Friday, January 16, 2009

Vindication: A Believer's Biblical View of The Judgment Seat of Christ - Part 1

(Please make sure that you read the previous post, "Intro" first)

What Then For The Believer?

With the fact that all are without excuse being understood, we can move on into the result of one placing their life and identity in Christ. In the middle of doing this study, I truly had what I believe is a personal revelation as to why I don’t fear meeting God face to face on judgment day. Well what is it, you ask?

I have no fear of meeting Christ face to face at His throne because I already have!

Within this statement lies much power and changes so much of how we see intimacy with our Father. If you can grasp this simple truth, it has the ability to change everything!

Romans 14:10-12 states, “…we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, ‘AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.’ So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” What is my point? My knee has already bowed (and is bowing). My tongue has already confessed (and is confessing). Because I live a lifestyle that is submitted to the Lordship of God, it will not be a new experience for me to do so at the judgment seat. I want to be so enamored with being before God’s throne now that when I arrive there, no longer bound to this mortal flesh, it will be a celebration! Do you see my friend? It is not to be a dreaded day but one greeted with rejoicing! I anticipate the day that I stand before my King!

When I chose Christ, I chose to die. I will not die a spiritual death for I have been made spiritually alive in Christ! I died and it is no longer I that live but Christ in me! So I ask you, will the Father judge His Son? Of course, He cannot for absolutely every sin was already placed upon Him and died at Calvary – including mine. He already fulfilled the penalty of the “guilty verdict” on my behalf! When Father looks at me, He sees His Son and the Son (The Anointed Christ) is without spot or blemish! That is what is so absolutely incredible about being born from above – true salvation! I am vindicated! (We’ll look more at this incredible word a little later.)

Jesus stated, “And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:26

Of course we know that all men will die a physical death (with a handful of exceptions of course), so we know that this is referencing a spiritual death. It is not enough to simply “believe” in Jesus Christ, as we see in this verse. One must “live” in Him.

Oh, if people only realized this truth! It would set thousands free to be the Christians that they are supposed to be! This single truth could literally change the face of Christianity, without question! There would be no more bondage to the past! No more chains that keeps one bound to past failures and sin! No more striving and straining to please God via works and efforts! The Body of Christ would function as The Christ! Do you see it? I’m serious! Do you see it? We cry out for revival and “new this and new that” yet few will ever grasp the great depth of where it all starts - their very own salvation!

In 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul tells the people, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (NASB)

The Amplified Bible states it a bit clearer like this: “For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].”

This is why it is imperative that we are keepers of the Law – God’s Law. Why will Christ address scores of men, including self-proclaimed Believers saying, “I do not know you. Depart from me you workers of iniquity”? Because they did not keep His Law. Iniquity in the original Greek is “adikia”, meaning lawless, unrighteous and unjust ones. This is where the declaration of guilt is declared – for those who did not receive vindication on behalf of Jesus Christ. At the judgment seat, they were not known by The Christ. It truly grieves me to think, even for a moment, of how many people are convinced that they are ready to meet the LORD because of false conversions and doctrines of men, yet they will not be found known by The LORD. To get back to the last point, keepers of the Law will be known by the LORD, vindicated - found being workers of obedience at the judgment seat.

Jude 1:24 says, “[God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord] is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy…”

The word “blameless” is “amomos” which means “without rebuke, without blame or spot, faultless”. This verse, although just part of a longer statement, is a mouthful. The LORD Himself enables you to stand firm and not fall in His glorious presence! This is why it is such error to “labor for God” in order to get in better standing with Him. It is nothing you could ever do yourself or earn for He is the One who enables you to stand! He also sets you in place in His presence without any spot or blemish. As if that were not enough, He places you there with immeasurable joy and gladness. Does this sound like standing before His throne wincing as your knees are knocking uncontrollably? I think not!

Being a law keeper that is found “in Christ” is your absolute only hope! Being in Him is the only way that you will be deemed innocent and blameless. Being in Him is the only way you will not receive what is due you, according to what you’ve done in your body of flesh.

* Expect Part 2 to be posted soon.


Harriet said...

What an aHAH moment Joel!!

I am going back to read this in it's entirety now..but the TRUTH is ringing loud and clear to me..
thank you.

God bless you my friend!

Joel Spencer said...

Harriet: It gets better! It's no wonder why we don't know who we are in Christ and ALL that took place (myself included). We've not searched the Word for our identity!

Times are 'a changin'!

Valerie said...

Joel, What truth you speak.

"I have no fear of meeting Christ face to face at His throne because I already have!"

Amen Joel, Amen and amen.

Jesus stated, “And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:26It is not enough to simply “believe” in Jesus Christ, as we see in this verse. One must “live” in Him.

Joel, Father just opened my eyes to this very verse last week. Everyone who lives and believes in Me. How many (or how few) truly live in Him? For the first time I saw this verse as just those who are the called out ones and not everyone who thinks they are believers.

When I chose Christ, I chose to die. I will not die a spiritual death for I have been made spiritually alive in Christ! I died and it is no longer I that live but Christ in me! Hallelujah brother, what an awesome thing it is to know we will never die.

I meant to comment on the first part of this when you talked about fearing God. I was saved at 11 years of age (will be 50 this year) and until 7 years ago I was terrified of dying. I couldn't understand how a Christian would be afraid to die. Then 7 years ago I took the decision to start afresh with God, started reading His Word and believing what He was telling me, not how man interpreted it. What a difference that made. All fear was gone. I had been suffering from agoraphobia and panic attacks for just over 20 years, and through that year I was rid of them all. I was ready to face God whatever. That was indeed put to the test. I used to wake up from my sleep terrified I was going to die. One night I got no peace from praying, having others pray, saying bible verses etc. I just lay back on my pillow in my total panic, could hardly breathe, and said Father I'm ready, just take me home, really expecting to go. All fear left me immediately. Our God really is a mighty God and He does what He says in His Word.

Keep preaching it brother, Valerie

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful, thank you for sharing it.

Mark S. said...

I have a question. I frequent this site and although I often don't agree with you, when I search out the Scripture, the points that you make do seem to line up with the Bible. Perhaps this is just another one of those things I've been taught and think that I know yet is in fact wrong, but aren't we supposed to fear God?

I mean He is God and I'm just a man, right? I don't feel like it's my place to address Him as anything less than "high and lifted up".

Curious to hear your thoughts.

Mark Main said...

Fantastic stuff here Joel. This is something I have been slowly starting to try and piece together myself. Look forward to reading part 2

Joel Spencer said...

Valerie: Fear has such a powerful grip doesn't it? It had me before I was in Christ and still tries to affect me now. It is such a controlling spirit that must be addressed. I thank you for sharing your personal experiences.

Anonymous: Thank you for stopping by.

Joel Spencer said...

Mark S.: Well if you don't agree with what I often say here and then you go to the Word to find out for yourself, I say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

In regards to your question, I address it somewhat in the upcoming installment. I'd direct you to Romans. "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!' The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God" . When you are a child of God, a son, you now approach Him as Father. "Abba Father" insinuated an intimate and personal relationship.

Again, in no way do we ever lose the awe of God, but to His children, He is Father.

Mark Main: There is surely alot here to uncover. Much more than I'll be able to present here. Thanks for reading.

Jeff said...

Wow. This changes everything. I've been in church my whole life and I've never heard this before. It's no wonder everyone's scared of God.

NINA said...

This, my friend, is the unadulterated gospel. It has been a long time (in this new age of revelation and "good news" as well)that I have heard "the gospel" preached. This blog needs to be posted in every Sunday school room. It's time for us to go back to the basics!! It's refreshing. This is what the world needs. People seem have to forgotten "the gospel". I think people have a misconception of what the gospel is. It is the teachings of Christ and his disciples. Maybe you should post a blog about that (HINT {smile}). There is deliverance in the gospel.In this new age of wisdom where everyone becomes a scholar and sit around and debate the hidden meanings of the bible people seem to have forgotten the gospel. But the gospel holds the key to salvation and it is pure and simple and it sums everything up in a nutshell. In fact I'm gonna let my son read this blog.
BTW I want to say to Mark, yes we are supposed to fear God. This is why we render ourselves as earthly servants and as believers we live a life of conviction. This is why true believer's do our best to line up according to God's will and live according to bible principles. It is the fear of God and his wrath that causes us to be believers so that we won't join those who will experience his wrath. It's the fear of God NOW that causes us not to have to fear God on judgment day.Without the fear of God we would not have vowed to serve him or have excepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior.Before excepting Christ we were damned in a dieing world but Jesus came to deliver us from the wrath of God which any man should fear.Through our actions we fear God daily so that we have no need to fear on judgment day. It is our fear that causes us not to fear.CUZ WE DON"T HAVE TO.

Yvonne said...

Well done! You've explained the breatplate of righeousness and the helmet of salvation very well! I loved the scriptures you've used to explain it. Many hold false assumptions of God due to either the environment they were raised in or because of false teaching. Many in the past have actually fueled the flame of fear. The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever. Ps 111:10. The better meaning for fear in this passage is awe and reverence, to yir'ah in the orgingal language. When we hold God in such high regard, realizing his love for us, we can grasp the reality that he wants only the best for us. His word and commands are then no longer a tedius discipline but a delight to our soul for we understand the life and light they bring to our lives. You don't break God's laws they break you. When you realize this a healthy respect is developed. This is a message that sets people free and gives life. Can't wait till you share the part 2!~

Joel Spencer said...

Jeff: I hear ya. Many "churches" spend so much time encouraging "good behavior" - all the while making sure you know that God will be infuriated and punish you if you don't! Oh, but "God is love". It just doesn't add up.

It is time that we allow the Word to tell us the attributes and characterisics of God.

Nina: About your "you should write about that" part. I'm sitting on about fifteen pages on "The Christ" as we speak, but am a million miles from completing it. It is fantastic stuff, but I have no idea where it will land.

Yvonne: You said, "Many hold false assumptions of God due to either the environment they were raised in or because of false teaching."

That is so true. There is no father like our Heavenly Father, therefore we must forego all comparisons. He alone is righteous, true, just and abounding in love.

Anonymous said...

As one who gets tired of people just sharing their opinions and expecting everybody else to immediately accept it as truth, I must say this is a breath of fresh air.

I spent most of my life in church, but grew weary of people never living what they claimed to act out on Sundays. I believe God is real, but those who claim to speak on his behalf sure seem to confuse everything for me. I guess it's just good to see a place that urges others to "dig for yourself" as you say. So, from a new web visitor passing thru, thanks.


Anonymous said...

Christ in you and you in Christ. More completely- Christ in you all and all of us in Christ. I totally agree with you and the Word that we have met the Lord at His throne already and have nothing to fear in regards to judgment. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Christ cannot be condemned so neither can i now that I am found in Him and He in me.
The law you are referring to just for clarification are you referring to the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.? Being guided by the law of the indwelling Christ rather than in the law that depends on our own strength that leaves us wanting- the law of sin and death?

Joel Spencer said...

Shannon: We're glad that you're here! Regarding what you said, this is a place where all are encouraged to study the Word for themselves. My entire goal is to shed light on many "Biblical misunderstandings" in order for people to get a taste of how the Word is alive and discernable to all!

May the LORD continue to unveil our eyes to know His truth.

Anonymous: When referencing the "laws of God", I'm referring to our being found as righteous and holy before Him. Rather than being workers of iniquity (lawless ones), we must be found holy and pleasing in His sight by following His commands and Kingdom principles.