CONFUSION IN CHRISTIANDOM

   “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”; 11 Timothy 2:15  (This verse is the key that unlocks the Bible)  “Right division of the Word of God”…more later!!

There is so much confusion amongst Bible believers over the question of salvation:

  1. Is a person saved through faith alone?
  2. Are works part of salvation?
  3. Can a person know for sure he is saved?
  4. What if a person sins again after being saved?
  5. Can a person lose his salvation?

 

     All of these can be answered simply by studying the Book of Romans and understanding the meaning of the terms below:`

“Righteousness”, “Imputation”, “Justification”, “Grace”, “Redemption”, “Propitiation”, “Faith”, “Remission”, “Forbearance”, “Reconciliation”, “Sanctification”. These eleven terms constitute what is called “THE GOSPEL”.

Before we define these terms, there is another reason why there is so much confusion in Christendom. The problem is that people read their Bible superstitiously, thinking that wherever” they read and “whatever'”  they read is what God is saying to them; but that is not so. Confusion begins by not paying attention to “Who” is being addressed in a passage of the Bible; and then, not believing that when God addresses “Israel”, He means Israel.

There is a portion of the Bible that specifically addresses US – Gentiles and Jews of this age. It is the Books of Romans through Philemon. Now let’s see how knowing this fact clears up much confusion. 

It is commonly taught that there is only one gospel in the Bible. (I’m not speaking of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which are sometimes called the four Gospels.) I’m talking about the proclamation of the Gospel in the Bible. In fact, most of Christendom  believe, teach and preach that all of the New Testament preachers (John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, the Twelve Apostles and the Apostle Paul) preached the same Gospel.  THIS IS TOTALLY NOT THE CASE, IT IS TOTALLY UNSCRIPTURAL!!  The  Apostle Paul preached another Gospel which is “The Gospel of the Grace of God” (which we will explore later).  Actually the Bible speaks of several gospels.  (Gospel means “Good News”)….   GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM,” “THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD,” “THE GOSPEL OF PEACE,” THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL,” “THE GOSPEL OF THE CIRCUMCISION,” “THE GOSPEL OF THE UNCIRCUMCISION,” etc.  These are not all synonymous terms for the gospel.

The “GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM” is what our Lord Jesus Christ preached during his earthly ministry, according to Matthew 4:23. By comparing this verse with Matthew 4:17we know that the “GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM” is the preaching of the good news that the “KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.” This is the “KINGDOM”Jesus Christ taught his disciples to pray for in Matthew 6:10:

    “THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE… IN EARTH …AS IT IS IN          HEAVEN.”

   God promised in the Old Testament to set up a Kingdom here on earth through the nation of Israel, in which Jesus Christ would reign as King! Christ was here; and the good news proclaimed was that the Kingdom was at hand. In Matthew 10:7 we find this to be the same gospel the Twelve Apostles were sent to preach. Also, in Matthew 10:5,6 we learn that this good news was for the NATION OF ISRAEL..“ONLY!” (Is it not clear, when Jesus instructs His 12 Apostles “Go NOT into the way of the Gentiles, and into ANY city of the Samaritans enter ye not.”)  But in the next verse He tells them clearly where to go and what to do: “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, PREACH, saying, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND”. It is amazing, yet true, that even after the Twelve Apostles had been preaching this gospel for some time, they still did not know about Christ’s purpose to go to the cross and die for their sins. We know this because when Jesus Christ began later to tell his Apostles that He was going to Jerusalem to die, they did not believe him, nor did they understand what He was talking about.  The reason they did not understand is because they were preaching the good news about the Kingdom.  They expected Jesus Christ to establish Israel’s Kingdom and to take the Throne as their King. (PLEASE READ: Matthew 16:21, 22; Luke 18:31-34; and Luke 19:11)

How then, could the 12 Apostles have been preaching the same gospel as the Apostle Paul later preached, when they did not know nor understand anything about the Cross at that time? Yet, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:18,23 he preached:

“THE CROSS” and “CHRIST CRUCIFIED”!

My point is this: the Gospel that the Twelve Apostles preached during the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ is “NOT” the same Gospel the Apostle Paul was sent to preach later. According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the GOSPEL  Paul preached was the GOOD NEWS of the DEATH, BURIAL, and RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ FOR OUR SINS.

APOSTLE PAUL tells us where “HIS GOSPEL” originated in GALATIANS 1:11,12. It was AFTER the RESURRECTION and ASCENSION that the Lord Jesus Christ revealed to the Apostle Paul… ALL THAT WAS ACCOMPLISHED ON THE CROSS. ACTS 20:24,  Paul calls this message “THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD.” In Galatians 2:1,2 we see that “THIS GOSPEL” is intended for the GENTILES as well as JEWS; and in Galatians 2:6-10 we find the 12 Apostles learned of this Gospel from Apostle Paul.

In this present age of “GRACE”, (Also known as “THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD”)…God has set Israel as a nation aside, and the “KINGDOM” promised them has been POSTPONED until a future time. Therefore, the “GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM’ is “NOT” God’s message of “GOOD NEWS”  for TODAY!!  NO, God’s message for the world today, the message we are to preach, is the GOOD NEWS, THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD.  This is the GOOD NEWS of how the “CROSS OF CHRIST” SAVES SINNERS FROM ALL NATIONALITIES.   THIS IS GOD’S MESSAGE FOR TODAY!!!!

This is why the FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL, set forth in our Bible, is the Book of Romans. The Book of Romans teaches precisely how God saves sinners. This Book is God’s great explanation of how salvation was accomplished. The simplicity of the Gospel is that: (1 Corinthians 15:3,4.)

“CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS, WAS BURIED, AND ROSE FROM THE DEAD THE THIRD DAY, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES”.

In our next lesson we will began learning the meaning of the eleven terms listed at the beginning of this study. And I might add, if we want to bring glory to God and lead lost men and women to Christ, we must know these terms. Not only to be secure in our own salvation but to also be enabled, empowered to answer questions and explain the plan of salvation to others.

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EXALTED STANDING IN AN UNSPIRITUAL STATE (Recognize it and stop it-Sinning)

Romans 4:1-5 vss  (1) “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? (2) For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. (3) For what saith the scripture?     Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness”.

Romans 5:1-2  vss    (1) “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God”. 

**Today, I would like to look at the believers STANDING with God and at the same time, the believers STATE with God.   (STANDING is our position/STATE is our condition….our walk)      Apostle Paul is writing to “All that be in Rome, the beloved of God, called to be saints, the Church, the Body of Christ”.

When we look at Abraham in Roman Chp 4, we see the justification of faith illustrated through Abraham, the father of the faithful.  It is through Abraham that we realize if he could be justified (declared righteous) by the works of his flesh, he could then glory or boast before men, but NOT before God. Isaiah Chp 64:6..:”But we are all as an unclean thing, all our righteousness are as filthy rags)   The verses tell us that Abraham BELIEVED God! And because of Abraham’s belief (alone), God honored his faith (counted or credited to Abrahams spiritual account, God’s standard of perfection, God’s righteousness (alone). (vs 4-5) We cannot work for God’s Justification, that would be like being payed a debt (a wage).  It is by God’s Grace, unmerited favour, undeserved mercy..free gift,… that (only) through our faith, we are declared righteousness.

In versus 6-8 Paul brings us such a witness:   We remember David. a man after God’s own heart (in David’s life we shall see Justifying faith defined). In 2nd Samuel Chp 11& 12, we see how David had gone into Bathsheba (another man’s wife) and lay with her and fathered her child and had her husband Uriah murdered to cover up his iniquities (gross injustice, wickedness=sins). But the verses show us through David how God imputeth (or credits) righteousness without works. to David’s account .vs 7..”saying, blessed are they whose inquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered. (Psalm Chp 32 & Chp 51). David cried out before God and confessed and repented of his sins and God honored his faith, forgave him and counted him righteous.. (Although the sword would never leave his house )…. (Rom 6:23 “the wages of sin is death…..)…..ADAM…..but the gift of God is eternal life”). So then both ABRAHAM and DAVID were justified by their Faith (Believed God) and God’s Righteousness was imputed to their Spiritual account. So they were, if you will, in GOOD STANDING WITH GOD!!

         *When we who profess to be saved do sin, our STANDING (status/position) WITH God, never changes!!!  We; inspite of our sinning. are still God’s Son’s and daughters, still children of the most high God, still joint heirs with Christ, we are still accepted in the beloved. When we listen to Paul continue to write  in Romans 5:vss 1 & 2  “Therefore (based on what I just told you in Chp 4), being justified by faith, we have Peace With God. We are no longer enemies (vs 10) we have been reconciled (reestablished as friends) to God.  This is our STANDING (our exalted status, eternal position) WE ARE AT PEACE WITH GOD  (As far as our salvation is concerned, we are justified, declared righteous before God). The believers STANDING ( we have PEACE WITH GOD) can never be compromised!    How then is this accomplished?  vss 2 tells us …..“it is through our Lord Jesus Christ” (the death, burial and resurrection of LJC). The simplicity of the Gospel: 1 Cor 15:1-4 “Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again (from the dead) the third day according to the scriptures”.  It is our faith in the finished cross work of Christ  that we are counted righteous and have Peace With God!  Now (through Christ)…we have ACCESS (the right to enter) by FAITH into this marvelous GRACE {favour, mercy of God) wherein we STAND.   Our “STANDING” is “BEING AT PEACE WITH GOD”….(we can now stand boldly before the throne of Grace, clothed in `His righteousness alone) ….”and rejoice in hope (eager anticipation) of the glory of God”.   Which is another direct result of “justification by faith”. Rom 8:30 “whom He (God) justified, them He also glorified”.  Colossians 1:27 He speaks of “Christ in you” as “the hope of glory”.

Now, it is crucial for the believer to know that we are living in the Dispensation (age, time period) of Grace.  Apostle Paul is not preaching the same Gospel of the Kingdom  as the 12 Apostles were during Christ’s earthly ministry. The Gospel of the Kingdom was exclusively to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Salvation was intended to Israel only, not Gentiles, BEFORE THE DEATH , BURIAL AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST ). But because of Israel’s unbelief “and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” their Messiah (Christ), Acts 2:23  God set Israel aside (THE FALL OF ISRAEL). 

God postponed Israel’s program, raised up the Apostle Paul  who ushered in the Dispensation of the Grace of God AFTER the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. You remember  in Acts Chp 9, Saul (whose name was later changed to Paul)  on Damascus roadbreathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord…and suddenly there shone round about him a light (Shekinah Glory) from heaven…and he heard a voice saying Saul, Saul, why persecutest  thou me? And Saul/Paul said (interestingly enough) who art thou LORD? And the LORD said (from Heaven, and this is where organized religion miss it),  …”I am JESUS (a ressurrected, sitting on the right hand of God, JESUS)  whom thou persecutest”. Now Paul “the Chief of sinners” has committed unto Him the Gospel of Grace (not the Gospel of the Kingdom, this is Israel’s Gospel).  Paul was given the Gospel of Grace to go to the GENTILES.     (A MUST READ)… EPHESIANS 3:1-9 {THE FELLOWSHIP MYSTERY, WHICH FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD HATH BEEN HID IN GOD  VSS 8&9).  God raised up Paul to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to the Jew and Gentile alike. Roman 10-12-13, “For there is no difference (since the CROSS) between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Now, in this Dispensation of Grace, whosoever, believes by FAITH (Jew & Gentile) upon the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved and now have an Exalted STANDING (status, position) for Roman 5:1 declares we are now Justified by Faith and are AT PEACE WITH GOD (through the CROSS of Christ), Paul writes in Ephesians 1:3 4vss (Look at our STANDING) “who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ….According as he hath chosen us in him BEFORE the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love”.    Ephesians 2:6…”and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together  in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”.  (STANDING). Paul is telling us that NOW, because of our STANDING, HAVING PEACE WITH GOD, the Security of our salvation is no longer an issue. Our STANDING cannot be compromised and we cannot be LOST!!

I would like to deviate from my subject matter if you will. I would like to address the Security of Salvation in this Dispensation of Grace. Why? Because there are so many false teachers/preachers who teach and preach bad doctrine until people are confused and don’t know what to believe. Christians, just like the carnal believers in Paul’s day, following men and denominations instead of SOUND DOCTRINE! (see 1 COR Chp 3)……..2nd Timothy 2:15 teaches us to…. “STUDY, TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED, BUT RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH”. Now  listen to Paul speaking to the saints in Ephesians 1:12-14vss…” That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ….13…in whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: (death, burial & resurrection) in whom also after that ye believed, ye were SEALED with that holy spirit of promise” 14…which is the earnest (deposit guarantee) of our inheritance……..( Rom 8:14-17..”and if children,  then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ) (STANDING) ….”until the redemption of the purchased possession(the saved), unto the praise of his glory:.   When we believe this Gospel, we are not only saved, but SEALED FOREVER  2 Cor 1:21-22 SEALED…..Eph 4:30 SEALED   “SEALED” means closed, shut, air tight, cannot be penetrated, ownership, security, Finished Transaction!! “It is finished”!!  And I love what Paul told the Corinthians in 2nd Cor Chp 1:21-24..(Now that you know that you are stablished and anointed (enabled, equipped) and above all, you are  SEALED)….vs 24 “we (Paul, Timothy & Silvanus) did not come to you to have dominion over your faith, but to be HELPERS OF YOUR JOY: for by faith you STAND”.

Now, lets look at the STATE (spiritual condition/walk) of the believer. We’ve established our STANDING (Having Peace With God)..we’ve established the Security of our Salvation. Now in Philippians 4:7Paul is instructing the believers on The Secret and Presence of THE PEACE OF GOD. (Read Chp 4)   In verse 7 we find what the STATE of the believer is suppose to be…”And THE PEACE OF GOD, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds  through Christ Jesus”. Paul speaks of having a prayer life (vss 5&6) the promise comes in verse 7 THE PEACE OF GOD and in vs 8  Paul tells us what to put in your heart and mind…..”whatsoever things are true…..” The scriptures!!! This is how we maintain the “PEACE OF GOD”. And we need to know battle is in the MIND!

Every believer must know that we are in a Spiritual battle.  If we remember David and the Philistine, Goliath {1 Sam 17:31) READ!  We see that David’s was in a Physical Battle, Lions, bears, Goliath. But today in the Dispensation of Grace, ours is a Spiritual battle of the mind.  Satan attacks the mind of the believer!!  Scripture is clear about this!  (READ  Rom 7 Chp..)…vs19 Paul says “For the good that I would I do not, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me…I find then a law, that, when i would do good, evil (the old man=Ademic nature) is present with me…..   (Eph 6:10 “Finally, my brethern, be strong in the Lord…put on the whole armour of God…  for we wrestle not against flesh and blood,..principalities,…. powers,…rulers of the darkness of this world..spiritual wickedness in high places    If we go to 2 Cor 10:1-5 vss, Paul tells us again WHO THIS BATTLE IS WITH! (vs3)  ” For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh”.  (vs4) “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (earthly, of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds (evils of this world): casting down imaginations (uncontrolled, wild, evil, lustful, immoral unjust, wrong, lies, devlish, ALL THOUGHTS (strongholds of the mind) set against God}, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God (false ideas about God, false doctrine, human pride and arrogance, self righteouness, self-sufficiency)..”and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”.

‘BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST”. Every thought controlled and subjected to Christ! God made man to walk in an unbroken fellowship and communion with Him. We must war, struggle  and fight to..captivate  every thought  and focus it  upon God and His righteousness.  This can only be accomplished by the Holy Spirit and Him alone. Note what Scripture says: …Rom 8:5-6 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit…For to be carnally minded is death; but to be Spiritually minded is life and peace”                                                                                                …Rom12:2…”And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”                                                                                            1 Cor 2:16 “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ”                                                                     2 Cor10:5; “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”                                                                                                   Gal 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”                                                                                                                       Eph 4:23-24  “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts…and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”                   2 Tim 1:7…”For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”                                                                                         Phil 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”                      Phil:4:5-9Finallybrethrenwhatsoeverthingsare true…honest…just…pure…lovely…of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things ….and the God of peace shall be with you”  VS7 “AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING, SHALL KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS THROUGH CHRIST JESUS”

When we as believers choose to live in sin,(in the flesh…carnal) we then lose fellowship with God! Sin severs our connection. We lose the JOY of our salvation David experienced this in Psalm 51:12 (READ PSALM 51). We no longer have THE PEACE OF GOD in our lives! When we live in sin instead of  having THE PEACE OF GOD, we experience…fear, withdrawal, hesitation, cowardice, depression, discouragement, worry, defeat, make unwise and harmful decisions, physical sickness, emotional problems, distrust and unbelief, spiritual death!  Yet  our STANDING (position, status) in Christ never changes! Because we ‘ARE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH (we still) HAVE PEACE WITH GOD”. But because we are in an UNSPIRITUAL STATE (walking after the flesh, living in sin) we no longer enjoy THE PEACE OF GOD in our lives!  Galatians 5:16 “THIS I SAY THEN, WALK IN THE SPIRIT, AND YE SHALL NOT FULFILL THE LUST OF THE FLESH”.

The question then becomes, when I am out of fellowship with God, what do I do, how do I get THE PEACE OF GOD BACK IN MY LIFE? So here is the answer?  It is called GODLY SORROW!  In 2 Cor. Chapter 7 we find the example of Godly sorrow. The Corinthian church (believers) were filled with division, pride, immorality, fraud, questionable practices, abusing spiritual gifts and making false accusations against Paul. In other words, walking after the flesh and       (2 Tim 3:5) “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof”.                                                                                                                  Sin and irresponsibility cause regret and disappointment, guilt and remorse. In short, sin causes sorrow. Sorrow has no healing power by itself. Only repentance (which is a change of mind) or a turn of life, can heal the heart of man. VS 10…”For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death”.

There are two kinds of sorrow, WORLDLY SORROW (sorrow over doing wrong and coming up short from what one expects. It is a violation of one’s values. It also can be sorrow caused from being found out, getting caught, or suffering the consequences. This is worldly sorrow! It eats a man up with guilt and remorse, depression and despair, defeat  and inactivity. WORLDLY SORROW embitters a man in rebellion and resentment against the consequences and punishment of sin. Walking after the flesh and not after the Holy Spirit brings this type of sorrow!

So what is GODLY SORROW?  This is the good news for the believer caught up in sin, who no longer has the PEACE OF GOD surging through his heart and mind. This is the sorrow wrought (fashioned, produced) in the heart of the believer by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. GODLY SORROW! Whenever the believer does wrong or falls short, the Holy Spirit is grieved (Eph 4:30). His work is quenched (1 Thess 5:19).  The ministry of the Holy Spirit of making the believer Christ like  is hampered and hindered, thus He begins His convicting(sense of guilt) work. Under the weight of conviction the believer’s heart is led to repent . Now to be clear, being Godly Sorry does not make all your problems go away, there are consequences & repercussions to sin (my Mother used to tell me, sin leaves it’s mark, and i tell you, that is true). However, to be GODLY SORROWFUL means the believer changes his mind and turns his behavior around to what it should be. That conduct which is Holy and Acceptable  unto God.     ROMANS 12:1-3 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrafice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service…And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”.

Godly sorrow always leads to repentance and repentance always leads to revival,…Revival of unity…Revival of humility…Revival of morality…Revival of honesty….Revival of love….Revival of doctrinal truth…..Revival of faithfulness and REVIVAL ALWAYS LEADS TO A RENEWED SPIRIT!   That is what David’s prayer was when he lost the joy of his salvation and the PEACE OF GOD because of his unspiritual state (sinning). “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right Spirit within me.  RESTORE, RESTORE, RESTORE THE JOY OF MY SALVATION”.  GODLY SORROW brings about a renewed Spirit, a revival of God’s Holy Spirit within the heart and mind of the believer!  The moment we are saved we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit!  As my Pastor used to tell me, YOU HAVE “ALL” OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THE MOMENT YOU WERE SAVED, THE QUESTION IS, DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT HAVE ALL OF YOU?

MY STANDING…PEACE WITH GOD! ……..MY STATE…PEACE OF GOD!

RECOGNIZE SIN IN YOUR LIFE AND STOP IT!!!!

I hope this lesson helps someone who may be struggling, but I need you to know, I’m preaching to myself first!

   

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The BEMA


THE
JUDGMENT
SEAT
OF
CHRIST

The expression “the judgment seat of Christ” occurs ONLY in Paul’s epistles. It is a translation of the Greek word BEMA, meaning first a step, the space a foot covers, and then a raised place mounted by steps or a platform used as the official seat of a judge. It is used in the Gospels and Acts of the judgement seats of the Roman officials. But for the Body of Christ, the BEMA, or the Judgement Seat of Christ, is found in Romans 14:10 (read)…& 2 Cor. 5:10. You will notice the identical statement in both passages….”We must all stand or appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ”.

The Subjects of the Judgment Seat of Christ

Paul states that WE must all appear at the judgment seat of Christ. We must remember, Pauls Epistles are rightly divided and are addressed to members of the Church, the Body of Christ + nobody else! It is clear & it is certain that Paul is saying ALL members of the body MUST (WILL) appear at the BEMA.

To prove that Paul is not referring to ALL humanity (which would be UNIVERSALISM…the thought that no person will be left behind), he uses the word “WE” 13 times in 2 Cor 5:1-10. UNBELIEVERS will NOT appear before the BEMA. The scriptures are clear through Apostle Paul “ Rom 8:1 “there is, therefore, NOW no condemnation to those who are IN Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”.

The plain teaching of the scripture is that the penal judgment for sin will never fall upon the believer, WHY? …….Because the penalty for the judgment of sin has already fallen in all it’s completeness upon OUR (the believers) Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ, when He bore our sins to Calvary.

Ain’t that GOOD NEWS? But there is some BAD NEWS too! For all UNBELIEVERS who denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ, there is the GREAT WHITE THRONE judgment of Revelation 20:11-15, (Must Read)…..This is where the full weight of the penalty of sin is meted out upon unbelievers. And where the consequences of the judgment will be eternal separation from God in the lake of fire.***REMEMBER…that the purpose of the final judgment is not to discover who is saved and who is lost, but to mete out just punishments to those who are lost.

The Purpose Of The Judgment Seat Of Christ

Paul refers to the Bema of Christ only twice twice in His Epistles. One of the outstanding passages, 1 Cor 3:9=15. (READ)…..Here Paul is speaking primarily about Christ’s final appraisal of the work of ministers of the Gospel but the general principle holds true for the life and ministry of all believers. Every beliver’s work shall be tried, tested in the fire. The fire is the DOCTRINE. What have you been building with? What have you been teaching others? Were you rightly dividing the word of truth.

Were you building up the Body of Christ with sound doctrine? ..Gold,….Silver…Precious stones? Did you preach/teach the unsearchable riches of Christ “to make all men see what is the fellowship of THE MYSTERY which from the beginning of the world hath been HID IN GOD…..BUT NOW is revealed unto all flesh! The GOLD, the SILVER, the PRECIOUS STONES with which I build in this DISPENSATION, is the GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD…….READ…Ephesians 3:1-9vss.

Wood…Stubble and Hay is false doctrine (example) …..the Gospel of the Kingdom…..mixing the dispensations.. Time Past, But Now, Ages To Come!     (Romans –Philemon: message to Body of Christ) So, now we see that the purpose of the BEMA, THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, is:

TO REWARD THE BELIEVER

Although the Christian life is a rewarding experience, in the truest sense of the word, the Christian has not received his reward. The Scriptures indicate that believers will be rewarded for FAITHFULNESS in the following areas:

***FAITHFUL STEWARDSHIP OF THE MYSTERIES OF GOD (1 Corinthians 4:1-5)

This stewardship concerns the SPECIAL REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY which was committed to the Apostle Paul (Eph 3: 1-6) THE MYSTERY REVEALED TO APOSTLE PAUL (OUR APOSTLE)….VS 6 “that the GENTILES should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of HIS promise in Christ, by the gospel”. THE TWELVE had been given the stewardship of the KINGDOM , committed unto them by The Lord Jesus Christ. (St Matt 10:5-7) Now herein lies the problem!

SADLY today, both Romanism and Protestantism have confused the two stewardships !! Ministers of the Word who are wrongly applying truth FOR the Messianic Kingdom ……TO the Church of this Dispensation of Grace, can hardly be called faithful stewards of the Mysteries of God. Such ministers are not building Gold, Silver and Precious stones upon the foundation which Paul, the masterbuilder laid. (1 Cor 3:10) REWARD in this area requires more than simple” Sincerity”. ACCURACY, CAREFUL HANDLING, RIGHT DIVISION OF THE WORD: ………..all of these are essential to FAITHFULNESS of the MYSTERIES OF GOD.

***FAITHFUL STEWARDSHIP OF WORLDLY POSSESSIONS (2 Cor 8:9)

The Israelites were required to pay a 10 percent income tax, better known as the law of the tithe. Believers in this present dispensation are not under the law, thus, we are not subjected to the law of the tithe. However, it is generally conceded that if the law required one tenth of one’s income, the believer under Grace should be constrained by the love of Christ to give at least that if not more. Paul does not specify a certain percentage. He simply encourages the believer that God loves a cheerful giver, READ: (2 Cor 9:6-8)…………Paul simply states “sparse sowing will result in a sparse harvest and that everyman should give “AS HE PURPOSETH IN HIS HEART”…..NOT GRUDGINGLY, OR OF NECESSITY: FOR GOD LOVETH A CHEERFUL GIVER”.

***FAITHFULNESS IN SOUL-WINNING (1 Thessalonians 2:19)

Paul said of those souls that he led to Christ “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of Lord Jesus Christ? For ye are our glory and joy “….Another translation puts it like this; ..”after all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus Christ when He returns? It is You!! The Old Testament contains a similar promise of reward for Israel…Daniel 12:3vs)

*** FAITHFULNESS UNDER SUFFERING AND TRIAL (2 Timothy 2:12)…Romans 8:17 The Lord promised similar rewards to His earthly disciples….Matt 5:11& 12 vss; Luke 6:22&23

***FAITHFULNESS TOWARD ALL MEN…”And let us not be weary in well doing”……Galations 6:9 & 10vs

The Scripture, in general speaks of the nature of the reward under the figure of a crown (Stephanos). There is another word translated crown (diadema) which always refers to kingly dignity (Rev 12:3, 13:1, 19:12}. (Stephanos) means a garland of laurels or wreath of leaves which was placed upon the head of the victor in athletic contests, or was given as a token of public honor for distinguished service. PAUL contrasts the CORRUPTIPLE CROWN which the athlete receives with the INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN which the believer will receive at the BEMA, the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Cor 9:25.

  1. Paul speaks of the Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:6-8vss)…….2. .Paul thinks of His converts as being his CROWN (Philippians 4:1) & (1 Thess 2:19)….3. A CROWN of LIFE is mentioned in James 1:12 & Rev 2:10. It is not clear exactly what the nature of these various CROWNS will be, as with so many other things which concern Heaven and the “life to come. God has not been pleased to reveal many details about the nature of our reward, but He has said enough to motivate the believer to the highest and most heroic service possible. READ:….1 Cor 15:51-54…………55-58vss.

The Purpose Of The Judgment Seat of Christ (cont)

  1. IS TO BRING EVERYTHING TO LIGHT: Paul could say in READ: (1 Cor 4:1-5vss.) vss 4-5 key It is essential for the rewarding of every believer that every hidden thing be brought to light. In that day it may be discovered that those most highly praised of men are the least worthy of praise! We may have completely forgotten a simple word of testimony which we gave for Christ, but in that day discover that it resulted in the salvation of one who later became a missionary greatly used of God. REMEMBER: 1 Thess 2:19 Those led to Christ..”our hope, our joy..our crown of rejoicing”.
  1. TO ELIMINATE EVERY UNWORTHY THING:

1 Cor 3:14) “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss… {rewards)…but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (barely escaping through a wall of fire). Much of so-called Christian service is done in the energy of the flesh; much of it is for the praise of men. Everything that is unworthy of Christ will burn up as wood, hay and stubble! Only what is done for the Glory, eternal praise of Christ will last! It is possible for a believer to be saved but all works burn up. Paul gives a good example of CARNAL works of a believer…..READ 1 Cor. 3:1-4vss…..Ephesians 2:8-9vss

  1. TO GLORIFY CHRIST

…..Apostle Paul makes it clear God accomplishes His work through us in such a way “that no flesh should glory in his presence” (1 Cor. 1:29). Since the judgment seat of Christ will eliminate everything which was done for the praise of men, and since only that which was done for the praise of Christ will be rewarded, the ultimate effect of this judgment will bring praise and glory to Christ. Our service and rewards will be to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14).

  1. THE TIME OF THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

Second Timothy 4:1vs. Paul informs us that Christ will judge the living and dead at His appearing and His Kingdom. His “APPEARING” has reference to the time of the rapture of the Body of Christ. READ 1 Thess. 4:16-18vss. “HIS KINGDOM”….refers to the time of Christ’s return to the earth after the Tribulation and not to the time of the rapture. Matt 16:27-28 vss

IN CONCLUSION:

It is important to recognize the fact that the penal judgment for sin was borne completely by Christ and that none of it will ever fall upon the believer. The only judgment the believer will undergo is not designed to determine his eternal destiny, but his place of reward in his state of eternal life.