November 4, 2015


In 2 Corinthians 5: 10 and Romans 14: 10, although in the latter passage the corrected reading is “judgment seat of God,” it is stated that believers are to be brought into an examination before the Son of God. This event is explained in more detail in 1 Corinthians 3: 9-15. A matter of such seriousness demands careful attention. A. The meaning of judgment seat. There are two different words translated “judgment seat” in the New Testament.

The first is the word critērion as used in James 2: 6; 1 Corinthians 6: 2, 4. This word, according to Thayer, means “the instrument or means of trying or judging anything; the rule by which one judges” or “the place where judgment is given; the tribunal of a judge; a bench of judges.” 1 Hence the word would refer to the standard or criterion by which judgment is meted out or the place where such judgment is meted.

The second word is the word bēma, about which Thayer says: …a raised place mounted by steps; a platform, tribune; used of the official seat of a judge, Acts xviii. 12, 16… of the judgment seat of Christ, Rom. xiv. 10… of the structure, resembling a throne, which Herod built in the theatre at Caesarea, and from which he used to view the games and make speeches to the people.

 Concerning its meaning and usage. The…[ bēma] is the tribunal, whether in a basilica for the praetor in a court of justice, or in a camp for the commander to administer discipline and address the troops. In either case the tribunal was a platform on which the seat (sella) of the presiding officer was placed. In LXX…[ bēma] commonly means a platform or scaffold rather than a seat. (Neh. viii. 4…) In N.T. it seems generally to mean the seat… But in some of the passages it may mean the platform on which the seat was placed. On the Areopagus the…[ bēma] was a stone platform… Fond as St Paul is of military metaphors, and of comparing the Christian life to warfare, he is not likely to be thinking of a military tribunal here.

There can be little doubt that the bema of Christ is concerned only with believers. The first personal pronoun occurs with too great frequency in 2 Corinthians 5: 1-19 to miss this point. Only the believer could have “an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Only the believer could experience “mortality… swallowed up of life.” Only the believer could experience the working of God, “who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” Only the believer could have the confidence that “whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.”

Only the believer could “walk by faith, not by sight.”

It is to be observed carefully that the issue here is not to determine whether the one judged is a believer or not. The question of salvation is not being considered. The salvation given the believer in Christ has perfectly delivered him from all judgment (Rom. 8: 1; John 5: 24; 1 John 4: 17). To bring the believer into judgment concerning the sin question, whether his sins before his new birth, his sins since his new birth, or even his unconfessed sins since the new birth, is to deny the efficacy of the death of Christ and nullify the promise of God that “their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 10: 17).

God bless from

Please pray for Patty and inner ear problems

Karen and her marriage

Kim is in remission and is praying she passes the 5 year test

Ray is battling dementia and anger issues

Pray for Paul who is coming back from Argentina and has to deal with culture shock here in America.

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