Experiencing the Power of the Gospel
Part 3―Biblical Doctrines in the Light of the Gospel
Part 4―Last Day Events (Eschatology)
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1. Our works don’t save us. What saves us, is our belief in Christ.
Acts 16 (v. 30) And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (v. 31) So they said,
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved...."
When does this “saved condition” take place?
John 5 (v. 24) Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life....but has
passed from death into life. ( what tense is that )
We are in a “saved condition” the moment we believe!!
Such that, if we die that same day, we will be in the kingdom at the first resurrection, regardless of how much we are struggling with our performance.
Rom 3 (v. 22) even the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference. The righteousness goes to all who believe!!
2. Our works only determines our reward as saved believers.
Matt 16 (v. 27) For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward
each according to his works.
Tell me, what is the reward being referred to here?
Is it “Heaven”? The right to be taken to heaven? Is that what it is?
So, does every believer get the same reward?
What is the reward determined by?
(v. 27) ....then He will reward each according to his works.
So, does every believer receive the same reward? Did every believer produce the same amount of works?
Rev 22 (v. 12) And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to “give” to everyone according to his work.
I Cor 3 (v. 8) Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
Is that talking about “reap what you sow” in getting fruit from your garden?
Read: (verse 9) For we are God's fellow workers, you are God's field....
This is not talking about growing crops, but rather doing the Lord’s work!!
The reward (in heaven) is given according to your work here (on earth) during your lifetime!!
3. Good works do not affect our salvation; they only affect the reward that we receive, for those who are saved, by abiding in Christ.
Mark 4 (v. 20) But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.
The believer’s visible works, are bearing fruit: some 30 fold, some 60 fold, and some a 100 fold!!
How does the believer produce this fruit?
John 15 (v. 5) "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
The germination of the seed represents the beginning of spiritual life, and the development of the plant is a figure of the development of character. There can be no life without growth. The plant must either grow or die. As its growth is silent and imperceptible, but continuous, so is the growth of character. At every stage of development our life may be perfect; yet if God's purpose for us is fulfilled, there will be constant advancement. It Is the Harvest of Life. The harvest of life is character, and it is this that determines destiny, both for this life and for the life to come.
Christ will produce the “good works”, but not because it saves you! It is the Evidence
& Proof that you are abiding in Him!!
That is how other people “know” that you are a Christian!!!
What does God do with these “good works” that are the visible fruit pouring out of the believer?
Titus 3 (v. 8) This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. ( not to the believers )
So “good works” are profitable for men who are “watching” you, not just for the believers. ( For what reason? )
Matt 5 (v. 14) You are the light of the world. (v. 16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
The world needs to see Christ in us; the works are the fruit of salvation!!
4. But if we don’t believe that Christ has already redeemed us, then our good works can do nothing to help us.
John 3 (v. 18) ....but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
So if you don’t believe, you are already condemned, regardless of any works!
I Jn 2 (v. 2) And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.
II Cor 5 (v. 18) Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ.... (v. 19) that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself....
So, all men were redeemed; but only those that believe, will be saved!!
Rom 10 (v. 14) How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? (v. 17) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
II Cor 5 (v. 21) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Why did God do all of this for us “in Christ”?
II Pet 3 (v. 9) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise....not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
When did God think about doing all of this for us?
Rev 13 (v. 8) And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
God wants everyone to be saved, but not everybody is going to believe!
Heb 3 (v. 12) Beware brethren, lest there be in any of you, an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. (v. 16) For who having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?
(v. 19) So we see, that they could not enter in, because of unbelief.
Take note and read what happened over there:
Num 13 (v. 1) And the Lord spoke to Moses saying, (v. 2) "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel...."
So, God had already decided to give the land to them, all they had to do is believe and take it.
(verse 30) Then Caleb....said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” (v. 31) But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we."
So, un-belief will cause you to be lost, and to not enter into the kingdom!!
Matt 7 (v. 22) Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, have we not....done many wonders in Your name? (v. 23) And then I will declare to them, I never knew you....
But what about in verse 21: Doesn’t that imply works, as some say?
Matt 7 (v. 21) Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
What is the will of the Father in heaven?
John 6 (v. 39) This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. (v. 40) And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
1. E.G. White, Child Guidance “Importance of character” p.162, par.3-4
2. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Hendrickson Publishers.
Image #1: Good News Unlimited, (2015). Jesus puts on you a white robe. Retrieved from https://www.goodnewsunlimited.com/righteousness-and-holiness-by-tom-durst/
Image #2: Don McClain, (2010). Judgment day, secrets made known. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/DonMcClain/the-judgment-day
Image #3: Life, Hope, & Truth, (n.d.). Gem stone and gold. Retrieved from https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/revelation/new-jerusalem/
Image #4: 30 60 100 Ministries, (2015). Bearing fruit, some 30 fold, 60 fold, and 100 fold. Retrieved from http://3060100.org/
Image #5: Picmia, (n.d.). Your words mean nothing when your actions are the complete opposite. Retrieved from http://picmia.com/tag/truth-inspiration-life
Image #6: Author unknown, (n.d.). Synopsis, only those who believe can call on the Lord. Retrieved from https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WhQCHuWkldzOM8KOKIOywSB0TS-EZUeMpTGFWOncP8U91Y7bIFLBFBTR0eQPSyzOH5qC=s114
Image #7: Nick Pellicciotta, (2015). When was Jesus’ sacrifice planned? Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/nich777/lesson-2-revelation-seminars-the-star-of-the-drama-of-revelation-50374685
Image #8: My Jewish Learning, (2015). Caleb and Joshua, spying out the land. Retrieved from https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/caleb/
Image #9: Beyond the stone, (2015). Jesus saves Peter. Retrieved from https://beyondstones.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/trusting-him-in-the-midst-of-our-storm-part-3/