“knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
“knowing that from the Lord”
The phrase “from the Lord” is emphatic in the Greek. The ultimate reward comes from God, not from our employer. This is crucial knowledge (“knowing”) if we are going to live a qualitative Christian life.
“you will receive the reward of the inheritance”
Whether our boss pays us properly or treats us properly, God will reward us in eternity. “Inheritance” means properly, an inherited property, an inheritance. In a few cases in the Gospels it means the possession that an heir receives on the death of an ancestor. In this passage, our inheritance is the prospective condition and possession of the believer will receive in the future when Christ returns (Acts 20:32; Eph. 1:14; 5:5; Col. 3:24; Heb. 9:15; I Pet. 1:4). Ephesians 1:18 says that the Christian will be an inheritance to God in eternity.
The word “inheritance” implies that reward comes from grace. It is a debt that God will pay because he promised this reward.
“for you serve the Lord Christ”
Whatever we do for the firm for which we work we are to count it as service to the Lord Christ. He is the ultimate judge. All our employment is in his sight. He sees whether we loaf on the job or not.
This is the only place in the New Testament where Jesus is called “the Lord Christ.” This title would have had great meaning to a slave of the first century. The slave serves a person of great dignity. Think of this–a slave with dignity!! People today go to work and they view it as a rat race. They hate every minute of it. When it dawns upon the Christian that he serves the Lord Christ, his perspective changes entirely. There will be a new quality to his work.
The believer will receive full justice in eternity.
We will never receive full justice in this life. We may put in a good day’s work and receive no recognition for it. That’s life. The standard is still binding that a Christian is to put in a good day’s work regardless of the situation. A pay check is just remuneration under our system. However, it is the reward of the Lord that counts.
God will spiritually reward believers for faithful employment at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Anything we do full time is our full time service. There is no such thing as full time Christian service for a few professional Christians. There is no such thing as a second class Christian or a “layman.” On the other hand there may be some Christians who “lay” down on the job!