GIFTS AND REWARDS
Gifts are a measure of the life or power of God that are given to us without us doing any spiritual labour in the Word (1 Tim. 5:17) or prayer (Col. 4:12) for them.
The measure of eternal life we receive when we get born is a gift:
Romans 6:23 MKJV: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The measure of the power of the Holy Spirit you receive with the evidence of speaking in tongues is a gift:
Acts 2:38 MKJV: Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 10:44-46 MKJV: While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those hearing the Word. (45) And those of the circumcision, who believed (as many as came with Peter), were astonished because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the nations also. (46) For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,
Rewards are greater measures of the life and power of God given to you as reward of labour in the Word and prayer:
Proverbs 10:16 MKJV: The labor of the righteous tends to life; the fruit of the wicked tends to sin.
2 Peter 1:2-4 MKJV: Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, (3) according as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue, (4) through which He has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
1 Timothy 5:17 MKJV: Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in Word and doctrine.
Colossians 4:12 MKJV: Epaphras greets you, he being of you, a servant of Christ, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
The purpose of God is that as we labour in the Word and prayer over the years we will be rewarded with greater and greater measures of the life and power of God until we inherit or are rewarded with the Spirit without measure:
Colossians 3:24 MKJV: knowing that from the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance. For you serve the Lord Christ.
Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV: And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, (14) who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession-to the praise of his glory.
John 3:34 ESV: For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.
The quantity and quality of our spiritual labour evaluated over the period of the years of our life will determine the quality of our eternal reward:
Revelation 22:12 MKJV: And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each according as his work is.
In our article next week, we will see how rewards are given periodically as we grow spiritually.