440. But to think about getting into heaven, and that good ought to be done for that reason, is not to regard reward as an end and to ascribe merit to works; for thus do those also think who love the neighbor as themselves and God above all things; so thinking from faith in the Lord's words,
That their reward should be great in the heavens (Matt. 5:11, 12; 6:1; 10:41, 42; Luke 6:23, 35; 14:12-14; John 4:36);
That those who have done good shall possess as an inheritance a kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:34);
That everyone is rewarded according to his works (Matt. 16:27; John 5:29; Rev. 14:13; 20:12, 13; Jer. 25:14; 32:19; Hosea 4:9; Zech. 1:6 and elsewhere).
Such do not trust to reward on the ground of their merit, but have faith in the promise from grace. With such the delight of doing good to the neighbor is their reward. This is the delight of the angels in heaven, and it is a spiritual delight which is eternal, and immeasurably exceeds all natural delight. Those who are in this delight are unwilling to hear of merit, for they love to do, and in doing they perceive blessedness. They are sad when it is believed that they work for the sake of recompense. They are like those who do good to friends for the sake of friendship, to brethren for the sake of brotherhood, to wife and children for the sake of wife and children, and to their country for their country's sake; thus from friendship and love. Those who do acts of kindness also say and give evidence that they are doing this not on their own behalf, but on behalf of the others.