Ephesians 4:4-6, One hope of your calling: Eternal Reward, part 4.

Class Outline:

Tuesday January 12, 2021


In Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount there are eight Beatitudes. The eighth says “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”


He then told us to rejoice, for our reward was great in heaven.


All believers are in the kingdom of heaven, but this statement, “theirs is the kingdom,” or perhaps, “the kingdom is theirs” leads us to imagine that Jesus may be referring to their experience of the ways of the kingdom that belongs to them who thirst and hunger for righteousness. If the thirst for righteousness is satisfied, as Jesus promised it would be, then theirs is the satisfaction.


As we have seen in Jesus’ use of “reward” in this Sermon, it is the natural fruit that grows from living and being what we have been called to be.


He pointed us to loving others, including our enemies, which would make us extraordinary like Him.


He led us to see that we are to practice our righteousness always, and to beware of doing so to be noticed by men. He then specifically spoke to us about giving, praying, and fasting (sacrificing for others) and that they are to be done as secretively as possible, meaning that, to the extent that we can, others are not to know that we were the ones who had performed the good.


Continuing in our study of the Lord’s teaching on heavenly reward we then come to perhaps most famous of our Lord’s declarations of possessions in heaven.


Reward is not used (misthos) in the next passage but “treasure.”


Our Lord also speaks of “treasure” (thesauros - a place to store riches).


MAT 6:19-21

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”


If our treasure is in heaven (we desire our election) then our heart will be there. Certainly this must mean that some of these rewards are enjoyed in time on earth and are “from heaven.”


If our heart is in heaven it means that we desire our election, our calling, God’s will and blessings alone. And know that it has been the Christians whose eyes and desire have been on heaven who have done the most for the people of the earth.


COL 3:2

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.


MAT 10:40-42

"He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 42 And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward."


He who receives Christ’s ambassador, receives Him. The next sentence is variously interpreted, but simply we have the prophet, the righteous man, and the child, which might refer to all in the body of Christ from greatest to least or from one calling [prophet to child and everything in between] to another including all the ministries in the body. Those who receive them will be rewarded accordingly. Again we are looking at the heart of people. If they love, if they have warm and gracious hospitality, if they fellowship with one another in the love of God’s word, there is reward to their life which is the natural fruit of righteousness.


Where heaven is not mentioned along with reward, the time is not given to us. The rewards could be in time or eternity or both.


LUK 12:33-34

“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”


It almost seems like you could buy these indestructible purses. But know the context.


Faith in the gifts of heaven and the provision from the King make us emulate His graciousness and never worry about not having enough.


LUK 12:22-32

And He said to His disciples, "For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. 23 "For life is more than food, and the body than clothing. 24 "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; and they have no storeroom nor barn; and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25 "And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span? 26 "If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why are you anxious about other matters? 27 "Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. 28 "But if God so arrays the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you, O men of little faith! 29 "And do not seek what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 "For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31 "But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you. 32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.


We are to be concerned with living in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called and not the material provisions of the world.


The role of all relationships in the old kingdom of the world is reversed in Christ’s kingdom.




LUK 12:33-34

“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”


Submitting our material wealth (whatever it may be) to the will of God puts it in an indestructible purse. No thief can ever get near it.


We make for ourselves treasure in heaven when our heart is completely in the kingdom of God, in heaven, where grace leads.


Twice in our Lord’s teaching He told us our need to store up treasures in our own hearts. Where your treasure is, so is your heart.


LUK 6:45

“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”


The eighth and final parable in Mat 13 - the Lord instructs us to be scribes in His kingdom (experts of the Word) and we will bring forth treasure.


Many classify this next passage as the eighth parable in Mat 13.


MAT 13:51-52

"Have you understood all these things?" They said to Him, "Yes." 52 And He said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old."


Evidence for being a parable is its place at the end of seven prior parables and the phrase “is like.” However, the object is not the kingdom of heaven, as in the other parables, but the scribe who has become a disciple of that kingdom.


“Have you understood all these things?” is addressed to the disciples after they left the multitudes and went into the house. This parable is most addressed to the disciples out of the others.


They, and we, are to be scribes (scribe-like), i.e. fully knowledgeable in all the scripture. Treasure: old revelation and the new that has fulfilled it.


Later on, the Lord is likely describing the suffering of these NT scribes of His:


MAT 23:33-34

“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell? 34 Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city.”


Such persecution brings us right full circle back to the beginning in MAT 5:10-12.