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Trials of worthiness

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Many Christains like to quote Eph 2:8-9; entire doctrines are built on these two verses.
Usually people leave out the very next verse.

Eph 2:10; For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

So even though we don't "get" saved by works.... are no works at all required?

Jas 1:12; Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Jas 1:22; But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

It seems we are "approved" by how we handle trials.

Jas 2:19; You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
Jas 2:20; But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

Jas 2:21; Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

Jas 2:25; In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

Peter says much the same thing.

1 Pet 1:6; In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
1 Pet 1:7; so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Surgeon said... untested faith, is not faith at all. Saying you believe is fine and great, but does your faith stand up to the trials of life? Paul said he didn't think that he had obtained the resurrection yet when he wrote this. But he "pressed on" towards the prize.

Php 3:10; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
Php 3:11; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Php 3:12; Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13; Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
Php 3:14; I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The Bible talks quite a bit about being "worthy". Now of course none of us can be worthy on our own without the blood and grace of Jesus. But is that enough? Some preachers chastise us for "not believing Jesus is enough". He is enough, but He doesn't do it all for you.

Matt 10:37; "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Matt 10:38; "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

It would seem that Abraham did not love Isaac more than God.

2 Thes 1:4; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
2 Thes 1:5; This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
2 Thes 1:6; For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,

Paul frequently talks about "suffering for the kingdom"... so that you will be considered "worthy".

Matt 22:8; "Then he *said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.

Luke 20:35; but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;

Paul also mentions people willfully continuing in sin (specifically homosexual practices) and he says people that continue doing these things are "worthy" of death.

Rom 1:32; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

The writer of Hebrews (often considered to be Paul) says the martyrs of the old testament and early church "gained approval" by the trials they went through.

Heb 11:35; Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection;
Heb 11:36; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment.
Heb 11:37; They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated
Heb 11:38; (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
Heb 11:39; And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,

We all know the passage where Jesus says the path to destruction is wide.. and "many" find it.
The path to eternal life is narrow and "few" find it. Paul takes this same thought...

1 Cor 9:24; Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

2 Tim 2:3; Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
2 Tim 2:4; No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
2 Tim 2:5; Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.

Jesus said people will be judged by their deeds. The passage below seems to indicate that the deeds you do determine what kind of resurrection you will rise to.

John 5:28; "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,
John 5:29; and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

1 Pet 1:17; If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

Mal 3:2; "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap.

... to be continued ...
Rev 2:7; 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.'

Rev 2:11; 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.'

Rev 2:17; 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.'

Rev 2:26; 'He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;

Rev 3:5; 'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Rev 3:12; 'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.

Rev 3:21; 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Rev 21:7; "He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
Why did God make the Israelites wander around the desert for so long?

Exod 16:4; Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.

I find it interesting that Jesus was also led into the wilderness.

Matt 4:4; Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
1 Cor 10:1; For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea;
1 Cor 10:2; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1 Cor 10:3; and all ate the same spiritual food;

Paul is writing to the "brethren". (believers) He says they were baptized into Moses by passing through the Red Sea.
They all ate the Manna from heaven.

1 Cor 10:4; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
1 Cor 10:5; Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

They all drank from the same water. A rock which "followed" them. (interesting). That rock was Christ. He is the spiritual water ( John 4:14; )

1 Cor 10:6; Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.
1 Cor 10:7; Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.”
1 Cor 10:8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
1 Cor 10:9; Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.
1 Cor 10:10; Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
1 Cor 10:11; Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
1 Cor 10:12; Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
1 Cor 10:13; No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

Paul says, these things were an example (to the church) of the consequences of being disobedient. But even after God did all of this for them....

1 Cor 10:5; Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

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