MARCH 29. 2017 – OUR FUTURE REWARDS

Every man shall receive his own reward.

1 Corinthians 3:8

Our motives in the Christian life should be both right and genuine. God is the Faithful One. We are to love Him and serve Him because He is God—not because of the gracious things He does for us or for the rewards He promises us!

However, it should be said that God does not expect us to forget or ignore the gracious future promises He has made to us. It is a glorious truth that if we believe God and honor His Word, if we walk by faith in love and obedience, there will be eternal rewards for each of us in that great coming day. The rewards will differ. Wisdom and knowledge and love reside in Him who is our God. He will make the right judgments for His people.

I for one will not be surprised if some of God’s faithful people serving Him today should rise as high and shine as brightly as the heroes of faith listed in the book of Hebrews.

I say that in all truthfulness because I do not think that all of the heroes of faith are dead and gone!

Praise to the Lord from whom all blessings flow! I worship You today, the mighty God of all creation![1]


8 Paul develops the agricultural imagery further by emphasizing that both the planter and the waterer have one purpose, namely, to see to it that there is a harvest from what has been sown. And if there is a decent harvest, there will obviously be a “reward” (misthos, GK 3635) awaiting each one for the hard work put into the project. The word misthos is used in the Gospels and elsewhere in the NT for the spiritual reward one receives. In some passages (e.g., Mt 5:12; Mk 9:41; Lk 6:23; 2 Jn 8; Rev 22:12) it denotes a “reward” given in heaven; in other passages (e.g., Mt 20:8; Ro 4:4) it means “wages,” which metaphorically points to one’s eternal reward. Paul’s meaning for this word falls in line with this usage, and here he is setting up the discussion he will explore in 1 Corinthians 3:12–15.[2]


3:8 are one. All the human instruments God uses to produce salvation life are equally considered and rewarded for their willingness to be used by God. But all the glory goes to Him, who alone saves. Because of that, the silly favoritism of v. 4; 1:12 is condemned. [3]


God does not fail to recognize the faithful work of His servants. Each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. God will “give their reward to [His] bond–servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear [His] name, the small and the great” (Rev. 11:18). That is the uniqueness of future glory.

God rewards on the basis of labor, not success or results. A missionary may work faithfully for 40 years and see only a handful of converts. Another may work far fewer years and see far more converts. Jeremiah was one of God’s most faithful and dedicated prophets, yet he saw little result of his ministry. He was ridiculed, persecuted, and generally rejected along with the message he preached. Jonah, on the other hand, was petty and unwilling, yet through him God won the entire city of Nineveh in one brief campaign. Our usefulness and effectiveness are purely by God’s grace (cf. 1 Cor. 15:10).

It is appropriate that God’s faithful servants be appreciated and encouraged while they are on earth. But they are not to be glorified, set apart, or made the center of special groups or movements.[4]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 284). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (1 Co 3:8). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians (pp. 74–75). Chicago: Moody Press.

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