What You Have Done

Every one of us is a sinner.  That means that we deserve death before a holy, righteous God.  The wages of sin is death.  Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” While we deserve death based upon what we have done, God instead gives us life through Christ Jesus our Lord.  Our sins cause us to fall short of the glory of God, but He chose to justify us who have faith in Jesus.  Romans 3:21-26 “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”  God demonstrated His great love and mercy for us by giving His only begotten son to die for us.  Romans 5:6-8 “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

We should appreciate that by nature we deserved the wrath of God.  But God is rich in mercy.  Ephesians 2:1-10 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  We are saved by God’s grace.  We don’t deserve the forgiveness of our sins.  We don’t deserve the salvation we have received.  We don’t deserve to be declared righteous before Him.  We have not received from God the wrath that we should have received from Him based upon what we have done.  Instead, we receive His grace.  When we appreciate what He has really done for us by being gracious and merciful and loving to us, our love should be great for Him.  1 John 4:19 “We love Him because He first loved us.”  It should be natural for us to do what pleases Him.

God has been so merciful by not giving us what we deserve.  And yet, what we do in our time here on earth does matter.  There will come a time when what we will receive from Him will be based upon what we have done. Romans 2:5-11 “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds’: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness — indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”  What we do in this live will determine our final destination. Jesus said in John 5:28-29 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”  Each person will either receive the resurrection of life or the resurrection of condemnation based upon what they have done.

While each person will receive one of the two resurrections described above, all rewards may not be equal and may be specific to each individual.  2 Corinthians 5:9-10 “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” However God decides to reward, it is clear from scripture that each of us will be given according to his or her work. Matthew 16:24-27 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.’”  Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” 

I encourage you to sow to the spirit and not to sow to the flesh.  Galatians 6:7-9 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”  What you do is important. Don’t grow weary in doing good.

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