In our last lesson we learned that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." In this lesson we will discover the standard by which we are to be judged.
- Can we earn salvation?
Eph. 2:8-10 [The Further-study verses are Rom.6:23; Gal. 2:16; Titus 3:5-8.]
- What experience must we have to receive this free gift?
John 3:3 [Note: While the gift is free and cannot be earned, it is conditional upon our being born again. John 1:12, 13; 1 John 5:4]
- To be born again means to receive the gift of Jesus' divine nature (In the Scriptures, this nature is variously called life, power, seed,or spirit.) How can we receive this new nature?
2 Peter 1:3, 4 [Ps. 119:11]
- Unless we are "eating" the Word of God, through Bible study and prayer, can we have Jesus' life (or nature) abiding in us?
John 6:53, 63 [Note: God gives us a new spiritual birth through Christ Jesus, but we must nourish that spiritual life with spiritual food, just as our physical life is kept alive with physical food. Are we as careful about spending time in Bible study and prayer as we are in eating physical food? Matt. 4:4; John 15:4-7]
- When we are born again, what must happen to the sinful habits in our life?
Rom. 6:46 [1 John 3:3-9]
- What is sin?
1 John 3:4 [Note: If sin is breaking God’s law, and to be born again involves overcoming sin, then the truly born-again person who will pass the judgment must become a lawkeeper. Rom. 4:15; 7:7]
- How will God know that we have been born again? By what standard will He judge us on the day of judgment?
James 2:10-12 [1 John 2:36]
- Since we were born in sin, and love sin, how can we have the new birth experience of victory over sin?
Rom. 8:2-6, 13 [Note: We were born with a weak and fallen nature. This is the hereditary “law of sin and death.” But when Jesus became the Son of Man, He conquered sin by combining human nature with His divine nature, thereby “condemning sin in the flesh.” He now offers us His divine nature “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us” also. We are born again when we by faith surrender the soul to Christ to be filled with His Spirit, and, thus strengthened, begin to live a life of righteousness. John 8:34-36; I John 3:3-9; Titus 2:11-14]
- How do we know that Jesus had no advantage over us so that we, too, can live victoriously over sin "just as" Jesus did (1 John 3:3)?Heb. 4:15, 16 [1 Cor. 10:13]
- How could Jesus have been "tempted as we are"?
Heb. 2:11, 14-18 [Ans: Because He was “made like His brethren.” He came with a “heredity” like ours “to share our . . . temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.” “As the Son of Man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey.” “Jesus . . . exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess.” “In Christ, God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait, and resisting every temptation, however strong.”–The Desire of Ages, pp. 49, 24, 664, 429. Heb. 5:8, 9; Matt. 1:21, 23; Rom. 1:3; Phil. 2:7 cf. Rom. 8:3]
- When Jesus gives us a new beginning (new birth) by imparting to us His Spirit (or nature), what does He write on our hearts?
Heb. 8:10 [Phil. 2:5; Rev. 14:1]
- What motive should prompt us to keep God's law?
John 14:15 [2 Cor. 5:14; John 15:10; 2 Thess. 2:8-12 (especially note verse 10)]
- Are God's commandments burdensome to those who are truly born again?
1 John 5:3, 4 [Ps. 119:47, 77, 97, 174]
- Why will many who think they are born again be disappointed on the day of judgment?
Matt. 7:21-23 [Note: The Greek literally reads: “Depart . . . you who work LAWLESSNESS” (ergazomenoi ten anomian). 1 John 2:36, 28]
- How does the Bible summarize the answer to our question, "By what standard will we be judged on the day of judgment"?
Eccl. 12:13, 14 [Rom. 2:13; James 1:25]
- Who will be admitted into heaven?
Rev. 22:14 [Note: The KJV and NKJV based on the “textus receptus” manuscript, read: “Blessed are they who do His commandments, that they may have the right to . . . enter.” Rev. 14:12]
Our salvation cost Jesus His life, but He offers salvation to us free if we will but surrender our sinful natures to Him, who has promised to "take away our sins" (1 John 3:5) and to write His law on our hearts. Thus it is that we will be judged according to God's law, for our works show whether we have been born again (1 John 2:29). "Let no one deceive you" on this point (1 John 3:6, 7)! The new birth involves a total, growing change of character, habits, and thinking (2 Cor. 5:17).
Do you want Jesus to give you this new-birth experience, beginning today?