KEY THOT: For those who walk by faith, not by sight, death or life is a win-win situation: “while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.” Death means being “at home with the Lord.” So, for this reason, we live to please him, not ourselves as we will have to give an account of how we live our life at the judgment seat of Christ, about everything we have done ever since we came to know Christ—“whether good or evil.”
The Cross was a judgment of all we have done in the past and dealt a death blow to the old sinful self to set us free from the condemnation of the Law in order that we can now live to please Christ: “one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” So, as believers, the period from the day we were baptized into Christ till the day we are called “home to be with the Lord” is subject to scrutiny when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Some bible scholars try to distinguish this judgment seat of Christ from the Great White Throne judgment where all the dead are judged (Rev. 20:11-12). While it is hard to be hard and fast about this, the point of Paul’s message is that we will have to give an account of what we have done with our post-conversion life in the Spirit: “whether good or evil.” If we walk by the Spirit, our deeds are “good”; if we walk by the flesh, our deeds are “evil”.
I must reject the teaching of false grace that says that because I am now a believer, it doesn’t really matter how I live, for Christ has been judged for all the wrongs I have ever done in the past, present and future. While it’s true, the blood remains available to cleanse me from all sins, it doesn’t give me the license to sin as I please without consequences. Once saved, I am called to walk by the Spirit and not gratify the desires of my sinful flesh: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things WILL NOT inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21).
But thanks be to God that through His Spirit, I can produce good works that will pass the judgment seat of Christ and receive the rewards that are due me in Christ!
I must continue to take seriously God’s command to the prophet Micah: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic 6:8). I cannot plead that I’m still a sinner and so “couldn’t help myself”. Jesus Christ did not die on the Cross to give me an excuse for not doing good, but to give me the power to do good, and reject evil.
Father, thank You for Your Holy Spirit that now lives within me, so that I can do what You desire, not what my sinful flesh desires. May I continue to bear the good fruit of obedience to Your Spirit. Amen.