:4-5); their anger is like a hot oven (7:6-7); they are like a half-cooked (one side only) cake (7:8); their strength is gone (7:9); they are like silly doves easily trapped (7:11-12); they are undependable like a warped bow (7:16). In spite of all of this they are so proud of themselves! (We might say they have a strong self-esteem.) They have spurned what is good (8:3); they sow to the wind and have no real fruit (8:7); they are a useless vessel (8:8) and a wild donkey wandering alone (8:9); they regard God's law as a strange thing

bible reading dec 3-5

  Bible reading for weekend December 3 -- 5  Dec 3 -- Nahum 1 and Luke 17 Dec 4 -- Nahum 2 and Luke 18 Dec 5 -- Nahum 3 and Luke 19 ================ "The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness." (Nahum 1:7-8)  TIME'S UP FOR NINEVEH (Nah 1-3). The prophecy of Nahum is God's word to the people of Nineveh, part two. Jonah was part one, chronicling a city-wide repentance of Assyrians in the capital about a hundred years earlier. The closing bookend is Nahum, and the Assyrian empire is big, powerful, and aggressive. Notice the references to chariots (2:3-4, 13; 3:2). The Assyrians were a militarily advanced culture, and cruel in their warfare. Whatever spiritual receptivity they had at the time of Jonah was gone by the time of Nahum. Nahum may not have actually visited Nineveh, for it seems the book was w

bible reading june 4-6

Bible reading for weekend June 4 -- 6 Jun 4 -- Isaiah 36 and Revelation 6 Jun 5 -- Isaiah 37 and Revelation 7 Jun 6 -- Isaiah 38 and Revelation 8 ================    "So now, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the LORD." (Isaiah 37:20) HISTORICAL INTERLUDE (ch 36). Chapters 36 and 37 demonstrate that what Isaiah prophesied actually came to pass. The pre-siege negotiations begin. The Rabshakeh, referring to the chief representative of the Assyrian army, dissuades the people of Jerusalem from trusting in Egypt for deliverance (good advice), and also not to trust the Lord, the God of Israel, to rescue them (bad advice). The Assyrians are mocking the God of Israel as just another regional god who would fall at the hands of their mighty men. "Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?" (v 20). Hezekiah's trus