Are We Judged by Our Works?
- New Testament
Oct 11, 2013 2560
These passages reflect the Biblical teaching that we are all judged according to our works that we have done; in other words, according to whether we have been righteous or unrighteous.
The purpose of the judgment is to demonstrate the justice and fairness of God before the universe. Accordingly, there must be a single rule for all in the judgment. That judgment is the law of God, which is the standard of righteousness. We must also consider that Jesus taught that our works proceed from inside, from our hearts. So we are not talking solely about the things we do, but the thoughts of our mind and the inclinations of our hearts.
Without question, we are all judged according to our works. As 1 John 3: 7 says, “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.” And Paul makes it more than clear, that none of us are righteous.
But the gospel speaks of a legal transaction that occurred at Calvary. This legal transaction was made for every human being, and we appropriate the benefits of this legal transaction the moment that we believe.
This legal transaction involves the fact that on the cross Jesus became our representative. He could do this because he was fully human as well as fully divine. As our representative he paid the price for all of our unrighteousness. But that is only one part of the atonement. Salvation is not only that Jesus wipes our slate clean. As our representative, he also offers us his life. His life is perfect righteousness itself, for all his works are perfect. You can see both parts of the equation, which always go together, here,
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor 5:21.
This transaction is not influenced in any way by your own works. It is entirely by faith, and it is entirely the work of Christ. This is Paul’s argument in Romans. This transaction determines your legal identity and standing before God. So now…
Everyone will be judged by the works that they have done. It is the only standard of the judgment.
If you have not accepted the gift of righteousness by faith, you will be judged by your own works and condemned.
If you have accepted the gift of righteousness by faith, then all of Christ’s works are counted in the place of yours. No one can object, because Jesus has paid the price, and you have accepted the offer; the deal has been done.
Yes, we will be all judged by our works, but we can know the outcome today… by faith.