Faith "Not of Yourselves" (Ephesians 2:8)
"It Is God Which Worketh In You" (Philippians 2:13)
It is assuring to know that Jesus is "the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2), that "Salvation is of the LORD" (Jonah 2:9) from beginning to end, and that in the working out of our salvation, "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13). It is because of these things that God can so boldly promise that eternal life is eternal life. Philippians 1:6 says:
God does not leave such an important matter to chance nor to mans will. Hebrews 12:6-11 says:
We are to examine ourselves and judge ourselves, but even if we fail, God will be faithful. It may require the destruction of ones physical body, but God is faithful to preserve. 1 Corinthians 11:28-32 says:
To "sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth" (Hebrews 10:26) is to count the blood of Christ as "an unholy thing" (verse 29). There is no other sacrifice for sins but the blood of Christ. "The Lord shall judge his people" (verse 30). Hebrews 10:28-31 says:
1 Peter 1:13-17 says:
Philippians 3:15 says:
Philippians 3:18-19 says that they are "the enemies of the cross of Christ . . . who mind earthly things."
To disobey one commandment is to be guilty of all. Although the unbeliever is hopelessly incapable of obeying Gods commands because he is spiritually dead and without Christ, it is evident that he is obligated to obey the commands of his Creator. At the "great white throne" judgement, spoken of in Revelation 20:11-13, when the spiritually "dead, small and great, stand before God," they will be "judged . . . according to their works." More than 1,000 years earlier, at the "judgement seat of Christ," when the blood bought believers "shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ," each one "shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14:10-12). There will be no question regarding the salvation of those present at that judgement. That matter was settled when Christ died on the cross. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). Rewards and loss of rewards will be received by the saved at that time when "we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10). Not only will the works of believers be judged, but the motive and source will also be made manifest. Works performed for the purpose of boasting or for the praise of men will be counted as loss. In Matthew 6:1 Jesus said, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." It is the works that are done because "it is God which worketh in you" (Philippians 2:13) that will be rewarded.
Just as there will be no boasting of ones own works for the obtaining or keeping of eternal life, there will also be no boasting of rewards received. We will then stand in awe of Gods amazing grace that not only saves, but keeps. We will recognize, as never before, the depth of the truth of the total depravity and inability of man, and the absolute sovereignty of God. We will give God ALL the praise and ALL the glory as we look back and realize how often and how terribly we would have failed, were it not for the grace of God. Everyone present will give God ALL the credit for being the one "who maketh thee to differ from another" (1 Corinthians 4:7). We will all know that if we had not been born of God and given a new nature through a new birth, our "knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 2:20) would be only a head-knowledge and we would be as those spoken of in 2 Peter 2:22, which says:
"The just shall live by faith," and "are not of them that draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10:38-39).