Paul's Passing Thoughts

Our God Pays His Servants

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 2, 2014

Justification/salvation is a finished work and is completely separate from sanctification/Christian living. There is only one connection between justification and sanctification; one precedes the other. Seeing the radical dichotomy between justification and sanctification is key to much needed revival among Christians. Fusion of the two in varying degrees is the spiritual cancer that presently plagues the Christian community in our day.

A good way to see the vast separation between justification and sanctification is the difference between gift and reward. A gift cannot be earned, but a reward is something that is earned. Something that is earned, or worked for, cannot be a gift. When your employer pays you, he/she doesn’t hand you a check while saying, “This is a gift from me to you.”

In the Bible, salvation is a gift, and kingdom living is rewarded. Calvinism tries to get around this dichotomy by using Covenant theology. Supposedly, Adam violated a covenant of works when he disobeyed God, and the Covenant of Grace is a gift to us by faith alone, but is a result of Christ fulfilling the Covenant of Works (the covenant violated by Adam) for us. This enables them to explain away the following:

Hebrews 6:10 – For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.

If God overlooked the work we do in kingdom living, that would make Him unjust. You can compare this to an employer who doesn’t pay an employee what they have earned. A reward is something you earn.

Calvinists say verses like this must be interpreted redemptively and not grammatically. In the grammatical interpretation, “your” means “you.” It is work done by you and you have earned a reward accordingly. If God overlooks what YOU have earned, that would make Him unjust. But if this verse is interpreted redemptively, it becomes the work Christ has done for you rather than by you. It is Christ’s fulfillment of the Covenant of Works that is being referred to, and your reward is salvation accordingly.

So, our “reward” is really a “gift.” And the “gift” is a reward given to us because the work is done by someone else. Hence, one cannot be a grammarian and Calvinist both. In addition, any claim by Calvinists that they use exegesis is not in the realm of reality. Covenant theology is clearly eisegesis. You must go to the Bible with a prism that can explain the contradictions that arise when sentences are evaluated by the plain sense of the words.