Chapter 6
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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:

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

God does not leave such an important matter to chance nor to man’s will. Hebrews 12:6-11 says:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

We are to examine ourselves and judge ourselves, but even if we fail, God will be faithful. It may require the destruction of one’s physical body, but God is faithful to preserve. 1 Corinthians 11:28-32 says:

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

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:

He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

1 Peter 1:13-17 says:

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

Philippians 3:15 says:

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

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 God’s 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 one’s 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 God’s 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:

But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

"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).

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

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