Christian Church of God - Grand Junction, Colorado

Christian Church of God, Grand Junction, Colorado    Statement #4 page two

and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great;”  The ‘time of the dead’ refers to the resurrection which occurs at Christ’s Return! So, seeing that this reward is to be given to the Saints at the Second Coming, and realizing that their rewards are variable in proportion, dependent upon their ‘works’, (the amount of and the effectiveness of their personal efforts), we are left to conclude that this reward is something above and beyond Salvation itself. After all, Salvation is a relative constant with all who have it, as is the gift of Eternal Life. Any who have those have them in equal receipt. We have Salvation now, so it’s not something that we must wait for Christ’s Coming to receive. Nor is eternal life earnable. But, this reward spoken of is based on merit, something we’ve earned and represents a reward level that varies according to ones’ works! This is one area where the typical churchgoer is woefully under-advised. There IS a future reward which is over and above eternal life.

There is a world to come, with positions of rulership, awarded in accordance with how we have employed the Talents (Gifts of the Spirit) God has given to us. As Christ said in Revelation 2:26, “And he that over-cometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:” This is obviously referring to maintaining righteous conduct, faithfully, to the end of our lives. And that reward, among other things, relates to being awarded governing responsibilities in His Kingdom. (Matt. 19:28) (More of this matter is covered under Statements #10 and #11.)

Grace Outgoing: While most people focus their minds on the receipt of Grace just in the sense of being forgiven of their sins, there is another important consideration, that of our being gracious ourselves, and extending grace to others. As Christ is gracious to us, we are to be toward others. This consideration opens a whole new awareness of the full dynamic of Grace. We are not just its recipients, but we are also ‘franchised’ to be wellsprings of the same ourselves. In John 7:38, Jesus exclaimed , “He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters.’ Any who are in receipt of God’s Holy Spirit, the essential component of true salvation, will not only receive its benefit, but will share its benefit with others. In 2nd Corinthians 8:7 we read, “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.” The word ‘also’ refers to charity, and speaks of it as another manifestation of the grace we and they are to exhibit toward others. Grace outgoing, not just in-coming! We are to BE gracious, just as God is gracious toward us.

The GIFTS of Grace:  To further our awareness that Grace is not just the receipt of the forgiveness of our sins, we read in places such as Romans chapter 12 that there is a whole spectrum of Gifts that are awarded to us under the auspices of Grace! In verse 6, Paul explains, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,…” he then goes on to list more than two dozen spiritual gifts that are God-given that we are to employ as we are given them. Grace is not just an incoming phenomenon, nor is it a gift with which we do nothing. 1st Peter 4 also refers to Grace in its

broader consideration. Verses 9-10 say this: “Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.“ The ‘manifold’ or many-faceted Grace of God is more than just forgiveness of sins. There are many ways we are to ‘administer’ toward others that which God has given us.

Can We Receive Grace in vain? The above paragraph draws us into another important area of consideration. Can we receive the Grace of God and have it be effectively rendered ‘vain’ by our own responses? 2nd Corinthians 5:20 thru 6:1 explains, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” This amazing passage alerts us to several things. 1) We are ambassadors (personal representatives) for Christ; 2) Grace reconciles us to God; 3) Our receipt imputes His righteousness to us; 4) We then are workers together with Him; 5) and our failure to work together with Him, allowing Him to work in and through us, can render that Grace worthless.

Summary: The full extension of Grace to us is a many-faceted operation. We are first given the desire to repent by it (Rom. 2:4); we are provided full forgiveness of our sins by Grace (Eph 2:8-9); by which we are reconciled to God (2nd Cor. 5:18); we are given many Gifts by the Grace of God (Rom. 12:6 & 2nd Pet. 4:9-10 ); we are then called upon to exhibit the fruits of those Gifts we are given, and failure to employ those Gifts can negatively affect the reward we could otherwise be given when we are brought into God’s millennial Kingdom as Spirit Beings.

Religion‘s Great Tragedy: Few teachings have impacted those seeking a living relationship with God through Christ than the idea that God’s Law is ‘done away’. The idea that God’s Grace negates any obligation to obey His Commandments is a common, though serious, misperception. Some even go so far as to condemn a ‘law-keeper’ as being in rejection of the auspices of Grace, as though it was their intent to ‘earn’ their salvation. This is the primary result of a mis-conceived Grace, a Grace that involves NO works. (Called ‘cheap grace’ by some).

Christ made explicit reference to His Law as being eternal and that we’re not to think that He came to “do away with the Law”, (Matt. 5:17-18) yet, that IS the very thing that sincere religious people do think and do teach their members to think. Jesus laid down a precondition for expressing appropriate love for Him. “If ye love me, keep my commandments. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (Jn. 14:15, 21 & 15:10) Therefor Grace is based on love. home beliefs