Heaven, free gift from God; Works give us blessings
We are saved by our Fatherís loving mercy; out of love for Him we do works which give us blessings
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:8 NIV+
*So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. Ro 9:16 ESV+
1. Saved by the free gifts of; our Fatherís love, Christís grace, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
2. Receive blessings only when; Spirit dwells in us, love our God, have faith in Him
3. Our Father has a purpose, works for His children to do; gives us blessing for doing them
4. The 3 different type of blessings we receive from our God
1. Saved by free gifts; Fatherís love, Christís grace, indwelling of the Spirit
Our Heavenly Father created us to be His children, for He wanted children to love; children who would love Him back. For us to be able to love our Heavenly Father back, He had to create us with a free will; the ability to choose our God, or reject Him. Adam, the first man God created, chose to disobey God, and brought sin (disobedience to God) into this world. All people will inherit Adamís physical desire to love ourselves, the pleasures of this world more than our God; and sin. Need to have our sins forgiven to become our Fatherís holy children once more.††††
*just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, Eph 1:4 NKJV+
*for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Ro 3:23 NASB
Out of our Fatherís loving mercy, He made a means for us to have our sins forgiven. Our Father sent His Son down from heaven to become a physical man, Jesus, and give His physical life on the cross; as a sacrifice to atone for the sins of all who would love Him above all things. Though we will strive to love our God more than anything else, our neighbors as ourselves, we will still fall short and sin; yet we can have all of our sins forgiven by the means of Christís atoning grace on the cross.
*But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), Eph 2:4-5 NKJV+
*This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1Jn4:10 NIV+
*And he answered, ďYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.Ē And he said to him, ďYou have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.Ē Lk 10:27 ESV+
The only physical means by which our sins can be forgiven has been completed. It was the blood Jesus shed on the cross to atone for our sins; the only sacrifice our Father would accept as payment for our sins. This gift of grace is freely given us; we have to do no other physical works or deeds to have our sins forgiven.†
*By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb 10:10 NKJV+
*For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ro 6:23 NKJV+
If anyone says other physical works or deeds are needed as a means to forgive their sins they have no comprehension of the price Jesus paid to redeem us from our sins upon the cross. It was a priceless gift of love for the Son of God to physically become a mere man, and be crucified upon the cross to redeem us from our sins; to His Father it was worth more than a trillion times what this world will ever be able to produce. The only means by which our sins can be forgiven, so we become spiritually holy and come into the family of God; brothers and sisters of Jesus, of whom He is not ashamed.
*Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? Heb 10:29 NKJV+
*Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. Heb 2:11 NIV+
The only spiritual way we can receive the atoning means of Christís physical sacrifice on the cross, have our sins forgiven; is to receive the spiritual indwelling of the Holy Spirit (also called, renewing of the Spirit; being born again; baptism of the Holy Spirit). For no one can say Jesus is Lord; except by the Holy Spirit. And if we do not have the Spirit dwelling in our hearts, we do not belong to Jesus; have not received His atoning grace to forgive our sins.
*Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed "; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. 1Co 12:3 NASB+
*You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Ro 8:9 ESV+
We receive the free gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in many different ways. Some with much excitement, some quietly with just inner peace to know they have been saved. We can receive this gift at any age, at any time, from a child in the womb to one who receives the Spirit just before they die. From one who calls out to God not even knowing who God is, to one who has been a leader of a congregation, done miracles in Jesusí name, but has never completely submitted their will to their Lord. The only prerequisite needed to receive the indwelling of the Spirit is to be willing to surrender our human will to our God; and then allow the Spirit to guide us after He comes into our hearts.
*Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit. 1Thess 4:8 NKJV+
*While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. Ac 10:44-45 NKJV+
*But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 2Thess 2:13 NKJV+
The Spirit gives us Godís love, so we can love Him above all things. And continually sanctifies us; forgives our sins immediately through Christís atoning grace on the cross; so we can remain spiritually holy, and our Father, Jesus and the Spirit can spiritually live within our hearts. And we remain children of God, heirs of Heaven. The indwelling of the Spirit is further explained in Baptisms of the Holy Spirit; here we are only showing that the baptism of the Spirit is needed to be saved, that is a free gift from our God. The free gift of the indwelling of the Spirit is also freely given by our Father; by Jesus Jn 20:22, by the Holy Spirit Jn 3:8.
*and hope does not put us to shame, because Godís love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Ro 5:5 ESV+
*Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Jn 14:23 NKJV+
*The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Ro 8:16-17 NASB+
Our God created the entire universe, the world and all who dwell upon it are His. Everything we have is a gift from our God; so we own nothing, have nothing. The only thing our Father desires and does not control is our will. We can either surrender it to Him, and have our sins forgiven. Or reject Him, by letting our human intellect rule over our minds, and remain lost sinners forever. Making this decision is the only part we play in becoming children of God; everything else is a free gift from our Father, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
*The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. Ps 24:1 NKJV+
*Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine. Job 41:11 ESV+
2. Receive blessings only when; Spirit dwells in us, love our God; have faith in Him
We can only receive blessings for our works, by pleasing our God:
When we have the indwelling of the Spirit; for only then can our mind be guided by the Spirit to do that which pleases our God. Without the Spiritís help our human mind is hostile to our God, will never be able to know what our Father desires us to do; will never be able to please Him.
*For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Ro 8:7-8 NASB+
When we love our God above all things, our neighbors as ourselves; an ability we can only receive after the Spirit pours out our Fatherís love into our hearts. Even if we prophesy, know all about our God, and have a faith which can move mountains; without love we are not children of our God. If we give all we have to the poor; if it is not given out of love for our God and those who need it, we receive no blessings from our Father.
*If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 1Co 13:2-3 NASB+
When we have faith in our God as the true eternal God who created and rules over everything in this universe. For our Father rewards all who believe in Him, seek to follow Him; and if we do not have an all-encompassing faith in our God, it is impossible to please Him.
*And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Heb 11:6 NASB+
Only when we receive the indwelling of the Spirit; are we able to love our God above all things. And out of this love for Him, we will want to obey Him and do the good works He has planned for us to do.
* For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the worldó our faith. 1Jn 5:3-4 ESV+
*"If you love me, you will obey what I command. Jn 14:15 NIV+
3. Our Father has a purpose, works for believers to do; gives us blessing for doing them
Our Father prepared good works for us to do for Him, before He even created the mankind. Good works are anything we do which glorifies our God; whether spiritually or physically.†
*For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10 NKJV+
*And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Ro 8:28 NASB+
Believers will receive blessings from our Father when we love Him, and give praise, glory, and thanks to Him for all He has done for us. We also receive blessings when we do the innumerable acts of love and kindness Jesus would have us do to all other people; as we treat them as we want to be treated. Yet when we have been given the opportunity to do the works our Father, would have us do and purposely avoid doing them; we sin against our God, for we are not doing what He would have us do (sin of omission).
*And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Lk 6:31 ESV+
*So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. Ja 4:17 ESV+
The good works we can receive blessings for are innumerable; can range from telling someone Jesus is our Savior, to giving our lives for our Lord. From giving a glass of water to one who is thirsty, to giving the most we can to the hungry, the needy throughout the world.†
*"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. Matt 19:29 NASB+
* For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matt 16:25 NKJV+
We should give all glory to our Heavenly Father for all the good works we do; so He is glorified, not us. Our God does good works through us; for He can do all things, yet we can do nothing without Him. When we do works to show others what a good Christian we are, what a good person we are, we have received our reward in full by those who honor us; and will not be rewarded by our Father.†
*But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible." Mk 10:27 NKJV+
*"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matt 5:16 NASB+
*"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matt 6:24 NIV+
If we just fix our eyes on Jesus, and concentrate on doing the good works He would have us do; we will be very surprised when we get to Heaven. And see all the treasures, all the blessings He has laid away for us to enjoy with Him forever.†
*Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:2 NIV+
*Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. Lk 12:33 ESV+
We are given blessings for the God pleasing works we do; and there are no insignificant works we do in the body of Christ, all are important (see 1Co 12:4-31). The Spirit will give each one of us different abilities, to do the different works our Father would have us do.
We will be given blessings by how we utilize the gifts the Spirit has given us; not how great the world deems our works to be. And when our works are judged by Jesus in Heaven; many whose works are deemed prominent on earth, will be the least in Heaven; while many whose works seemed insignificant to the world, will become the greatest in Heaven.
*Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1Co 12:4-7 ESV+
*But many who are first will be last, and the last first." Mk 10:31 NKJV+
Believers should not worry if they do not receive, witness, or perform physical miracles which the Spirit gives others the ability to receive or do. For believers are also given blessings for believing without seeing miracles, for having our faith strengthened by reading the Word of God with the help of the Spirit. By continually praying without seeing immediate miracles being done; yet knowing our prayers are always answered according to our Fatherís will.††
*But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1Co 12:11 NKJV+
*Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1Pe 1:8-9 ESV+
There are 2 major celebrations where Jesus offers us great blessings.†
When we obey Jesus and are water baptized; we physically show how we have spiritually had our sins forgiven, and have received the indwelling of the Spirit (also called renewing of Spirit; born again; baptism of the Spirit). The believer being given water baptism receives blessings for obeying Jesus and being water baptized, and for showing others how our God spiritually saved us. Sprinkling, pouring, or immersion; whichever best describes how you feel your sins were spiritually washed away, and you were given the indwelling of the Spirit; but should use the words in the verse below.
There are other blessings given out at a water baptism also; since the Spirit will always be present there. Other believers present will have their faith strengthened as they welcome a new brother or sister into the family of God. And the Spirit will work on the unbelievers present, trying to open their hearts; so they can surrender their human will to our Heavenly Father and also receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
*The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." Jn 3:8 NKJV+
After we have received water baptism, Jesus offers us spiritual blessings when we come to His Supper, the Lordís Supper; the most intimate time we will have with our Savior, until He returns for us. For Jesusí body is present (spiritually or physically) in the bread, His blood is present (spiritually or physically) in the fruit of the vine (wine or grape juice); after His words of institution have been read over them. See verse below.
*And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." Matt 26:26-29 NKJV+
*The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 1Co 10:16 ESV+
As we eat the bread; we receive the spiritual blessing of being united as one with all believers in Christ, both on earth and in Heaven above.
As we drink the fruit of the vine; we receive the blessed assurance that all of our sins have been forgiven by the blood Jesus shed on the cross, as the Spirit continually sanctifies us; and our Father has forgotten them forever.
As we celebrate this intimate supper with our Savior, we are also assured that the prayers and requests we offer up to Him will be answered by our Heavenly Father according to His will.
We will receive blessings as we obey Jesus and come to His Supper.
4. The 3 different type of blessings we receive from our God
Every day we receive so many blessings from our Father that they become too numerous to remember; for everything we have is a gift from our Heavenly Father. This includes the free gift of grace which forgives our sins so can receive eternal life and live forever with our God. Most of our Fatherís gifts we now take for granted, too often forgetting to praise and thank our Father for all the gifts He continually gives us.††
We receive 3 kinds of blessings, though they are interrelated and are often received in combination with each other.
1. The greatest blessings we can ever receive are the spiritual blessings which enable us to become children of God; so we can wake up each morning knowing we are heirs of Heaven.
*But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. Ro 5:15 NASB+
*For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." Ro 8:14-15 NKJV+
2. We receive physical blessings here on earth to sustain our human body and its needs; until we are taken to Heaven to be with our Lord.
* Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matt 6:26 NKJV+
*"But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Matt 6:30 NASB+
*But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:33 NIV+
3. We receive spiritual blessings for doing our Fatherís works here on earth; which are stored in Heaven for us to receive after we join our Lord there. While we enjoy our physical blessings on earth for our physical lifetime; the blessings we receive in Heaven we will enjoy for over a hundred years, over a million years; forever, for there is no time in Heaven.
*"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matt 6:19-20 NKJV+
Children of God are spiritually holy; we will not have any sins to be judged on when we go to Heaven. For the Spirit sanctifies us, continually forgives our sins through Christís atoning grace on the cross; and our Father remembers our sins no more.
*For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Heb 10:14 ESV+
*For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Heb 8:12 NIV+
Yet the works we have done on earth will be judged by Jesus, when He gathers us up to Heaven. Jesus will reward us by how we utilized the gifts the Spirit gave us, in completing the works our Father had planned for us to do. By what we have added on to the foundation we were given; which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our reward will be our stature, what we will do, how we will live in our Fatherís Kingdom forever.
*For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1Co 3:11 ESV+
*If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 1Co 3:14 ESV+
Jesus will test our works with fire; those who utilized our gifts like gold will receive a great reward. Like silver and precious stones a good reward, like wood, which will burn slowly, an average reward, like grain, which will burn fast except for the kernels, a little reward. And if utilize their gifts to only produce works are like straw, they will burn up immediately; and they will receive no rewards in Heaven at all.
*Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 1Co 3:12-13 NKJV+
Yet Paul confirms our salvation is a free spiritual gift from our God, even if we have only works like hay; which give us no rewards in Heaven; we will still receive the reward of eternal life with our Savior. Though barely as though we came through the fire ourselves; with no works to receive blessings for.†
*If anyoneís work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 1Co 3:15 ESV+
Jesus likewise tells us He will reward us, when He comes to gather us up to be with Him in Heaven and gives us glorified bodies. He counsels us while still on earth to do many works to the best of our abilities, which will glorify our God. Which is like buying gold refined in the fire from Jesus; so we will be rich, have many rewards in Heaven. That we might have white garments to be clothed in and not be naked; that we let the Spirit guide us, so we may see and remain children who want to please our God.
*For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Matt 16:27 NLJV+
*I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. Rev 3:18 NKJV+
Copyright 2016 by Ron Borkey
+ ESV ďScripture quotations marked [ESV] are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version,Ē copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good New Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.Ē
+ NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (1995 Update) Copyright © 1981, 1998 The Lockman Foundation, A Corporation Not for Profit, La Habra, California. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
+ NIV Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSIONģ. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
+ NKJV "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
Some words in the verses from these Bibles may be emphasized with bold letters.