Salvation Is Not A Reward
Matthew 7:21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
At a glance that passage might be interpreted to mean that one can enter the kingdom of heaven by doing the will of God, by works. But if we look at the will of God a little deeper we can understand the truth.
2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The will of the Father is that men should come to repentance. That is not a work. It is changing one*s mind about sin. It is a willingness to stop sinning and do what is right. After men repent, believe on the Lord Jesus and are saved, THEN they can do the will of the Father and doing His will can become their new manner of life. But even then doing the will of God will not earn the way into the Kingdom but it will earn rewards for those who go there.
Mark 9:41: For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Ephesians 2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Salvation (eternal life) is not a reward. It is a gift. A gift must be free or it is not a gift. There are and will be rewards for believers for their good works but salvation is not one of them. It boggles one*s mind how many individuals and religions do not understand or teach that vitally important distinction. While salvation is a free gift, it is a gift that will change us into new creatures who are willing to do the will of the Father and enabled to do it.
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
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