Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 5
8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
1901 ASV Translation:
8 But if any provideth not for his own, and specially his own household, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.
November 13, 2005
- I. The Issue(s) of Provision.
- A. In 6:8 Paul commanded "contentment" on the basis of food and covering.
- B. There can be, therefore, no "fault" in provision of "only" food and covering.
- 1. A person has met the requirement of the "faith" when his labors provide food and covering for his "own". There is, obviously, a huge gamut of "definitions" of what is considered "food" and what is considered "covering". There are, consequently, no hard and fast "biblical definitions" for these items.
- a. The word "provide" comes out of the issue of "thinking ahead" and being wise enough to make provisions for the eventualities.
- b. Obviously this introduces a bit of the "tension" between "living in the present and dealing with the evil of each day", and "anticipating the future and making provision for its inevitabilities."
- 2. This is no basis for "stinginess", but it is a basis for an absence of "constraint" to attempt to provide "the good life" (how and who defines that??) for members of the household.
- C. This question arises: if the "church" is restrained from providing for the selfish and sluggardly, what of the individual households?
- 1. Sin is a real issue.
- 2. What does one do with a "widow" that is a reprobate and totally selfish? What does one do with a "widow" who is somewhat less than the worst case scenario, but still makes life miserable for the household much of the time?
- 3. What about those who put the elderly into nursing homes and never go to see them?
- II. The Definitions of One's "Own".
- A. There is an apparent difference in Paul's thought.
- 1. At first he addresses the fairly wide category of "one's own".
- 2. Then he narrows the field to "chiefly" the members of one's household.
- B. There is the reality that often the elderly want to be maintained in their "own" household.
- 1. This is acceptable in some cases.
- 2. This is not a necessity in most cases.
- III. The "Denial of the Faith".
- A. How is the failure to "provide" for one's household a "denial" of the faith?
- 1. This is a statement that goes to "roots".
- a. There are multitudes of ways that people "deny the faith" (i.e., 1 Corinthians 10:13).
- b. Why does Paul pick this one out of the "multitude"? (Perhaps he had Jesus' words of Mark 7:11 et. al. in mind)
- c. James zeroes in on this particular issue in 1:27 also.
- 2. The "faith" is all about being qualified for entrance into the servant-Kingdom; it is not at all about getting "fire insurance so the insurer has to pick up the tab when the fire has done its destructive worst."
- B. What does it mean to be "worse" than one without "faith"?
- 1. Hypocrisy is always worse than overt evil.
- 2. The forms of evil are, like the forms of good, arranged in an order of value/valuelessness.