Salvation And Lordship

Q. Re: Lordship. You have said, “We’re saved because of what we believe not because of how we behave, so regardless of our behavior, once we’re His we’re always His.” Will not what we believe by definition affect how we live?

A. Yes it will. But the manner in which it does so is between us and the Lord. Our subsequent behavior is neither a condition of nor a proof of salvation, it’s a result of salvation. As such it’s not for others to evaluate, or even notice (Matt. 6:1-4).

In John 15:5 Jesus said we can only be fruitful by remaining in Him. Apart from Him we can do nothing of value to the Kingdom. That means even if we perform lots of good works, unless they’re prompted by the Lord and done in His strength they won’t count for anything.

Paul referred to this when he described the Bema Seat judgment. He said some believers will watch as all their works are burned in the fire. He said they themselves will still be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames (1 Cor. 3:10-15).

These believers will appear to have led fruitful lives. But the Lord, who sees the hidden motives of men’s hearts, will know all their works were prompted by their own desires and performed in their own strength.

To live a fruitful Christian life, it’s necessary to listen for the prompting of the Holy Spirit and then take action. As we do, the Lord will empower us to accomplish the task we’ve been asked to perform. Most often it will be a small thing, just a simple act of kindness done in the Lord’s name, hardly worth noticing on earth. But in heaven it will be remembered as being worthy of reward.

“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. 6:3-4).

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