Q. I use many of your topical studies for lessons at one of our state prisons. Right now, I am taking them through the topic study “OSAS The Whole Story”. I understand that all gifts are free, unearned and cannot be lost. Can I then assume that all prizes, crowns, and rewards are subject to “testing by fire”, as found in 1st Corinthians 3:13-15? Also, are Fellowship and Relationship the same or different?
Your lessons are a God send to my Ministry. I praise God for sending you to help the many folks that seek your help.
A. Gifts are not earned and cannot be revoked, but things we earn can subsequently be lost. This is what Paul meant in 1 Cor. 3:15 when he said the believer may suffer loss in the fire but not his salvation.
I used the word union instead of relationship in the study, so it’s different from fellowship. Think of our Earthly father. Our relationship to him as his child has both a biological and a legal foundation that cannot change no matter what. It’s the basis for our union. It’s the same with God. Believing in Jesus gave us the authority to become God’s child (John 1:12) and He gave us the full rights of adoption into His family (Gal. 4:4-7). Nothing can ever change that.
Being out of fellowship with God is like being estranged from our earthly father. Unconfessed sin can interrupt our communications and postpone blessings, but does not effect our union, our relationship to Him as His child.
Read OSAS The Whole Story