“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear.”
according to each one’s work
“According to” refers to a norm or standard. God judges according to a standard. It is the objective standard of what a believer does in time.
There is a difference between God’s judgment of believers and His condemnation of unbelievers. This is the difference between the judgment seat of Christ (Christians) and the great white throne judgment (non-Christians).
God will eternally condemn those who do not believe in the death of Christ to forgive their sins.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil,” (John 3:18,19).
God does not condemn Christians.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1).
God, however, does evaluate the production of the believer’s life.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad,” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
The “judgment seat of Christ” is the place of judgment for Christians. At that judgment, God will not condemn Christians for rejecting Christ. He will evaluate their production in time.
The primary aim of the judgment seat of Christ is reward. His judgment is not to find fault. God is not critical in His attitude. He does not seek to find fault or defects. God expects to find in the life of each saint upon which He can place His approval–much like a parent who loves to approve the life of his child.
God will evaluate our life at the judgment seat of Christ.
Since you will stand one day at the judgment seat of Christ, have you taken your spiritual stock lately? Are you continuing to advance in your spiritual life? What is your spiritual inventory like? Are you farther along than you were last year?
Do your children detect any spiritual development in your life? Do they observe any trend toward a taller testimony? Is it easier to live with you than it used to be? Have you taken off some of those rough edges of your character? Is your temper more under control? Are you as quick on the verbal draw? Do you retaliate as quickly as you did in former years? Are you developing more and more into his likeness? All of these things are evidence that God is working in your life. Are you developing more and more into His likeness?
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord,” (2 Corinthians 3:18).