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Topic: Money

Spare Tire

by Darrel Cline

We have been dealing with the biblical instruction regarding money (156) because a focus upon money is the most pernicious form of deceptive idolatry. That means that it is an area of danger for any true believer. Why is that so?

Well, think about it. What is it that so easily takes God's place in the hidden recesses of our deepest levels of confidence? God has basically made one promise with myriads of applications.

The one promise is: eternal life through faith alone in the Son of God alone. In other words, eternal life is a gift from God to every person who is willing to shift all confidence from every other person/thing which offers life, to God and His Son Jesus Christ. The promise of eternal life is conditioned on what I call the no spare tire approach. We use spare tires for several reasons. First, tires are not infallibly dependable, so we don't trust them completely. We carry a spare so we can get where we want to go just in case we have a flat. Second, tires are designed to enable us to get where we want to go. We carry spares because getting to our destination is important to us. And third, spare tires give us a sense of security in the face of the journey. We carry them because we don't want to have to worry the whole time we are traveling about what is going to happen to us if we have a flat.

But God is not a spare. He is alone in His identity as God. This means that He is infallibly dependable. He has also set heaven and hell before us as destinations and calls us to seek eternal life. But He alone is the way to our destination, so we need no other means. We need no spare to get us there. And, He is the ultimate Security. If we have His promise, we are as secure as we can possibly get, so we need no spare.

Because God is not a spare, He insists that we not treat Him like one. In fact, Jesus told us that if we attempt to treat God like a spare tire, He will cast us into eternal hell forever. What this means is that we can have no object of confidence except God. To believe in God and... is to not believe in God at all. He is an exclusive object of trust.

There are, however, many people who refuse to put all of their eggs (their individual hopes for life and joy) in the basket of Jesus Christ. They want to talk about believing in Jesus while trusting in some other things too. For example, there are many who say they believe in Jesus, but they also are doing all manner of religious things just in case their trust is misguided. Its like the person who says he believes in Jesus, but gives himself to the pursuit of money just in case. The promise of eternal life is a very risky promise. We get it if we trust in Jesus alone (not trust in Him and our good behavior--like those who believe you can lose your salvation because Jesus didn't do enough). If we don't trust in Him alone we don't get it. In other words, only those who put their trust exclusively in Him will receive the promise that was made to those who put their trust exclusively in Him.

Because it is easy to trust in money and hard to trust in God, money becomes a major stumbling block to life.

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This is article #160.
If you wish, you may contact Darrel as darrelcline at this site.