common misconception

From page 7 of The Discipline of Grace: Study Guide:

CENTRAL IDEA

Contrary to a common misconception, we do not earn or forfeit God’s blessings in our daily lives based on our performance. Regardless of our performance we are always dependent on God’s grace, which is his unmerited favor to those who deserve his wrath.

Jeff Bridges

Any thoughts on this quote? Though I agree that our performance cannot “earn” us salvation, it seems a stretch to say emphatically that our performance after we have received God’s grace does not impact the way in which God can reward/punish us. Now, Jeff Bridges does restrict his statement to our daily lives – but even then, this seems to miss the boat. Doesn’t our “performance” – falling into sin or exhibiting spiritual fruit – have an impact on our ability to perceive what God is doing, and thus our ability to respond? Doesn’t submitting ourselves to sin have the possibility of us forfeiting opportunities from God to serve, in the here and now? I would myself consider spiritual fruit, which we cannot produce in our own effort, as a blessing from God we experience in our daily lives as we follow him more closely.

We are certainly going to be judged, as believers, for our actions one day (2 Corinthians 5:10).  Is it so bad if God, even now, rewards us – not on a “good enough” scale, but on a “response to his Spirit” scale?

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About George

I'm interested in theology, languages, translation and various sorts of fermentation.
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2 Responses to common misconception

  1. I do believe there are different levels of reward here (probably reaping what we sow) and in heaven which would be praise from God which is more valuable than many of us probably realize. I wrote about it a while ago:
    http://tinyurl.com/y8z4jlb
    Jeff

    • George says:

      Thanks for sharing that post. Yes, having God’s commendation is a great thing to aspire to and strive for; the phrases “approved workmen” and “good and faithful servant” immediately come to mind.

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