Does God reward men for their faith? I believe the proper answer is, “No.” However, does God reward men for faith? I would have to answer, “Yes.” Am I sounding theologically schizophrenic? Allow me to explain.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
There is no question, men should have faith in God and in his promises. God is always true, and he does not lie. He is believable, and men should always trust and believe in him. It is good and right that all men should seek him out, hear his wisdom and will, and respond with faith and faithfulness.
In addition, there is no question that God promises to reward those who perfectly receive, believe, and keep his law. He richly rewards anyone and everyone who proves to be faithful, believing, and seeking him as they ought. They are those who please him, and it pleases him to reward them.
However, anyone who really receives and believes what God says in his Word, must come to the conclusion that there is no man who seeks God. There is no one who faithfully believes in God. All men lack sufficient faith and faithfulness. (You and I are not odd.)
Therefore, based upon their own personal merit, all men and women forfeit God’s heavenly blessings. Because they disbelieve, lack faith, and seek him not as they ought, all displease God. No one merits his rewards.
However, there is very good news for anyone and everyone who abandons self-trust. It is time to preach the Gospel to ourselves once again.
Whoever hears, understands, agrees, receives, believes, has faith, seeks out, and rests in the work of Jesus Christ, they prove to have received God’s gracious reward already. They have received the gifts of
- Holy Spirit indwelling
And whoever receives the gifts of the Father, Son, and Spirit, find themselves being fruited from within with further gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Therefore friends, allow me to pose the question again, “Does God reward men for their own, personal, faith?” I believe the answer is “No.”
But, “Does God reward men for faith?” I think the answer is, “Yes.” God rewards men for his faith that he gives them through the working of the Holy Son and his Holy Spirit.
And this is what we see in Hebrews 11. Abel and Enoch, thought sinful, are enjoying the Rewarder and his rewards right now. The same is true for Noah, Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Moses, Joshua, Rahab, and millions of Israelites, despite their personal faithlessness, are singing songs about God’s throne with the cherubim and seraphim. And the list can go on and on. It includes arrogant judges Samson and philanderers like David. But despite their faithlessness, God was faithful to them; look at his work. God worked in and through them, and they proved to keep believing despite untold transgressions — barrenness, betrayal, debauchery, sacrilege. They kept the faith despite numerous trials — war, persecution, imprisonment, torture, and execution. But in the end — right now — they are commended and rewarded. They are viewed as faithful, believing, seeking, and pleasing, and they are being royally rewarded by the King of Kings.
Today, we who trust in God’s Gospel can really rejoice. God has already granted us supernatural faith, and now we get to enjoy expressing his supernatural faith. We get to hear, believe, seek, and practice. And one day, in glory, we get to be rewarded for God’s supernatural faith.
What a deal! What a plan! What a covenant! What a gift! Be happy!