The gift of salvation and the gifts of the Spirit are all gifts in the same sense that they are gifts of grace, they are gracious gifts of God that are not deserved, but which are sovereignty bestowed on men, with no consideration of one’s worthiness of receiving them.
No gift of God is ever deserved by its recipient, and so we must always be grateful to God for them. We can never have pride because of any gift we receive. This is why Simon’s sin is so serious. It is a sin against grace itself, and therefore a sin of the most serious type. Peter is not speaking so much about Simon’s sinfulness in general, but rather in terms of this specific sin, the sin of trying to purchase God’s gift .
Peter’s words do not refer to Simon’s disregard of God’s old covenant, but to the new covenant, the covenant of grace. By attempting to buy the gift of God, Simon was setting aside the covenant of grace and seeking to receive the Spirit (salvation) by works. To purchase it or earn salvation by ones own efforts or abilities. Acts 8:14-24 “But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, BECAUSE THOU HAST THOUGHT THAT THE GIFT OF GOD MAY BE PURCHASED with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the LORD for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.” (Acts 8:9-24).
Jesus Christ is our righteousness (1Corinthians 1:30). We do not and cannot attain a right relationship with God in our own righteousness because our self-righteousness is as filthy rags. We are guilty sinners in the need of a perfect righteousness (Rom. 3:23; Jer. 17:9; Mark 7:20-23). Romans 5:5-21 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
So tell me…does grace stop after you become a Christian or does it continue throughout your life?…….we cant earn salvation …cant keep it by works….we didn’t deserve it before we were saved and don’t deserve it now. All our works are filthy rags in his sight.
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Our Salvation is described in the word of God as Eternal. It is eternal and not based on conditions. Our salvation is based on full assurance and works accompany salvation or in other words are the fruit that proceeds forth from a saved person BUT WORKS ARE NOT A PREQUISIT FOR SALVATION OR TO KEEP YOUR SALVATION!!
As for rewards based on works what does the bible actually say? It says that God has predetermined before the world began which works he desired for each of us to walk in. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained (AFORE prepared) that we should walk in them.
Works are also a gift of grace because they are ordained for us to walk in according to scripture. Every one has their own gifts and callings which they are called by the Lord to do. So how can one be deemed more deserving than another even in works if the bible says that we each have our gifts according to grace?
God created us unto good works, which means that God has prepared these works long before we would come into existence. Therefore God prepared the good works ahead of time, so that we would walk in them automatically. Do we get credit for doing those good works? Absolutely not! God prepared those good works for each of us to do according to his will. We just stepped in the place and situation that God has made. Those good works are a gift of God’s grace. Let us take a look at what the Lord says about rewards in scripture shall we?
Matthew 19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Matthew 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
So according to scripture Jesus called the 12 (BEFORE THEY EVER DID ANY WORKS IN THE KINGDOM) and ordained them to eternally rule with him. He also said that he would give the same reward for those who toiled all day as those who worked one hour.
This concept reveals that reward is not of debt (one must earn) but of God’s sovereign undeserving grace. The rewards of our work for the Lord will be received in this time, while we live on this earth and in the world to come we receive eternal life with Christ in God, not as a reward for our work done here on earth, but as a Free Gift given to all those whom God saves, whether they have worked long or whether they have worked a short time for the Lord.
That is why in the Gospel of Matthew the Lord Jesus followed up this saying with the “Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard”, where some have worked long and others have worked short, but all receive the same wage: One Denarius. All good works are not worthy to stand in the shadow of the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Therefore in the life hereafter we all receive the same inheritance, which is life everlasting in the presence of God and of the Lamb.
Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Romans 2:7-8 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
Romans 2:9-10 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God. But we know that “we all are by nature the children of wrath”, and we all have been “conceived in sin” and we all are “called transgressors from the womb”.
We all were by nature enemies of God. It is only by the grace of God that God turned some of us around and made us love Him, and seek for Him, and seek to be saved from our sins.
Therefore those “who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life”, are those whom Christ has saved by grace from their sins. But those who remain in their sins are those who “are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath”.
Then in verse 11 God says that He will pass judgment both on Jews and Gentiles, for God is not a respecter of persons. God will reward evil works and God will reward good works. In other words those in Christ are working by the Holy Spirit’s grace in the kingdom but those outside of salvation are and will be judged under the law. The only good work is the work done by the Lord Jesus.
The Lord Jesus Christ was the only one who was as righteous as God Himself, because He is God. He should be the only one who really deserved His reward, because all His works were righteous. His was the only merited reward. Will God reward our works? Yes , Our eternal life in the life hereafter is also spoken of as our inheritance. We are coheirs with Christ of the inheritance in the New Heaven & New Earth. Even though this is all a gift of God’s grace, God also calls this our reward.
Colossians 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Since we have been saved by grace, we are serving the Lord Jesus Christ. And since we are serving Him our future inheritance is called our reward. But it really is a reward that is given by grace. It cannot be a reward for good works, for all our good works were prepared before by God.
We read it again in 2 John 8. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought (worked out), but that we receive a full reward.
The reward that we receive is a reward entirely of grace Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
It Is All of Grace, Not of Works ! It is clear in scripture that all our good works are fruits, which Christ bears in us and through us. Without Him we are nothing and can do nothing. In John 15 the Lord Jesus Christ told 11 of His disciples the Parable of the Vine and the Branches. John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Without Him we are nothing and can do nothing. Our good works are gifts from God to us, which flow from God’s eternal predestination and good pleasure. Therefore, our reward is all of grace, from beginning to end. It is of grace that Christ died for us and purchased eternal righteousness for us. By His death He also gave us the privilege of performing good works. It is of grace that we are ingrafted into Him by faith, and that we are sanctified unto good works.
Good works, therefore, are the fruits of Christ dwelling in us, fruits which God ordained for us before the foundation of the world, and in which we are privileged to walk. And as we are in the way of good works so we enter into glory. But it is all through grace, and never of works. The Bible is very firm on the distinction between grace and works. For example, God says in:
Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Our faith, if it is genuine faith, is a gift from God. Now let us take a look at the crowns in scripture. Who and what are they for? THE CROWN OF REJOICING for those who win others to Christ. This is sometimes called “the soul-winner’s crown.” 1 Thessalonians 2:19 “You are our hope, our joy, and the crown we will take pride in when our Lord Jesus Christ comes.” THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS for those who look for and love Christ’s return. 2 Timothy 4:8 “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” THE CROWN OF GLORY for those who faithfully teach and preach God’s Word. 1 Peter 5:4 “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” THE INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN for those who “run a good race” in the Christian life. 1 Corinthians 9:25 “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.”
THE CROWN OF LIFE. By putting complete faith and trust in the Lord when you are facing trials, tribulations, and hardships. When in difficult times and you are faced with pain and suffering you simply rely on the Lord that much more. James 1:12 “Happy is the man that keeps on enduring trial, because on becoming approved he will receive the Crown of Life.”
These crowns will go to all who are truly born again as the Lord sees fit. But notice that all crowns will be thrown at the Lord’s feet in the end because in reality he is the one who has done the works by his Spirit in you. They are God works and not your good works! Reward is of grace and not of debt ! Christians who are truly born of God continue in the faith. They don’t turn back. They continue: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-13).
Jude 1: 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Revelation 4:10,11 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.