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Written by R.Anna Phillips   

Zion's Landmark-August 1, 1900

"Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour."-1st Cor. 3: 8.

This is addressed to church members-to those born of God-and applies to their daily walk in gospel works; hence has no reference whatever to eternal things, whether as to work or reward. Yet, right here is where Arminians blunder in applying such assertions and ad monitions given to the children of God to regulate their timely walk, In giving them to the unregenerate sinner; thus making the provisional law of labour and reward affecting the life time of a child of God answer to that affecting the eternal life and salvation of a sinner. And so conclude the sinner can, and is commanded, to work out his eternal salvation. And that by not observing that all such is addressed to the church-to those already born of God, or eternally saved-fails to rightly divide the word and give the proper portion due each.

The above as addressed to "the church of God," "sanctified and called to be saints," at Corinth, shows there is a special personal gospel labour that shall be rewarded accordingly, required of them as such. Yet, as occasioned by the gospel law, the labour and reward shall cease with it.

The better to understand the nature, and impress the sacred obligations to perform this work, it is well-or I have found it so-to view the relative position of Christ and the church in a collective sense, and then make the personal practical application, which relative position is that of husband and wife. Adam, as he stood related to Eve, "was a figure of him that was (then) to come" that is, of Christ and the visible gospel church. The Lord gave Eve to Adam when she was sinless, or before actual transgression. The Father gave Jesus Christ his bride to betrothal in righteousness, or before actual sin. Hoses 2: 19, 20. And by this marriage the personal name of that bride was merged into that of the Husband, as they twain were made one.

Then by the cleft Rock (Cant. 2:14) by the munition of Rocks (Isaiah 33: 15) does this securely shelter and hide this bride from every law otherwise demanding upon her: while her Husband is bound as her legal head over all things to her, to meet and honor them in her behalf; and hence, stands her moral sheltering Refuge and legal Hiding Place. And by the divine will of the Father releasing her from him who held the power of death over her for debt, and all other obligations and giving her to the Son with all power and authority over her, is she made free indeed from all other laws, and subject only to that of her Husband.

So that while Christians as natural men and women are alike with others subject to the civil laws, yet as the bride of Christ, or in a spiritual sense, they are subject to Christ alone.

Then the labour or service according to the law of Christ or the gospel rule, is that of a faithful, devoted wife, whose love makes obedience to his law and honor to his name her chief delight as unto her beloved Lord; and not to make her more surely or securely his wife, or to add to her inheritance above, or to affect any outward things; but by pleasing subjection to acknowledge him chief among ten thousand and altogether lovely and her dearest reward-always in heart and not in hand-the sweet, secret consciousness of his love and approval.

But for disobedience? The penalty Inflicted on Eve was confined to her own personal body, for every one shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. Her reward was a multiplied conception and sorrow-in sorrow should she bring forth children. Yet this infliction as confined to her own mortal body, and that being timely, limits the infliction to time. She was "the mother of all living" in a natural sense. What a multiplicity of varied nations and tribes replenish the earth! The church is "the mother of us all," that is, of all the living in "the Jerusalem which is above."-Gal. 3:26. Who knows her secret multiplied pangs In travail and in sorrows in bringing forth her children from the varied conditions and depths of condemnation amid the changing circumstances and environments of all the ages ~ And then for the disobedient children dead from living after the flesh for whom she travails in birth again until Christ be formed in them anew. Gal. 3:19. Then there is another sense in which conception and sorrow is multiplied-in the conception of trials, cares, fears, perils, distresses, etc., all bourn and brought forth in patience, persecution and self-denial, of a spiritual nature added to the natural, and is summed up in "always bearing about in her body the dying of her Lord," and of which Job's life experience is a figure, and comprising such deep hidden groans of anguish and travail, as other men- the wicked in nature-know not.

But my object in this reference was to impress the fact of this relationship, and hence, that her labour should be in the capacity, spirit and love of a devoted, faithful wife, whose husband standing for her in all things pertaining to law, and in things pertaining to God, leaves her no duty but as unto him.

Then to make the application personal with the admission that one born of God is married to Christ, (Rom. 7:4) and thus under the most sacred obligations, obligations of love and law-to honor and obey him, and him alone, or that whatsoever she does is done as unto him. And loving him supremely, this is just what she most desires to do, and hence, love ruling her heart, what she will do; and for, and in, which she will receive her own reward in love, joy and peace In the Holy Ghost, in her own heart strengthening divine light and life, giving that "confidence that hath great recompense of reward," as making her calling and election sure unto her own soul. Bat alas! the complication with the flesh-the enemies of ones own household! While otherwise or prompted to act contrary to Christ's law, and not knowing what manner of spirit we are of-and many seducing spirits are gone out into the world while the Lord is one- yea, even though we are in transgression as deceived by a seducing spirit, like Eve was, the conception will be evil and the fruit unto unrighteousness, and to the dishonor of the name we bear, and there will not only be a fear and shame and hiding from our Lord, but our casting into outer darkness in proportion to our transgression.

The one safe way to avoid transgression is to follow the written law of Christ which thoroughly furnishes to all good works, and not only to deeds, but also to words, for also are words brought to account, and by which you may be justified or condemned in gospel matters-Matt. 11:47. For every idle word, much more those of slander and falsehood, shall come to judgment.

It is better for a natural wife who truly loves her husband to offend all the world and deny herself than to dishonor and offend her husband-I mean as to her own peace and happiness-for what is all the world to us when our husband turns from us as righteously grieved and offended in us? The world is nothing to us, nor we to it. Our husband is as the sun of our life and light and joy; let a cloud cover it and all the world is dark to us; let the light of his countenance be lifted upon us and all is light to us, though the outside world be dark. So spiritually with Christ. How dark, miserable, far away and utterly undone we feel when we have been disobedient? And our very love for our Lord seems to be the hand-weak or strong-to bring home and measure out our reward. For the better we love him, the deeper we grieve to dishonor him; and the dearer and sweeter the light of his approving countenance lifted upon us. And to labour in his service must be a labour of love, and in the patience of hope, since every one shall receive his own reward according to his own labour, not of eternal things of life and salvation in the heavens, not of temporal worldly benefits, but the things of Christ prepared for those who love him, and that are given or withheld according to the labour of each one. Therefore it is a heart reward that receiving one partakes the more of Christ, and that withheld, leaves one in darkness, doubt and fear.

But when and where is the judgment? The wicked in general shall be judged after death, Heb. 9: 27; the judgment of the Lord's people committed to Jesus Christ, is in this life, and begins at the house of God, and is personally when and where lie rebukes his own for disobedience to his law. And no matter what else, "every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour: the greater and better the labour, the greater his reward. Then one should look more to their own works than to another's. Yet, with the gospel-law shall cease its labour and rewards.

R.A.P.

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