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What do you mean.... Rewarded according to works?

Few — even professing "Christians" — understand some of this Biblical terminology.
Few understand the difference between being "saved by GRACE," and "rewarded according to WORKS."
Here is a surprising sequel to the article,
What Do You Mean . . . Salvation? in the December (1966) issue — an eye-opening article.


SOME RELIGIONISTS, who talk much about "salvation" and "grace" accuse me of proclaiming "a salvation by works." The accusation is FALSE!

The ANSWER to these false accusations is something FEW people comprehend — including the world's religious leaders!



There's a Vast Difference!

There is a great difference between being "saved by GRACE," and "rewarded according to WORKS." To UNDERSTAND, you need to know what "salvation" is, and what "reward" means.

The Bible tells us what are "the spiritual consequences of sin." But "salvation" means, also, "preservation." In this case, preservation of LIFE. One verse in the Bible explains BOTH: "For the wages of sin is DEATH; but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).

The wages you EARN by the works of SIN is eternal DEATH. It is ETERNAL PUNISHMENT — and since the punishment is DEATH, and not life, it is eternal DEATH. You now have only a chemical, temporary, physical existence, sustained by breathing, eating, drinking, and your physical heart continuing to beat and circulate your blood. Stop breathing, stop your heart beating, you die — you cease to live — almost instantly. Stop eating and drinking, and you'll die in 45 or 50 days.

So, to PRESERVE LIFE means the GIFT of ETERNAL LIFE — spirit life — self-sustaining, INHERENT life.

Salvation, then, means to PRESERVE you FROM eternal death, the "wages" or consequences of sin, and to GIVE you inherent ETERNAL LIFE.

So, then, ETERNAL LIFE is something you DO NOT NOW HAVE. It is something you have no power to supply, or give to yourself. You can't earn it by WORKS. It comes as God s free GIFT. Neither can you erase the PENALTY of sin — that is, PREVENT eternal DEATH. For "ALL have sinned" (Rom. 3:23). That includes YOU! You have brought on yourself the eternal DEATH SENTENCE, as a penalty!

The Bible teaches NOTHING about an "immortal soul." On the contrary, it teaches, twice, that "the soul that sinneth, it shall DIE" (Ezek. 18:4, 20). Jesus said the soul can be DESTROYED in Gehenna fire (Mat. 10:28).

What your own "works" have earned for you is the wages of ETERNAL DEATH. You see, everyone has "WORKS" — either good, or bad! And your bad works have earned the wages of eternal DEATH. Good works can earn something, too — which I will explain later — but it is NOT "Salvation" or eternal life!

GOD ONLY has immortality. He has it INHERENT. He has it TO GIVE. You do NOT have it! You must go to GOD to get it!

But, your sins have CUT YOU OFF from God! (Isa. 59:1-2) You are 50 CUT OFF that you cannot reach Him! There is an impassable BARRIER between you and Him, brought on by your SINS!

How, then, can you gain ACCESS to Almighty God (the Father), to receive from Him eternal life and salvation — AS His GIFT? Well, Isaiah says, "let the wicked forsake his way" (Isa. 55:68) — the way of SIN. And, further, God so LOVED THE WORLD (of sinners), that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should NOT perish, but have everlasting LIFE (John 3:16).

Yes, but HOW?

The answer is in Romans 5:8-10: "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more, then, being justified NOW by His blood . . . GET THIS! Being NOW justified" — HOW? — By "works"? No, by Christ's DEATH — by His blood. He shed His blood and DIED.

So — IF you repent of sinning — that is, turn around to go the OTHER WAY — forsake YOUR way — the way contrary to God's Law, and turn to GOD'S WAY — the way of His Law — if you have thus REPENTED of sinning, and have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior — accepted His DEATH as PAYMENT IN FULL for YOUR sins — accepted Him as personal Savior not only from the PENALTY of past sins, but as living Savior to save you from SINNING (now and in the future) then you are Now forgiven past guilt — you are now JUSTIFIED of your guilty past.

But "justified" refers to the guilty past, not to the FUTURE!

So, CONTINUE this Scripture: . . . Much more, then, being now justified by His blood, we SHALL BE saved by Him. . . . Notice, being SAVED is yet in the future. We are now "justified, by God s grace — by Jesus DEATH — and SHALL BE (future) saved.

But, continue, verse 10 of Romans 5: ". . . For if, when we were enemies, we were Reconciled to God by the death of His Son. . ." here, you see, being JUSTIFIED by Christ's death is ALSO being RECONCILED to GOD by His death. In other words, we have at last, through Christ's death established CONTACT with God.

Now continue, same sentence: ". . . much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved BY HIS LIFE."

Not already "saved." But "shall be saved." And HOW? Saved by the "blood of Christ"? — By His DEATH? NO!!! By His LIFE! We are justified of past guilt, which had cut us off from access to God, by Christ s DEATH — but SHALL BE, in the future, SAVED by His LIFE. He ROSE from the dead. He is a living Christ!


HOW Eternal Life Comes

So, with the sentence of eternal DEATH paid for us — our past sins which put a barrier between us and God JUSTIFIED — we are now Reconciled to God — given access. And HE has ETERNAL LIFE inherent — self containing life — to GIVE.

How, then, do we receive it from Him?

Notice a couple of pivotal Scriptures: "For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself" (John 5:26). God has imparted INHERENT eternal life to the living Jesus Christ. Now, further: "And this is the record that GOD hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life [eternal}; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:11,12).

Yes, we are to be SAVED by the living Christ — saved BY His LIFE! That is, GIVEN eternal life as a GIFT, through His life — not through His death!

But, specifically, How? Let the apostle Peter explain: "REPENT, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall RECEIVE the GIFT of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). on real REPENTANCE of sinning — a turning around to go the other way — to QUIT sinning — and on faith in Jesus expressed by water baptism (Acts 8:35-37) God has promised WE SHALL RECEIVE His HOLY SPIRIT AS A GIFT. Not by our "works" — but by Grace!

But how does THIS give us eternal life — salvation?

"IF the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall ALSO (by a resurrection) quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in yoga (Rom. 8:11).

Well is, then, the receiving of the Holy Spirit salvation? Is one already "saved" when he receives this Spirit?

GOD'S WORD SAYS NO! It is the presence of eternal life conditionally — provisionally. The Scripture above quoted spoke of God s Spirit DWELLING in you. IF this Spirit is dwelling in you until death (the first), or AT THE TIME of the RESURRECTION — at Christ s coming — THEN you shall be either resurrected IMMORTAL, or, if still alive CHANGED from mortal to immortal instantaneously (1 Cor. 15:50 and 1 Thes. 4:13-17).

The receiving of the Holy Spirit, Now, is the TOKEN PAYMENT — or the EARNEST payment from God on the gift of eternal life. Notice: ". . . Christ . . . in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our INHERITANCE, until the redemption of the purchased possession . . ." (Eph. 1:12-14). The Mofatt translation renders it in more understandable English, ". . . the long-promised Holy Spirit, which is the pledge and installment of our common heritage, that we may (in future) obtain our divine possession . . ."

Those who have received God's Holy Spirit are NOW not yet inheritors or possessors of this eternal life — of this salvation. They are Now HEIRS of God — co-heirs with Christ (Gal. 3:29). They are now still mortal, not immortal. They are now begotten sons of God — not yet born of God. They are now in the CHURCH of God — not yet in the KINGDOM of God.


May we go on Sinning?

But now what of that Scripture that says: ". . . ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom. 6:14).

Now that you are UNDER GRACE — does this mean you are given license to disobey God's Law?

Listen to GOD'S answer: "What shall we say, then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? GOD Forbid! How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Rom. 6:1-2) Later, verse 12: "Let not sin [transgressing God's Law} therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof."

Once again, verse 14: "For sin (transgressing the Law) shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the Law, but under grace." The very next words show PLAINLY this does not mean you are free to BREAK God's Law — to Disobey God.”What then? Shall we SIN (break the Law), because we are not under the Law, but under grace? GOD FORBID! Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness."

GRACE does not mean license to SIN. And the BIBLE definition of SIN is: "Sin is the transgression of the LAW (1 John 3:4).

You were UNDER THE LAW, when the law stood over you, claiming its penalty. When Christ paid the penalty, and satisfied the claims of the law, you were no longer under the law, but under GRACE.

It is the FALSE PROPHETS of our day who try to deceive you into believing "GRACE" means permission to BREAK GOD'S LAW! We are being saved FROM SINNING (now and in the future) as well as from PAST sins.

Christ came to save us FROM sinning — not to save us IN sin.