Anyone who has any acquaintance with the Bible knows that Salvation, Works and Rewards are important Bible words and doctrines. Most people know that these doctrines are closely related to each other. In fact, it is often impossible to speak of one doctrine without reference to the related doctrine. A failure to exercise cautious right division of the Word of God will cause grave error in understanding these doctrines.
It is important to understand that …
- In the former Legal Dispensation, salvation was not possible apart from works (Mk. 10:17-22; Lk. 3:8-14; 10:25-29; Acts 2:37-38; 10:34-37).
- In the Grace Dispensation, salvation is not possible with works (Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5-7, cf. Rom. 11:6).
- Grace-Age believers, saved by grace, without works, are created “unto good works” (Eph. 2:10), and are exhorted to maintain good works (1 Cor. 15:58; Titus 2:11-12; 3:8,14).
- Good works are also produced by the Grace of God (1 Cor. 1:30-31; 15:10; Gal. 2:19-21).
- God will reward the believer’s good works at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Cor. 3:6-15, cf. 1 Cor. 15:18; Col. 3:23-24; Heb. 6:10).
- The believer will suffer a loss of rewards for failure to produce good works which glorify God (1 Cor. 3:15; Col. 3:25).
It is a terrible thought, but many sincere, well-meaning, religious individuals will die and go to Hell because they failed to understand the truth about the right relationship between these doctrines—Salvation, Works, and Rewards. Also, many sincere believers may jeopardize their future reward because of a failure to exercise prayerful caution in this matter.