Ephesians 4:4-6, One hope of your calling: Eternal Reward, part 9.
length: 66:43 - taught on Jan, 20 2021
Wednesday January 19,2021
Assimilating into the world, indistinguishable from it, is not the life of the disciple. We must all mature so that we openly live what we are and become witnesses to the world as salt, light, and the city on the hill.
The Lord does not give us a list of particular rewards. Neither do we find any detail through the New Testament concerning reward.
We often find the use of the word “things.” Things which eye has not seen … things freely given to us by God … all things work together for good … set your mind on the things above … The lack of detail seems to be a call to go and find them ourselves.
And since: EPH 3:20-21
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
It makes sense that God wouldn’t issue descriptions of His rewards in human language if the rewards are beyond description. I would think that everyone who has experienced them, if put on the spot to describe them, would have to say that they are beyond words.
Christ doesn’t tell us exactly what those rewards are. It is as if the life itself is the reward.
We must ask ourselves, is there anything greater or more valuable than the life of Christ?
"Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created."
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."
13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,
"To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."
And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped.
He is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and glory and blessing. In that list it is hard to imagine riches as some material quantity that others envy and desire. The riches of Christ would be His own glory.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
It therefore makes sense that the great rewards in heaven that our Lord speaks of are in some way related to our introduction to His glory.
If some are receiving reward, we have to conclude that some will not. We are not told what that loss looks like in eternity. We can see what it looks like in time. A believer who lacks, for instance, the fruit of the Spirit is losing reward.
Rewards, as presented in the scripture by our Lord, seem to point to the encouragement that those who suffer loss and persecution and trial because of righteousness will need to maintain peace and joy in their hearts. Reward in the future, either time or eternity, is comforting and exciting and anticipatory and so they are motivation for those who suffer on account of Him or for His name’s sake. Rewards are presented in the scripture as “great” or wonderful.
Following our Lord’s words, those who do not suffer loss in the world because of Him have their reward in full. They didn’t stand with Christ and the truth and got along in the world easier than those who did. That seems to be their reward.
"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 "It is enough for the disciple that he become as his teacher, and the slave as his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! 26 "Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. 27 "What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 "And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 "Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 "Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 "But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
What could or will those who do not shine the light of Christ be missing in eternity is not given to us in any detail. But what detail would we need if we knew that reward is promised to those who faithfully remain in the will of God despite all that pushes back against it? In other words, the Lord’s word is enough for us. The reward is beyond what we could imagine. That promise is good enough.
Continuing in our Lord’s teaching about reward:
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.”
As is true in all cases of scripture, we must understand the bigger passage in general if we are going to understand the specific truths that are contained in it.
In our study of reward we are focusing on these two verses within this passage.
Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward.
This reward has withstood the perfect scrutiny of the Lord’s judgment.
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ.