LBCF 1689 Reflections (part 21).


Reflections on the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. 23 Aug 14 began a perhaps unbroken, orderly, and personal journey through my favorite written confession of faith. This will be my personal reflections on this beloved written codification of the Christian faith according to a Baptist flavor.





Paragraph 1: “…the rewarder of them that diligently seek him…”


For some people reward is a hard subject. Throughout history some have said things to the effect that if you get anything at all for yourself out of doing something for someone else then there can be no reward for it from God. The truth that God’s rewards can be forfeited for ignominious actions by us has merit in Scripture. Jesus speaks about how hypocrites have no reward from God for their works (Matthew 6:2) and he does commend us to purposefully help or bless those who cannot help or bless us back in order to receive reward from God in the future, Luke 14:12-14. It’s true that we can be selfish in doing things for God and/or man and therefore lose our reward from God for it, but this doesn’t mean that wanting or seeking reward from God is always bad. In fact, knowing that God rewards believers is spoken of in Scripture as a prerequisite quality of anyone who truly wishes to seek after Him as we’ll see.

     Through the earliest chapters of Romans Saul is writing God’s anthropology. All of mankind is in view regarding judgment here, and even the final judgment is mentioned in chapter two. He takes time to give insight into how judgment actually works both between men and between a man and God. Along these lines he drops some interesting words about reward for the believer. He speaks of how God, “…will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath,” Romans 2:6-8. Fascinating note: there is a self-seeking for glory, honor and immortality that is commended, and yet a self-seeking that is condemned. Both are self-seeking, but the way Christians do it is for the glory of God, and not self-glory. We seek after God knowing full well that there is great reward in it for us. This is okay.

     These confessional writers here simply affirmed Hebrews 11:6 which says: “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” This is just another blessed attribute of God that deserves mention. What is our reward? It’s given in many ways both in this life and in that which is to come. Ultimately, we believe that our reward is God himself. John Piper wrote a fantastic book called God Is the Gospel. Amen to that. No blessing can be compared with this hope: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” Matthew 5:8. What a blessing indeed it’ll be to actually see the God who is the very source of life. Looking upon the face of eternity will be the Christian’s greatest reward. We should seek after this every day. There is nothing wrong with this. I want to go to heaven when I die. This is good.

     We seek for a new kingdom, but this is not selfish. We seek for the riches of his grace, but this is not selfish. We seek his reward, but we do it selflessly.

     God rewards the faithful. In this life there is great peace when we remain fixed on him. We endure all things with our eyes fixed on an eternal reward with God in heaven as well. 

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