Class Notes: 6/6/2021
The judgment seat of Christ part 4
2Tim 3:12-13; Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.13 and evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
We've noted how these evil people and imposters are working to turn God's client nation into a totalarian state and they call anyone who opposes them insurrectionist traitors. But God is working all of this together to the benefit of those who love Him. Rom 8:28;
2Cor 4:17-18; For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
In our study on the judgment of Christ last time we noted James 2:12-13; "So keep speaking and so keep doing as though who are going to be judged (evaluated) by the law that gives freedom (the believer's perception of doctrine under the ministry of the Holy Spirit is the basis for our evaluation).
For judgment for those who have not produced mercy (have not manufactured virtue, or better, who do not show compassion); compassion triumphs over judgment." This is the principle of Rom 8:1-4;
This point emphasizes the fact that the judgment seat of Christ and our evaluation is related to the many decisions that are made for or against residence and function inside God's spiritual power system.
The function of virtue that is related to the judgment seat of Christ is seen in Rom 14:10-13; "You there (the weak believer who lives in the cosmic system), why do you judge your brother? (Principle of the weak controlling the strong) or you also (the strong believer) why do you regard your brother with contempt? (Lack of toleration from impersonal love) for all will be present at the tribunal of God.
11 For it stands written (Isaiah 45:23), For surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me (the big genuflect after the Rapture of the Church), and every tongue will confess to God (these are believers).
Rom 14:12; So then each one of us (Church Age believers) shall give an account to God concerning himself (You are responsible for your own decisions).
13 Therefore let us no longer judge one another: but rather make up your mind, (determine this) not to place an obstacle or distraction in front of his brother".
This is application of virtue to the judgment seat of Christ. The only possible way to fulfill this objective this is to be inside God's spiritual power system where the motivating virtue of personal love for God is coordinated with the functional virtue of impersonal love for mankind.
There is where toleration (equity) for believers in all stages of spiritual growth is developed so that we do not allow them to distract us from our positive volition toward Bible doctrine.
Paul uses an athletic analogy to describe the judgment seat of Christ in 2Tim 2:5; "Now if anyone really competes in the athletic games he does not receive a winner's wreath unless he trains according to the rules."
The Roman Empire copied the entire system of the Greek games including the rules, and an athlete couldn't compete unless he trained according to the rules but there were two types of people who went to the gym and worked out.
The first group called "athleo" transliterated athlete was comprised of people who entered the gym to train and compete in the games. The other category who worked out but did not compete was called "agonistai." transliterated agonizers. They went to gym to work out and body build not to train under the rules to compete in the games.
The athletes suffered and were rewarded if they won but the agonizers suffered bur never were rewarded because they did not train according to the rules so they could not be rewarded.
So there were "athleo" and "agonistai", two categories of people. Similarly we have two kinds of believers, those who are functioning in God's power system (comparable to the athleo) and those who are functioning in the cosmic system (comparable to the agonistai).
This correlates to the two categories of believers. There are carnal cosmic believers who are functioning under the OSN who don't conduct their spiritual life according to the rules but the spiritual believers who are functioning under the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit do.
The Roman athlete who was going to compete not only lived inside the gymnasium for ten months to prepare for the games but he had to follow a very strict set of rules that constantly tested his motivation, his decisions, and his desire to participate.
This was a part of the system. This is analogous to the concept of perception of doctrine under the ministry of God the Holly Spirit in God's spiritual power system. When the athletes who won went back to their hometown they received rewards similar to the way that rewards are conveyed by Jesus at their evaluation after the exit resurrection when believers are at home in heaven.
This idea was also the basis of Paul's use of the analogy in 1Cor 9:24-27; "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run (analogous to the games in the Roman empire and the perception and application of doctrine necessary to develop momentum in the Christian life), but one receives the prize (in each event)?" analogous to the advance to and attainment of spiritual maturity in God's power system.
"Run in such a way that you may win," a command for residence and function in God's power system; "And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-discipline in all things.
They (the athletes) do it to receive a perishable wreath (or crown); but we (mature believers) an imperishable crown. Therefore (Paul's application) I do not run like a person without the objective of winning).
I do not fight like a person beating the air (He compares cosmic believers to shadow boxers). Instead I discipline my body, and keep it in training (residence and function in God's power system): lest having preached (communicated doctrine) to others, I myself should be disqualified" (disqualification from both temporal blessing and eternal reward at his evaluation by Jesus).
The rewards at the judgment seat of Christ are described by an analogy to rewards in the Roman Empire. During the Roman Empire there were two Greek words used for crowns. One of them, "stefanos" that is pertinent is a rewards obtained in military service and in the empire games.
God's Word refers to the rewards conveyed to mature believers at the judgment seat of Christ as called stefanos (crowns). The Roman Empire gave out six categories of these crowns.
In order of merit each of the six categories had a monetary reward that went along with it. All six were in the form of a golden crown that you could wear for the rest of your life.
God's Word lists three crowns for believers. There is the crown of righteousness for the fulfillment of God's plan for the Church Age. There is the crown of life for passing the momentum tests that occur during that advance.
The crown of glory is a decoration for pastors and evangelists who are faithful communicators of God's Word of Truth.
God's Word instructs believers to live their life in the light of eternity. This is the principle of living one day at a time with eternity in mind. It means being cognizant of the impact every decision that we make on the conveyance of rewards at the judgment seat of Christ.
The crown of righteousness is referenced in, 2Tim 4:7-8; "I have fought an honorable fight (a reference to his advance to maturity inside God's system. Paul had attained spiritual maturity, I have completed the course (the fulfillment of God's plan for his life), I have kept the faith. Better translated retained the doctrine referring to his PMA of God's Word of Truth.
v8, "In the future (reference to the judgment seat of Christ) a crown of righteousness is reserved for me, which crown the Lord, the righteous evaluator, will award me on that day and not only to me, but also to all those who have loved his appearance (the appearance of Christ at the exit resurrection).
We see here that the crown of righteousness is awarded to every Church Age believer who executes God's plan and reaches spiritual maturity.
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