Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 27
Thesis: Giving generates an explosion of capacity to be helpful.
Introduction: Our text for this morning is Luke 6:38. It is a text that has often been used by false teachers to milk the gullible of their money to line their own pockets. The line that these perverters of the Truth use goes something like this: if you give money to God, He will give money back to you in great measure so that you can actually give yourself into significant personal monetary wealth. This teaching is enormously deceptive and significantly evil and, because the text before us today has been twisted so much and so often by those who would deceive us, we need to understand what Jesus was teaching.
At the outset let me make this as clear as I can: God does use money as an instrument for good; but the attribution of the good to the money is the age-old problem of worshipping the creature rather than the Creator.
May 4, 2008
- I. Some Biblical Facts That Establish the Truth About Monetary Wealth.
- A. 2 Corinthians 8:14 denies a "giving unto monetary wealth" proposition: it claims that those who give when they can may well find themselves in need later.
- B. Colossians 3:5 pointedly declares that the underpinning of prosperity preaching is idolatry.
- 1. Paul did not "suggest", but "commanded" Timothy, as a disciple of Jesus, to flee the love of money for several reasons...
- a. First, money has no power to produce "great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6).
- b. Second, the love of money leads to apostasy (1 Timothy 6:10).
- c. Third, the intentional acquisition of monetary wealth leads to the drowning of men in destruction and perdition (1 Timothy 6:9).
- d. Fourth, the goal of every believer is supposed to be "laying hold of Life Eternal" (1 Timothy 6:12), which cannot be done in a context of underlying idolatry.
- 2. Jesus did not mince His words when He declared in Luke 6:24 that there was a serious "woe" that is coming upon the "rich".
- a. It is impossible for Jesus to expect His disciples to take Him seriously if, on one hand He declares a "woe" upon the wealthy, and, then, on the other hand He uses their greed as a basis for getting them to be generous.
- b. Jesus' words in Luke 6:38 were designed to be motivational, but we must understand what they mean before we can be properly motivated by them.
- C. Romans 2:2 clearly declares that "the judgment of God is according to Truth".
- 1. The greatest delusion of man is that God is going to judge him according to his wishes.
- 2. The fact is that God is going to use Truth as His criterion for judgment.
- 3. It does not matter how man justifies his rejection of Truth -- and all men are masters of self-justification -- when it is all said and done, Jesus' words will be the guidelines that determine how much of the Life we are allowed to experience.
- II. The Meaning of Jesus' Words.
- A. First, they are intended to be motivational for His disciples.
- 1. It is impossible to read the words and not conclude that Jesus was attempting to get His disciples to do something.
- 2. It is impossible to attempt to get someone to do something out of the ordinary without providing them some motivation for their action.
- a. It is beyond clear -- 6:32-34 -- that Jesus was attempting to get His disciples to be "extraordinary".
- b. To get people to go "upstream" at significant "cost" to them requires that they have a "Hope" that is established as their motivation.
- B. Second, they were intended to put the disciples in a position where they could actually experience His Life.
- 1. One cannot actually experience the Life of Jesus without adopting both His motives and His actions: Life is not unrelated to attitudes, motives, and actions.
- 2. Jesus had to have been teaching something that would move men into the experience of His Life.
- C. Third, they address the need of man to experience an overflowing of provision for the heart.
- 1. All of the words of Jesus in 6:38 create a potent sense of "overflowing".
- 2. The specific target of the "overflowing" is one's "bosom" (completely mistranslated as "lap" by the NASB).
- a. The word is never used in the New Testament to refer to a woman.
- b. The word refers to the area between the arms above the heart.
- 3. The specific sense of the words, in this context, is "meeting needs" -- giving is sometimes a monetary matter, but it is far more than that.
- a. In this context, Jesus has addressed "lending without expectation of return" as a fundamental aspect of the three-fold "love, do good, and lend" structure of His teaching.
- b. But, in this context, the bottom line is "compassion" like that of the Father.
- c. The bottom line is this: in order to experience the Life of Jesus, we must practice His compassion.
- 1) Whatever compassion requires is what must be "given".
- 2) Nothing fills one's heart to overflowing like the outpouring of true compassion.
- 4. The conclusion of the matter: Jesus said that if we practice compassion, we will be overwhelmed by the return in the place where it matters the most...and that will increase our ability to be compassionate.