Study # 20
January 21, 1998
Harlingen, Texas

Thesis: Because enduring temptation/trial is a prerequisite to receiving the crown of life, how are grace and faith related to this endurance? Introduction: Last week we attempted to show that being blessed means to be in a temporal, post-action condition of being in line for glory with no possibility of loss: in short, being blessed is being established by temporal action for glory. We appealed to Jesus' promise in Mark 9:41 and Matthew 10:42 of the impossibility of the loss of a properly motivated act of goodness. Now this idea introduces a tension for many because of the adamant declaration that salvation is NOT the consequence of human performance issues. How do we handle this theologically? The text is clear, and the reasoning is solid, that the result is NOT the same for the believer who endures and the believer who capitulates. Clearly, blessedness is a promise held out to believers in order to motivate endurance. Clearly, there is something to be gained and lost by the behavior in which we engage. How do we maintain Paul's emphasis upon grace/faith apart from works and Jesus/James' emphasis upon reward as a consequence of works?