by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 2 Lincolnton, NC May 14, 2006
17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
1901 ASV Translation:
17 Charge them that are rich in this present world, that they be not highminded, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
18 that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19 laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on the life which is life indeed.
I. Laying Hold of Life Indeed.
A. What is it?
1. It has three "dimensions".
a. "Resurrection" signals a "physical" dimension (1 Corinthians 15).
b. A "Prepared Place" signals a "soul" dimension (John 14).
c. A "Kingdom" signals a "spirit" dimension (Revelation 11:15).
2. It has the divine Love/Faith complex at its core.
B. How do we do it?
1. We follow Paul's instructions to Timothy.
a. We address what it means to be "highminded" and make sure we are not participating in that mindset.
b. We address what it means to "trust" in riches or in God.
c. We address what "good works" are.
1) This requires a "sorting" process by which we determine what the "important" issues are.
2) This requires an integration of what the Bible reveals regarding the three dimensions of Life.
d. We address what it means to use our excess for some other's benefit: "ready to distribute, willing to communicate".
1) We take a look at our personal stewardship resources.
a) They are "given by God" -- i.e., they are a stewardship from God.
b) They are not simply "ours" -- though Peter did tell Ananias that the money he received from the sale of his property was "his" (Acts 5:4).
c) But they are "ours" for the "potentiality" they possess. God will allow us to "spend" the resources upon our own lusts, but He ties the "spending" to the "reward" so that what is spent upon oneself brings an immediate reward, but not an eternal one, while that which is spent under divine impetus brings an eternal reward, but not, necessarily, an immediate one (see Matthew 6:2, 5, and 16 in contrast with 10:42).
2) The smaller the resources, the more focused we must be on the "most" important issues.
3) The greater the resources, the more inclusive we can be about the "lesser" values.
2. We address what the future means for us: "laying up in store".
a. This requires a "commitment" process by which we avoid "self-indulgence" in the name of "ministry".
b. This requires the establishment of a "settled" Love/Faith system.