Dear Reader: Following is the conclusion to the previous blog entitled Part I: “Pay Close Attention To Yourself….”. To read Part I please scroll down to the previous blog. Thank you for your time. Carl
In closing, three reasons as to why Paul’s admonishment to “Pay close attention to yourself…” is needed:
1. Personal Godliness is the believer’s responsibility.
This personal holiness is not vicarious. It cannot be transferred or imputed; in other words, the Lord Jesus cannot give you His personal holiness. It is an individual possession, built up, little by little, as the result of obedience to the Word of God and of following the example of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
God the Father has given us His written word, a new nature and the Holy Spirit at salvation. He also broke the power of the indwelling sinful nature. The Holy Spirit will give us the desire and the power to do God’s will but we have to cooperate with Him. We do not need to ask Him to fall on us or come like a might wind because He is already in all born again people, Ephesians 1: 13-14.
2. Personal Godliness is the evidence that you have been born again and received a new nature.
The visible evidence of the new nature you received at salvation is obedience.
Psalm 81:15 states “Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to Him; and their time of punishment would be forever.” (Emphasis mine)
Do not confuse this with salvation by works. A person cannot escape the kingdom of
Satan and the hold of the fleshly, fallen nature unless he is born again by the Holy
The Apostle John says it as follows in I John 2: 4-6 and I John 3:10:
“The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”
“In this is apparent who are the born-ones of God and the born-ones of the devil. Everyone who is not habitually doing righteousness is not of God, also the one who is not habitually loving his brother [Christian] with a divine and self-sacrificial love.” (Wuest Expanded Translation)
When you measure yourself against John’s words, what does it say about your conduct?
3. The Judgement Seat of Christ is coming for all born again believers.
Concerning the Judgement-seat of Christ, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5: 10
“For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
Vine’s Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words says the following about the Judgement-seat of Christ:
“It is the divine tribunal before which all believers are hereafter to stand. The Father has given all judgement to The Lord Jesus. Here all believers are to be made manifest, that each may “receive the things done in (or through) the body”, according to what he has done, “whether it be good or bad.” There they will receive rewards for their faithfulness to the Lord. For all that has been contrary in their lives to His will they will suffer loss, I Cor. 3:15.”
“This judgement is separate from His premillennial, earthly throne, Matt.25:31, and the postmillennial “Great White Throne” in Rev 20-:11. The judgement seat of Christ will be a tribunal held “in His Parousia”, i.e. in His presence with His saints after His return to receive them to Himself.”
In my point of reference, this occurs after the Rapture of the church.
Paul gives us a glimpse into the judgement-seat in 1 Corinthian 3: 10 – 15 where he is dealing with a problem in Corinth, Greece and he states: no foundation can be laid in a believer’s life except Jesus Christ:
“…..but let each man be careful how he builds upon it.” “Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood , hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’ work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved yet so as through fire. “
One of the New Testament words translated “holiness” in the English translations is the Greek word hagiosune and denotes the quality of “holiness” in personal conduct. Paul used it in 2 Corinthians 7:1:
“….let us cleanse ourselves from all contamination which may defile the flesh [the human body] and the [human] spirit, progressively accomplishing holiness in the fear of God.” (Wuest Expanded Translation)
Notice who is to do the cleansing. Us. The believer. We are cleansed by obeying His word.
I Thessalonians 3:12 -13 says:
“…and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all men, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” (I Thessalonians 3:13).
Hogg and Vine’s Notes on Thessalonians throw much light on I Thessalonians 3:12-13 and the importance of personal holiness with their expanded Greek paraphrase:
“The Lord enable you more and more to spend your lives in the interest of others, in order that He may so establish you in Christian character now, that you may be vindicated from every charge that might possibly be brought against you at the Judgement-seat of Christ.” (Emphasis mine)
Notice in this scripture that it is through love for others that we increase in Christian godliness. It is hard to sin against someone when you “regard one another as more important than” yourself. In Philippians 2: 3-5 we are exhorted to “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”
One day we will stand before the One who spilt his precious blood so we could have forgiveness of sin and be reconciled to God the Father saving us from the wrath of God which will come “dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” (II Thessalonians1:8) Let us do it with joy and not fear. Let our love for our brothers and sisters and all people increase. Let us be able to say with the Apostle John:
“And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of Judgment [Judgement Seat of Christ] because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is not fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.” I John 4:16-19
Dear Reader please be honest with yourself as I have had to be. Does the thought of the Judgement Seat of Christ fill you with dread and fear or do you rejoice at having your life reviewed? Are you being perfected in love? Are you anxious to see Him seated on His throne of glory or will we be like the people in Revelation 6 that cried out for the rocks to fall on them and hide them from the face of Him who sits on the throne.
I, the writer, have written this to record what the Holy Spirit was showing me for myself and to be a good steward. This is not written to bring condemnation to the believer but to exhort them to “…walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;…” (Colossians 1:10) My trust is in The Lord Jesus that He will bring it to pass in my and your life.
In conclusion, let us pay close attention to ourselves with a view to being pleasing to God who has blessed us so greatly. Let us fulfill our born again responsibility to grow in personal holiness and to be found without spot or blemish at the Judgement Seat of Christ. Let us cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He works in our life and we learn what is pleasing to God.
If repentance is needed, repent. Tell God you agree with Him concerning the issue and turn away from it. Ask Him to help you stay free from it. Remember, in Roman 6: 11 -14 Paul tells us how this walk of victory happens:
“Thus, also, as for you, you be constantly counting upon the fact that, on the one hand, you are those who have been separated from the sinful nature, and on the other, that you are living ones with respect to God in Christ Jesus.
Stop therefore allowing the sinful nature to reign as king in your mortal body with a view to obeying it [the body] in its passionate cravings.
Moreover, stop putting your members at the disposal of the sinful nature as weapons of unrighteousness,
But by a once-for-all act and at once, put yourselves at the disposal of God as those who are actively alive out of from among the dead, and put your members as weapons of righteousness at the disposal of God,
FOR [THEN] THE SINFUL NATURE WILL NOT EXERCISE LORDSHIP OVER YOU, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Wuest Expanded Translation) (Emphasis mine)
Let us put this into practice in our daily lives and our sinful nature will not exercise lordship over us. What a great plan of salvation God has given to the Church. Be encouraged saint!
Now may the God of peace himself consecrate you, every part of each one of you, to His worship and service, and may your spirit, and soul and body be preserved in their entirety blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who gives you the divine summons [into salvation], who also will do it.” (I Thessalonians 5:23-24 Wuest Expanded Translation)
Pay Close Attention to Yourself