God offers rewards to the believer as a recognition of whatever faithfulness may be shown to Him in service. This is the counterpart to all the doctrine of grace. Having saved a soul on the basis of grace so that there is for the Christian no obligation for afterpayments or building up of merit, God recognizes an indebtedness on His part to reward believers for their service to Him. It would be quite easy for man to say: "He has done so much for me, the most I can do in return would be little enough," but what He has accomplished under grace creates no real demand or obligation of repayment whatever, else it would not be grace. What the believer has achieved for God He recognizes in faithfulness with rewards at the judgment seat of Christ (Matt 16:27; Luke 14:14; Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10; Eph. 6:8; 2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 22:12).
All condemnation in the matter of guilt is forever past for the Christian. He shall not come into judgment respecting his sin (John 3:18; 5:24; 6:37; Rom. 5:1; 8:1, R.V.; 1 Cor. 11:32), therefore the judgment seat of Christ deals wholly with the matter of service and not with the question of sin.
The following note by Dr. C. I. Scofield (Reference Bible, p. 1214) is clearly stated: "God, in the New Testament Scriptures, offers to the lost, salvation, and, for the faithful service of the saved, rewards. The passages are easily distinguished by remembering that salvation is invariably spoken of as a free gift (e.g. John 4:10; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8, 9); while rewards are earned by works (Matt. 10:42; Luke 19:17; 1 Cor. 9:24, 25; 2 Tim. 4:7, 8; Rev. 2:10; 22:12). A further distinction is that salvation is a present possession (Luke 7:50; John 3:36; 5:24; 6:47), while rewards are a future attainment, to be given at the coming of the Lord (Matt. 16:27; 2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 22:12)."
The two extended Scripture passages bearing on the doctrine of rewards are 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 and 9:16-27 (cf. the passages on the various crowns: 1 Cor. 9:25; Phil. 4:1; 1 Thess. 2:19; 2 Tim. 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Pet. 5:4; Rev. 2:10; 3:11).
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