Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
November 7, 1997
Last Updated :
July 30, 2012
Having The Certainty Of Our Salvation, Rewarded According To Our Works, Seek Out God's Will For Your Life, One Body But Many Members, Different Callings And Gifts, Demonstrate Our Faith Through Tangible Actions, Motivated By Love, The Lord Knows Them That Are His, Don't Judge The Salvation Of Others, Work Out Your Own Salvation, Abide In Your Own Ministry And Calling, First Shall Be Last And The Last First, Righteous Judgment, Closing Remarks, Some Additional Reading Resources
As we have now clearly seen, the doctrine of good works-based Salvation -- which engenders doubts, worry and uncertainty -- can't really be substantiated by the Scriptures. We are to be certain of our Salvation, and have peace in our hearts, as the Apostle John writes in the following verses:
"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
1 John 5:12-13, KJV
Notice the assurance and certainty in John's words. With the phrases "that ye may know" and "that ye may believe", John leaves no room for doubt whatsoever. Let me emphasize again that while our works do not save us, they are the source of our Heavenly Rewards. As I explain in such articles as "Are You a Burning Ember for the Lord?", sitting on our fannies and doing nothing for the Lord once we accept the free Gift of Salvation will not do, and is simply unacceptable to the Lord. This is made sufficiently clear by verses such as the following which reveal that we will each be judged by -- and rewarded according to -- our works for the Lord. We must use and invest our talents wisely:
"If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?"
Proverbs 24:12, KJV
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."
Matthew 16:27, KJV
"And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:"
1 Peter 1:17, KJV
". . . I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works."
Revelation 2:23b, KJV
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."
Revelation 14:13, KJV
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."
Revelation 20:12-13, KJV
If we really love the Lord and want to please Him, we will each endeavor to do what we can, according to our particular gifts and abilities. As I explain in articles such as "What is God's Will for My Life?", each one of us has a particular calling from the Lord, and we must seek out His Will for our lives. Some of us may be destined to be field missionaries, while others may be teachers and writers, or hold some other position within the Body of Christ. Even motherhood is an honorable and great responsibility within the Lord's Church; because not only are they raising tomorrow's leaders, but they are also making it possible for their husbands to serve the Lord full-time As the Apostle Paul explains in various of his Epistles, we are one Body, yet with many members and many different gifts. Consider the following verses:
"For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
Romans 12:4-5, KJV
"For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread."
1 Corinthians 10:17, KJV
"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit . . . But now are they many members, yet but one body."
1 Corinthians 12-13, 20, KJV
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"
Ephesians 2:13-19, KJV
"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all . . . "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
Ephesians 4:3-6, 16, KJV
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."
Colossians 3:15, KJV
"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
1 Corinthians 1:10, KJV
In my view, this is the main intent of the previous verses where the Apostle James admonishes us that faith without works in dead. We must each demonstrate our faith through tangible actions of one form or another. We should do it, not because our works for the Lord are what actually save us, but rather simply because we want to please the Lord, and because we are motivated by our love for lost souls, as well as by our desire to spiritually feed and shepherd our Christian brethren.
In conclusion, as I mentioned earlier, it is wise to not be too quick to judge other Christians, or to try to determine whether or not they are saved. I firmly believe that this is God's business alone, and not ours. Jesus made it very clear that He knows who His sheep are, as we see by the following verses:
"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine . . . My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"
John 10:14, 27, KJV
As we saw earlier, the Apostle Paul also echoes this very same sentiment in his second Epistle to Timothy when he writes the following:
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
2 Timothy 2:19, KJV
Rather than judge who is, and who is not of the Lord, let us each demonstrate humility, and concentrate on working out our own Salvation with fear and trembling, as the Apostle Paul advises us to do in the following verse. Let us also abide in our own ministry and calling, and mind our own business. Consider the following verses:
"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
Philippians 2:12, KJV
"Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand."
Romans 15:20-21, KJV
"Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called . . . Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God."
1 Corinthians 7:20, 24, KJV
"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth."
2 Corinthians 10:12-18, KJV
"But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."
Galatians 2:7-9, KJV
The truth of the matter is that someday we may all be very surprised to find out who has made it through those Pearly Gates, and who has not. There will be many heartbreaking disappointments, as well as many unexpected surprises. If you doubt that this is so, then please consider these verses:
"And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all."
Mark 9:35, KJV
"But many that are first shall be last; and the last first."
Mark 10:31, KJV
"And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all."
Mark 10:44, KJV
"And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee."
Luke 14:7-10, KJV
In contrast to the previous verses which encourage a spirit of humility, once again consider the following verses which expose the high and mighty officials of organized religion, who sometimes act very similar to the proud, self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees of old:
"And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation."
Mark 12:38-40, KJV
"Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets."
Luke 11:43, KJV
"Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation."
Luke 20:46-47, KJV
Before concluding this series, allow me to mention that this series does not fully address the issue of judgment. While we are admonished to not critically or self-righteously judge our Christian brethren, the Bible does clearly teach us that there is an acceptable form of "righteous judgment". For a fuller explanation of this topic, please refer to the article entitled "Exposing the Judge Not Fallacy".
With these final thoughts, I will bring this series to its conclusion. I trust that you have been blessed by it, and I hope that you have learned something new along the way. If you have been inspired by this series, I ask you to please consider sharing its URL with your online friends. If you have an account on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, I would also appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link which is found on this page. Thank you so very much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of resources below which were either mentioned in this series, or which contain topics which are related to this series. All of these articles are likewise located on this very same Bill's Bible Basics website:
All Are Given a Chance, But . . .
Are We Once Saved, Always Saved?
Are You a Burning Ember for the Lord?
Are You Clean Every Whit?
Civil Disobedience and Christian Persecution
Dear Teacher: Standing Up for Our Children's Rights
Do You Want Love and Light, Or Rod and Wrath?
Exposing the Judge Not Fallacy
Free Will and Personal Choice
Going Down the Highway
Have You Sold Your Soul for a Pound of Flesh?
Hell, the Lake of Fire and Universalism
Is Salvation Meant for All Men?
Message to the World
Science and Technology: The Forbidden Fruit?
Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
Sluggards and Sloths: Are You Diligent and Faithful in the Affairs of God's Kingdom?
Sorry . . . Jesus is Not Coming at Any Moment!
The Fruits of Disobedience
The Misguided End of the World Predictions of Harold Camping
The Public School System and School Prayer
What is God's Will for My Life?
What is Wrong with Modern America?