JUDGEMENT SEAT

Rom.14:10-12 – But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.”

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

This is one of the most sobering passages of scripture for the Christian. This is not the Great White Throne judgement where multitudes are sentenced to an eternity of suffering. This is the Judgement Seat of Christ; the place where Christians lives are evaluated before the Lord and our works are burned up or rewarded. Thankfully, every one who is truly born again will never stand before the Great White Throne, it will be terrifying enough to have our lives evaluated before the Lord. I think the key factor in determining the value of our life and works depends on the motives of our heart. Doing the right things for the wrong reasons will prove to be a total waste. The things we have done in His Name, for His glory, to advance His kingdom will be our great reward. Here are some thoughts from John Piper on today’s verse.

“When Paul says in Romans 2:6, “[God] will render to each one according to his works,” he does not mean that works save us; but that works confirm that we are saved. Fruit does not make a tree good. Fruit shows that the tree is good. For the believer whose name is written in the book of life, the other books become books of confirmation, not book of condemnation. That does not mean that there will be more good works than bad works in the books for the believers. That certainly was not true of the thief on the cross. It means that there will be recorded there the kind of change that shows the reality of faith—the reality of regeneration. There will be enough evidences of grace that God will be able to make a public display of what is in the books to verify the born-again reality of those written in the book of life. No one is saved on the basis of his works. But everyone who is saved does new works. Not perfectly, but with humble longing for more holiness.”

So Paul is reminding us of the judgment that awaits all of us. Paul is telling us not to judge others when everyone will face the Judgement Seat of Christ on that great day. If these things are true we desperately need to be clothed with Christ.

NOT EATING AND DRINKING

Rom.14:17 – for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

This verse sums up the Christian life. Paul is adamant, the kingdom of God is not about a system of rules and religious observances. The kingdom of God is spiritual and closely related to the Holy Spirit. The book of Romans has a theme connected to the righteousness of God that comes by faith. Being declared righteous by faith in the sacrificial death of Christ opens the kingdom of God up to us. Peace with God, peace in our own life, and peace with others is the fruit of the righteousness of God in our lives. Having been justified by faith we have peace with God. Joy is also the fruit of being right with God. It is in access to the kingdom of God that we are filled with the Holy Spirit and our joy begins to overflow. Here is how Matthew Henry describes this verse.

“Righteousness, peace, and joy, are very comprehensive words; and each of them includes much, both of the foundation and the superstructure of religion. Might I limit the sense of them, it should be thus:—As to God, our great concern is righteousness—to appear before him justified by the merit of Christ’s death, sanctified by the Spirit of his grace; for the righteous Lord loveth righteousness. As to our brethren, it is peace—to live in peace and love, and charity with them, following peace with all men: Christ came into the world to be the great peace-maker. As to ourselves, it is joy in the Holy Ghost—that spiritual joy which is wrought by the blessed Spirit in the hearts of believers, which respects God as their reconciled Father and heaven as their expected home. Next to our compliance with God, the life of religion consists in our complacency in him; to delight ourselves always in the Lord. Surely we serve a good Master, who makes peace and joy so essential to our religion. Then and then only we may expect peace and joy in the Holy Ghost when the foundation is laid in righteousness.”

Stepping into the kingdom of God by faith is what the book of Romans is all about. Today you and I have access into this kingdom life. We can step into the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Lord, being filled repeatedly with the Holy Spirit.

“Fools Gold” 

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MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in [the] Holy Spirit” Rom. 14:17
What a lot of ruckus with the election and the “peaceful transfer of power”! Goodness gracious it does make one want to learn more of our nation, its issues and just exactly WHAT DO I BELIEVE. The Apostle Paul lived in such a time himself and he warns us not to get to caught up in the world’s kingdom but stay in righteous favor with God and continue to have joy in the Holy Spirit. While we don’t go bury our head in the sand but we do continue with God’s plan for our lives. It is an exciting time to be alive, but I have felt like this since I received the Lord in the seventies. At that time there was unrest with the Vietnam War and the President at the time. In the middle of that madness came a tremendous outpouring among the hippies. I feel God is at work among us to be alert and sensitive to His kingdom! Kevin Ott quotes in his book, “Shadowlands and Songs of the Night” says,

“The kingdom of God is often counterintuitive: the more time we spend in the cramped secret place, the greater spaciousness and peace we feel in our spirits.God has an ultimate goal in mind for your time in the secret place: to make Heaven and all its treasures more substantial to you than the world and its fool’s gold. When the reality of Heaven weighs truly on our hearts, we live differently.”

How deep does heaven run in you? God promises when we shut the door He comes close. We can run with the wild crowd in the streets disgruntled or we can shut our doors go into our secret place and God will reward us openly. He is at work among us and since my short life as a Christian it is reassuring to know He hasn’t stopped working His plan on the earth. Don’t run after the fools gold, He has treasures that we know not of yet.

CS Lewis said in the “Great Divorce” said, ‘I got out, I had the sense of being in a larger space, than I had ever known before…which made the solar system itself seem an indoor affair.

Yes, my friends Christ’s kingdom never ends.