Ephesians4:4-6, One hope of your calling: Eternal Reward, part 7.
length: 79:54 - taught on Jan, 17 2021
Sunday January 17,2020
In our Lord’s teaching about rewards and treasure in heaven, we have looked at parts of the Sermon on the Mount and some of His parables.
From the Sermon: If you are persecuted like I was, you are blessed; and rejoice, for your reward in heaven is great. If you love as I loved you will be extraordinary. If you practice your righteousness (giving, praying, serving) in secret, your Father who sees in secret (alone sees what you do) will repay you. He told us to be gracious and give charitably and our wealth will be put in a purse that is indestructible in heaven. Giving to any in need will not be overlooked by our Father. It turns out that being like Him in the only life with true reward, the life He has given to us through our Lord Jesus’ sacrifice, will transform us to our core - to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.
So don’t be anxious for your life. All the noise around you is resonating upon itself until it destroys itself. They will all eventually devour one another. “You,” God says, “My son and daughter, are not of that noise. Be still and watch the deliverance of the Lord.”
Why are the nations in an uproar,
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand,
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His
3 "Let us tear their fetters apart,
And cast away their cords from us!"
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury:
6 "But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain."
We looked at the Parable of the Vineyard Owner. The point: God blesses all of us more than we could have ever imagined. Receive, enjoy, and envy of others is ridiculous in light of your own blessings from God.
And, looking at the natural disappointment of the all-day-laborers makes us face our own ideals that are still governed by the world’s ideals of earning rather than uncalculated grace.
This is a mature lesson, and like all lessons that are mature, they pierce the division of soul and spirit. We see something that burrows into us like nothing else, and down there, it changes us at a level that transforms our very being.
The parable of the faithful slave told us that we need to labor under the will of our Master until He returns. The reward is above and beyond our imagination. In the parable, the master puts the slave in charge of all that he owns.
The Parable of the Minas - they who don’t know God can do nothing with the life God has given them. Those who can (fulfill their calling as believers) are rewarded.
The context would make the worthless slave a person who, not knowing God, could not do the smallest thing with the life God had given him.
"Nothing twists and deforms the soul more than a low or unworthy conception of God," [Tozer]
Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. 3 But to me it is a very small thing that I should be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. 4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. 5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God.
“I do not even examine myself,” is an application of our Lord’s instruction, “Do not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing.”
It could not be that we do God’s work and service and then get paid “something else.” The something else, material or promotion or prestige, would be considered greater than the will of God. What we have, more will be given. The same message is given in the parable of the talents in Mat 25.
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12 Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Matthew lists 8 Beatitudes. Luke lists four balanced perfectly by four woes, showing us that relationships are reversed in God’s kingdom.
And turning His gaze on His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and cast insults at you, and spurn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. 23 Be glad in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.”
Four rewards and four woes. Christ reversed the relationships of the old kingdom.
This is the full extent of Luke’s record of the Beatitudes. He lists four while Matthew lists eight. Luke’s emphasis is a great reversal of relationships in the new Kingdom vs. the old kingdom. His four blessedness’ are perfectly balanced with four woes.
“But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. 25 Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for in the same way their fathers used to treat the false prophets.”
The relationships in the kingdom of heaven are reversed from what they have been in this world. By relationships we mean people and things. Basically, we’re looking at how a person reacts or responds to the world around them, the people, the material, the events, circumstances, rumors, etc.
Since in the Beatitudes “your reward is great in heaven” the reversal of the old life without Christ to the life of His kingdom is the source of those rewards.