Wednesday, February 13, 2013
2nd John Part 7
1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
This verse first of all commands that Christians watch over one another, especially in terms of doctrinal deviance which results in moral degeneration. Paul writes that we are to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ, Galatians 6:2. This is in regards to the Christian ministering to a saint that has gone astray, Galatians 6:1. We are to look after ourselves, but also have the interests of others in mind, Philippians 2:20-21. The word “likeminded” in Philippians 2:20 is the Greek “isopsuchos” and means “of equal soul.” This is the mindset that we have for the brethren; the exact same mindset that Christ Jesus has.
Paul commends us the same before we enter into the Lord’s Supper, lest we eat and drink wrath upon ourselves, 1st Corinthians 11:28-29. In this instance Christians are to ensure that we treat the Lord’s Supper with the due reverence that it deserves, being a memorial unto the Lord. We must treat it as such, and not a common meal, which was the error of the early Corinthian church. To this same church Paul writes “Examine yourselves, as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you are disqualified,” 2nd Corinthians 13:5. This concept of being disqualified involves running the race to receive a crown; a reward for the Christian life diligently lived, 1st Corinthians 9:24-27. Paul pleads with the Corinthians that they order their lives to do what is right by God, even if that gave the appearance that Paul himself was disqualified; a potential reality Paul was acutely aware of, 1st Corinthians 9:27.
The apostle John desires that we lose nothing which we have worked for, but that instead we receive the full reward. The Bible is painfully clear that salvation is not something received as reward or payment, but something received as a gift of God’s grace, Romans 4:2-6, etc. The context of this verse, along with the few cited above, demonstrate that John is referring to a Christian’s loss of reward when his works are tried at the judgment seat of Christ, Romans 14:10-12; 2nd Corinthians 5:9-10. The Christian who builds with temporal material or for carnal reasons shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, 1st Corinthians 3:15; Galatians 6:9. The saint who has built on the foundation of Christ with eternal materials, reaping the fruit of the Spirit yields eternal results and receives a reward, 1st Corinthians 3:14; Galatians 6:9. God is concerned with building things that will endure beyond this present universe which shall dissolve; the saints who hearken to God’s side as fellow workers for the truth shall receive the reward and be honored with various crowns for selfless service and steadfast faith, James 1:12; Revelation 3:10, etc. Those who teach otherwise shall be called least in Heaven’s kingdom, Matthew 5:19.