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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Judgment and Rewards, #16
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:5,6)
Being "saved" does not mean we will not be rewarded according to our behavior. If it did, Paul would not have warned the saints in Corinth, Galatia, and Ephesus that the unclean and covetous cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (I Corinthians 6:9,10; Galatians 5:19-21)
One individual had a dream in which he witnessed the saints being handed radiantly beautiful white robes but he was given a diaper.
Some of us will receive a glorious inheritance. Others of us will be saved as by fire. We are determining our reward, or punishment, by our behavior today.
The Christian believer will be clothed with his own conduct. We shall reap what we have sown. We shall be rewarded in terms of our works (Revelation 2:23; 22:12).
To attain the first resurrection from the dead is to attain the throne of Christ. It is to become, through Christ, the firstfruits of the image of God, the firstfruits of eternal man.
We think the "out-resurrection" (first resurrection) to which the Apostle Paul was addressing himself (Philippians 3:11) is the state in which the believer arrives at a full maturing in resurrection life now (although not in the body). He follows the Spirit of God into total victory over sin and self-will now. The result is that at the last trumpet he will be raised to the side of Christ, there to work with the Lord in establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth.
Such a "crown of life" is well worth fighting for.
Christ has held out to us rewards for pursuing the overcoming Christian life. These are the development of the life and authority that will be revealed to us in full weight and glory at the coming of the Lord from Heaven.
The rewards to the overcomer are not prizes that will be handed to every believer on the basis of God's mercy, or grace. Rather, they are areas of spiritual authority, power, and responsibility that belong by inheritance to redeemed man. They accrue to us as we obey the Holy Spirit. Some are given to us now and others will be assigned to us at the coming of the Lord. Our task in the world is to mature to the level where we can receive them.
The rewards to the overcomer are not given to us because we keep on believing that Jesus is the Christ. They are the product of specific training; the consequence of specific behavior; the effect of specific cause.
The training period is now. If we apply ourselves each day to the challenges and blessings of the Spirit of God we will be able to enter the authorities, powers, responsibilities, and opportunities for service that belong by inheritance to those who have been conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus.
To be continued.