Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Christian Reward(s)

Definition:  Reward - something given in return for good deeds/service/work (compensation/ positive retribution!)

On one hand - very close to the idea of payment/wages
BUT --- carries with it the idea that:
        A)  the deed was not mandated or absolutely required!
        B)  the payment was not mandated or absolutely required!

In the Biblical concept - Rewardhalfway between - gift and payment.

ie:  God does not Absolutely demand these services/lifestyle/works
However, He grants substantial blessings on His people when they serve well and live well.

We will look at:  Rewarded FOR what?
                         Rewarded WITH what?
                         Rewarded WHEN?

Rewards FOR what? 
 For:  "acts of righteousness" - Matt. 6:1
          Examples:  generosity - Matt. 6:2-4
                           prayer -       Matt. 6:5-6
                           fasting -       Matt. 6:16-18

For:  faithfulness, hard work, obedience, righteous living
Examples:  hospitality - Matt. 10:40-42
                 faithful witness - Matt. 5:11-12
                 steadfastness - Heb. 10:35 - Christian life is not always roses and fun
                 service (to Christ/to others) - Matt. 25:31-40

The concept of rewards is throughout Scripture.  Gen. 15:1    Rev. 22:12 - Christian rewards *not to be confused with salvation)

Rewarded WITH what?  * hard to say specifically!!!
Crown of life - (James)   Righteousness (Paul)  Glory (Peter)
Revelation:  (7 Chapters)
       a)  the right to eat of the Tree of Life
       b)  some of the hidden manna
       c)  authority over the nations
       d)  the right to sit with Me on my throne

So, on one hand, it's hard to say, however, clearly includes His PRAISE and possibly included PROMOTION. - Matt. 25:19-21

Rewarded WHEN?  
Mostly then and there.  - rewards in heaven - justice (everything will be made right)
BUT, sometimes here and now - 2 Cor. 9:10-11.   (no promise that if "give $10.00 will get $100.00 back)

NOTE:  This is NOT to be confused with Gifts of Grace!!!! (salvation, justice, forgiveness, cleansing, redemption, reconciliation, eternal life...) - all these are GIFTS from God.  Rom. 4:1-5

Two classic passages about Christian rewards:
#1.  2 Cor. 5:10 - Bema (of Christ) - ALL will appear to receive what is due for things done in the body whether good or bad - Rom. 14:10, 12  (Bema of God)

#2.  1 Cor. 3:12-15 - (cross ref.  2 John 8) - will show works for the type they are

Still - we are "obligated by Grace"
Should be - motivated by Love - for Him, His people, one another
BUT - the doctrine (and system) of Rewards = God's design/doing
Therefore:  no shame to be spurned on or strengthened by the Hope of Reward(s)

Should be spurned on when sacrificing for righteousness, because He says will be compensated, will not lose reward!
Col. 3:23-24 - It is the Lord God we serve.

All these are promises to Christians!!  They are not to those people who do good works, live good life, etc., but have never accepted the free gift of salvation.

You cannot do the rewards without accepting the free gifts!!

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