12/31/2004 6:11 AM
Title: LIVING WITH/LIKE CHRIST (JUDGEMENT BY WORKS)
S: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the
Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and
clean was given her to wear.’ (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of
the saints.)” Revelation 19:7, 8
O: It’s interesting to note here two things: 1) The bride made HERSELF
ready. No one else got her ready. No one else helped her. She did it
herself. 2) Fine linen was GIVEN to her. The initiation was someone else’s
but she had to take it from there and get herself ready.
Notice too, these verses also in today’s reading:
“…The dead were judged according to what they had done….” Revelation
“…each person was judged according to what he had done.” Revelation 20:13
“…To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring
of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this.” Revelation
“Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong…let him who is holy continue
to be holy.” Revelation 22:11
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to
everyone according to what he has done.” Revelation 22:12
Revelation starts out with the idea of overcoming in Revelation 3 and it
ends with this same idea.
This can begin to sound very works oriented if you aren’t careful, but it is
about following through with what we say we are going to do. It’s about
following through with it and saying – this is how we’ll grow and this is
how we’ll work and this is how our faith will function. It’s about actions
speaking louder than words. For instance:
Matthew 25:41, 45 (NIV)
41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are
cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels..45″He
will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the
least of these, you did not do for me.'”
Jesus in this passage says to those who are trying to claim to be on his
side, your actions don’t show that you are on my side. Your actions show
that you don’t really follow me. Your actions show what you really believe.
A: I need to be careful talking about this passage. We live in a very cheap
grace world where everyone wants to have everything easy. I know to many
people who say, “If God wants that out of my life, he’ll have to remove it.”
And to people like that, and often to many others, this can sound very much
like a works-oriented religion, when in fact it is not.
As I preach, I need to teach people that this is truth. I need to teach
people how to be overcomers. I need to teach them that their actions ARE
important in the overall scheme of things.
But I also need to figure out a balance between the idea of saved by grace
and judged by works. Salvation vs. sanctification. I need to know how to
get that point across to people who don’t understand and aren’t in the mood
to listen to that concept.
I don’t understand how people who read the Bible miss this. I don’t
understand how people miss it in Galatians, or the other writings of Paul,
because they use him continually trying to show that cheap grace abounds.
Love God and do as you please is the mantra I hear all over and I hear it
infecting the Adventist church.
As I’ve focused on the Bible this year in my devotions, I’ve seen this
concept over and over again and again. But I’ve also seen the concept of
grace come out loud and clear. I think I’ve seen things come very clearly
into focus and very clearly the issue of grace and works has found a balance
for me. I knew there was a balance, because I saw it when I swung by each
P: Lord, I need to live by the standard I see in the Bible. I am not
perfect and I will never deserve salvation. I know that. The gift of “Fine
Linen” is from you! You offer it to us – to ALL – as a means of living by
what we say we believe. I accept that, Lord. I ask forgiveness for the
many, many times I soil those fine linens with my sin. I confess that I
need a Savior. I confess that I need to walk ever-more clearly with you. I
confess that I am a sinner. Please forgive me. Please cleanse me. Please
fill me. Please change me.
I submit my day-to-day to you, Lord. I submit my life to you. I submit my
actions to you. I submit my family, my children, my wife and myself to you.
I submit me.
I love you, Lord. Thanks for leading me into a greater understanding in the
Bible this year. Thanks for allowing me to apply it to my life. Thanks for
allowing me to listen to you. I love you.