True RichesRelated Media
My father once remarked to me, “Son, when I leave this old earth, I won’t be able to leave you much of this world’s goods, but I’ll leave you the whole world to make your living in.” And so it happened! To be sure, it is only natural to desire to have sufficient resources in order to avoid poverty. Yet for too many people the accumulation of earthly goods and especially personal wealth becomes an all-consuming passion. This led Lucretius once to remark, “But if one should guide his life by true principles, man’s greatest riches is to live a life with contented mind, for little is never lacking.”1 Even better, the Scriptures remind us that the accumulation of earthly goods and riches, while nice, is not the primary resource for the Christian life (e.g., Matt. 6:19-21, 33), for as united to the risen Christ he has in every way a supply adequate for his needs in accordance with God’s glorious riches.
The word rich(es) occurs many times in the Scriptures. Thus Abram (Abraham) became a wealthy man (cf. Gen 13:2). The Lord had abundantly blessed him, for Abraham was rich in faith (Heb. 11: 8-12; cf. Prov. 11:28). Abraham himself virtually became a household name because of his faith. Interestingly, the author of Proverbs remarks, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth, good favor more than silver or gold” (Prov. 22:1).2 By itself, wealth can lead one to deny or at least delay true spiritual riches (cf. Matt. 19: 24). So it is that Jeremiah points out that people should trust God, not wealth:
The rich must not boast in his riches.
But the one who boasts should boast in this,
that he understands and knows me—
that I am the LORD, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
This is the LORD’s declaration. (Jer. 9:23-24; HCSB)
Indeed, trusting solely in one’s riches displays a lack of true wisdom. Such is emphasized throughout Psalm 49 (cf. vv. 5-6; 10 -13; 16-20). As VanGemeren comments on the psalm:
The tragedy of wealth may be that it gives a false sense of security and life. … Yet the godless rich will die like animals (vv.12, 14) without the hope of dawning light (v. 19; cf. v. 14)….The psalmist did not intend to disparage the godly rich, who received their wealth as a blessing from God….If people have no understanding of themselves as people, of mortality, and of their God, they live and die “like the beasts that perish.” 3
Putting one’s trust solely in wealth is thus shown to betray a lack of wisdom. One’s basic commitment must be to the Lord and then to use his wealth in a godly manner. Wealth alone cannot save a person’s soul so as to gain eternal life.4
God has brought believers into the rich condition of spiritual wealth. Thus the psalmist observes:
For You, O God, have proved us
You have refined us, as silver is refined.
You brought us into the net;
You laid affliction on our backs.
You have caused men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to rich fulfillment. (Psalm 66: 10-12; NKJV; KJV, “into a wealthy place; ESV, “place of abundance”; cf. HCSB, “to abundance”).
This passage is especially memorable for my wife and me, for as we drew near my first teaching position at Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s College) we applied this passage to our own condition. Although our life was not then (or ever has been) marked by material wealth, it did prove (and has proven) to be a grand, rich experience -- a life of abundant spiritual riches, all because of God’s grace. As Psalm 145 relates, the Lord is a great God, full of goodness and grace and glory. For,
“It not only testifies to the greatness, goodness, grace and glory of God, but in the light of the fuller New Testament revelation it also reminds all believers that these spiritual riches are theirs through Christ Jesus, in whom all four of these characteristics are manifested. Moreover, as united to Christ they possess and may continue to experience something of these qualities in their lives—all to the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”5
Wealth as Recorded in the New Testament
The Greek word rendered “riches/“wealth” (ploutos ; cf. English, “plutocrat”) together with the corresponding verbal, adjectival, and adverbial forms can be found over five dozen times in the New Testament. This is so doubtless because matters of money and wealth touch the lives of so many people. Yet the New Testament reminds us that earthly riches are not the solution to everything. First, the concern for earthly wealth and goods can all too easily so consume a person that it causes him or her to fail to follow the teachings of the Word of God or even sound spiritual advice. Thus Jesus taught in his parable of the sower and the seed, that some of the sown seed was sown among thorns. Spiritually, this applied to “the person who hears the word, but worldly cares and the seductiveness of wealth choke the word, so it produces nothing” (Matt. 13:22). As France cautions, “Wealth…promises a security which it cannot deliver.6 Moreover, as David Turner remarks, “A heart that is easily attracted to worldly concerns and wealth is a heart that is soon distracted from the message of the kingdom.”7 How greatly, then, do believers need to keep earthly values, goods, and wealth in their proper priority? Rather than fixing our eyes on worldly possessions or pleasures, we should make God and his word the center of our attention and our proper focus. Then we are in a position and relationship that can bring real wealth, true spiritual riches (cf. Matt 6:31-34).
Second, one should realize that earthly wealth can all too easily be fleeting. Thus James warns the unbelieving rich:
Come now, you rich! Weep and cry aloud over the miseries that are coming on you. Your riches have rotted and your clothing has become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted and their rust will be a witness against you. It will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have hoarded treasure. …You have condemned and murdered the righteous person, although he does not resist you. (James 5:1-3, 6)
As Osborne observes, the rich are condemned because, “They were misusing their wealth for self-indulgent living rather than helping the poor…. Wealth is a major barrier to knowing God….Riches… make it nearly impossible to switch one’s allegiance from the things of this world to God.”8 Jesus himself warned, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your comfort already” (Luke 6:22). Moreover, those who so plentifully enjoy earth’s riches are to remember to be concerned for those who are in need, whoever they may be: “Give to everyone who asks you and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away. Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you” (vv. 30-31). As Trites remarks,
“The ethic commended by Jesus in this passage is one of unstinting mercy and generosity. …There is to be a willing surrender of goods and services if it is called for, leaving the results in the hands of God with the conviction that the judge of all the earth will do right.” (6:35b)9
Third, one should not covet wealth and earthly goods for one’s own self-satisfaction. Thus Jesus taught in his parable of the rich landowner concerning a man who had commended himself in such a way, saying: “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, celebrate!” (Luke 12:19). But God rebuked him saying, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (v.20). In teaching this parable, Jesus added this sage advice: “So it is the one who stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward God” (v. 21). How far better it is to be “rich toward God” than to have unlimited wealth, but without the spiritual wealth that comes from knowing Christ as savior and living for him! Thus Gooding remarks,
Material goods are given to us not merely in order to maintain our lives in this world, but so that we may use them in order to become rich toward God; so that investing them in God’s interests, we may turn temporary, material, earthly goods into eternal riches. No to invest them in this way is to deprive oneself of the only riches which are ultimately worth having.10
Fourth, Paul advised Timothy with regard to the one who mistakes a relation with God as being a means to financial gain that it is “godliness combined with contentment” that “brings great profit” (1 Tim. 6:6), however meager that would seem to be (vv. 6-8). On the other hand,
Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love money is the root of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains. (vv. 9-10)
Thus such a desire for gaining earthly riches through a relation with God is especially damaging when practiced by those in the church, especially by its leaders (cf. 1 Pet. 5: 2). On the other hand, Paul has further sound advice for those who are already wealthy:
Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others. In this way they will save up a treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the future and so lay hold of what is truly life. (1 Tim. 6:17-19)
As Marshall remarks, Those who have an insatiable desire for earthly wealth invite personal peril:
Their danger is to become proud of their riches and to think that riches are the basis of their security in this life (and possibly the next). Instead they are to recognize that God is the provider of what they enjoy and he provides lavishly. Moreover, they are to use their wealth properly…giving generously. By giving away they will gain for themselves a 11future treasure…and thus gain real life.
How much better it is for believers to remind themselves of the richness of their relation with God, however great or meager their earthly wealth may be. Such will be even greater in their eternal future.
God’s Great Riches
Paul reminds the Roman Christians of the necessity and availability of God’s rich kindness for all people, despite their sin: “Do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4; cf. Ps. 145:7-9). The subject of repentance is also of crucial importance to salvation. When one is converted from his inherited sinfulness, his whole relations of life are transformed through God’s gift of salvation (2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 2:8). There are two aspects of conversion. First, there is faith, which is a whole soul committal to God via receiving Christ Jesus as his Savior. This not simply a matter of feelings; rather,
The believer who has a firm, unreserved belief in the Lord, one which involves absolute trust, will find his delight in the Lord, and devote himself to God’s will and purposes for his life. This kind of faith begins and ends in a total trust, which finds such complete confidence in the Lord that the believer can rest his entire life and future in the Lord.12
The second is repentance, a godly sorrow for sin that consumes the whole personality. As with faith, repentance is a whole-soul action involving the intellect by which a person so recognizes his guilt and condemnation before God that he has a changed view of life (Greek: epignȫsis hamartia—a full knowledge of sin[fulness]), the emotions, which experience a change of feeling by being truly sorrowful for sin against a holy God and his righteous standards (Greek: metamelomai, a change of feelings), and the will (Greek: metanoeȫ), which exercises a complete and deliberate change of purpose, direction and actions so as to abandon sin and live for Christ.13 As with faith, repentance has two sides: a human side, in which repentance is often brought about by the preaching of the Gospel (cf. Matt. 12:41), and a divine side, which originates in the kindness and goodness of the Lord toward mankind (Rom. 2:4) At times God’s activity is realized in his chastisement (Heb. 12: 10, 11), yet even this is in accordance with his great kindness and concern for mankind.
As out text in Romans 2:4 illustrates, repentance occurs not only at the time of conversion, but even for sinning believers. They, too, need to remind themselves of the availability of the Lord’s rich kindness (and goodness) that can give forgiveness for confessed sins. To be sure, Paul’s words are directed toward the Jewish people. Too often they felt and acted as though their relation to Yahweh made them exempt from correction. As Hodge points out, because of their relation to God through Abraham, there were Jews who, “despise the goodness of God, who form such a wrong estimate of it, as to suppose that it gives them a license to sin; who imagine that he will not punish, either because he long forbears, or because his goodness towards us is so great that we shall escape, though others perish.”14 As Cranfield adds, such a thought actually “amounts to contempt for his kindness.15”
Not only the Jew, but all people, even believers, should come to realize that sinful acts must be avoided. When a person does sin, however, he must not think that he is above God’s rebuke or punishment (cf. Rom. 2:5). As Mohrlang cautions, such a view may well,
reflect our insensitivity to the sin that is covertly present in our own life … and…an inadequate grasp both of the full depths of human sin and the utter holiness of God himself—an inflated view of human nature and a deficient view of God, precisely the kind of perspective the Old Testament prophets inveigh against.16
Thankfully, however, God’s wealth of kindness, which enables people to become part of the family of God (cf. Ps. 145: 18-19; Rom. 5: 8) is ever available to bring repentance and forgiveness for sins. Let us, therefore, be sensitive to our own sinful acts and be ready to confess our sins to the Lord in order that we may experience the riches of his kindness. Doubtless we would live in a much better condition if we would but think and act in full accordance with the holy standards of God and the sinless example of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Phil. 2:12-15).17 May we truly be able to say to the Lord:
I give you my heart, I shall ever live my love to bring;
I give you my will, I shall ever serve my King.
My talents, my treasures too, I shall ever give to you;
I yield up my all to you, to you I shall be true.
Lord, help me my vows to keep, I need your guiding love;
And fill all my life, ’til I’m with you in heaven above.
The Riches of God’s Grace
Paul reminds the Ephesian believers of their grand predestined adoption into God’s family through his son Jesus Christ, which was not only a blessing for them (Eph 1:4-5), but was “to the praise of the glory of his grace” (v. 6). God’s grace is that aspect of his love in which he is moved toward man as an object of salvation, a redemption accomplished in Christ Jesus. So it is that Paul goes on to tell the Ephesians, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (v.7) As Hoehner points out,
Redemption is payment of a ransom price for the purpose of securing release; it was paid to free slaves. The picture in the present context shows our enslavement to sin and release from it…. God in his rich mercy made payment to set us free from that bondage and thus from future judgment.18
God’s grace is further portrayed as a vast wealth, which God “lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. He did this when he revealed to us the secret of his will according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ” (vv. 8-9). What a blessing God has bestowed on mankind! We who were sinners by nature have in accordance with God’s eternal love been provided with salvation through the riches of his grace.
Paul also mentions the riches of God’s saving grace in Ephesians 2:4-8. Here Paul emphasizes that though believers were once “dead in transgressions,” God has made them “alive together with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (vv. 5, 6). This the Lord did to, “demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved though faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (vv. 7-8). Such grace enables believers to live and do those works that God has designed for them to do (cf. vv. 9-10). As Arnold declares,
Salvation is a gift from God’s abundant kindness and his lavish grace…. Whereas before coming into a relationship with Christ, believers were controlled by evil forces, now they have been set free and empowered to live in the way God designed for them…. this is the purpose for which God has created us for the sake of his glory.19
May all of us so live as to reflect the riches of God’s grace in salvation in a life of full faith and love (cf. Titus 2:11-14). As the hymn writers expressed it,
Grace taught my wand’ring feet to tread the heavenly road;
And now supplies each hour I meet, while pressing on to God.
O let Thy grace inspire my soul with strength divine;
May all my pow’rs to Thee aspire, and all my days be Thine.20
God’s grace extends beyond salvation. Within his riches lies a sustaining grace to enable the believer to live a godly life. Thus Paul reminds Timothy that God’s saving and sustaining grace is part of his eternal purpose. Indeed, God “is the one who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his own purpose and grace to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Tim. 1:9; cf. Eph. 2:9-10). So it is that a believer’s whole life is enriched in Christ Jesus. Paul tells the Corinthians that he was thankful to the Lord, “Because of the grace that was given to you in Christ Jesus. For you were made rich in every way in him, in all your speech and in every kind of knowledge” (1 Cor. 1:4-5). That grace remains ever available to all believers in all of their lives and activities, and especially in Christian service. As Baker comments, “Grace envelops the whole of believers’ lives, manifesting itself in observable activities in the life of the church.”21
Paul himself recognized that it was God’s grace, which enabled him to have a faithful ministry for Christ. Accordingly, he labored hard for the Lord Jesus Christ: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been in vain. In fact, I worked harder than all of them [i.e., the apostles] –yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1Cor. 15:10). Paul understood well that his ministry was not carried on in his own ability, for prior to his salvation and call to the ministry he had been one who “persecuted the church of God” (v. 9). No, it was solely the gift of a gracious God that not only transformed Paul’s life, but took his inherent energy and concern for spiritual matters and utilized them in a life of dedicated service for Christ (cf. Acts 9:1-30). Indeed, Christ himself had declared at the time of his dealing with Paul that, “This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel” (Acts 9:15). Yet the Lord pointed out that Paul’s ministry would not always be one of ease, “For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (v.16; cf. 2 Cor. 11:23-33).
Moreover, the Lord would later cause Paul to understand, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” and therefore, Paul himself could say, “I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may reside in me (2 Cor. 12:9).
Not only was this the case with Paul, but it is such for today’s believers. Thus,
This grace of Christ (2 Cor. 13:14) was adequate for Paul, weak as he was, precisely because (gar, “for”)…-- the greater the Christian’s acknowledged weakness (i.e., acknowledgement of one’s creaturelines and of one’s impotence to render effective service for Christ without his empowering), the more evident Christ’s enabling strength (cf. Eph. 3:16: Phil. 4:13). 22
The Lord’s strength is indeed available at all times and especially in times of human weakness: “Therefore, let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help” (Heb. 4:16). So it is that God’s rich grace is not only received in his provision for man’s salvation, but in God’s sustaining grace is ever available for believers in all of the circumstances and activities of their lives, including times of greatest needs.
Let us also remember, then, that grace is an attribute of God’s perfect love. It is that aspect of God’s love whereby the Lord is moved not only to provide salvation for man, but also for any and all of man’s situations. It is especially available for believers. We should therefore not only remind ourselves constantly of this truth but be grateful for our rich blessings in Christ. Because God so loved us and secured our redemption through Christ in accordance with the riches of his grace, he also provides the riches of his sustaining grace. Praise the Lord!
God’s love, it’s from eternity;
So great was God’s love, Jesus went to Calvary.
God’s grace, it reaches to you and me;
Because of God’s gracious love, we are part of his family.
God loves you, it’s salvation’s message plain;
God loves you, echoes back the joyous strain;
Because God loves you, you can start your life anew.
When Christ died alone on Calvary, He made a place for you and me
To live with Him eternally.
The Riches of His Glory
The “wealth” of the sovereign God who created and controls the universe is, of course, inestimable and beyond human understanding. When one considers the subject or theme of God’s glory, he finds that traditionally by God’s glory is meant (among other things) three basic thoughts: his praise (or adoration), his honor (or esteem), and/or his magnificence (or grandeur). For example, Isaiah invites all the earth to join in singing the Lord’s praise (Isa. 42:10-11a). In doing so, he says,
Let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy,
Let them cry out from the mountain tops.
Let them give glory to the LORD,
and declare his praise in the islands. (Isa. 42:11b-12; HCSB)
In a brilliant metaphor, the psalmist tells the gates of Jerusalem to open up, for
Then the King of glory will come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of Hosts,
He is the King of glory. (Ps. 24:9b-10; HCSB)
The Lord Jesus Christ also is a person of honor. When Jesus was nearing his time of death on the cross, he said to the Father, “I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created” (John 17: 4-5). And so it came to be (cf.1Tim. 3:16). Thusin John’s Apocalypse (The Book of Revelation) the 24 heavenly elders are seen as worshiping the Lord and crying,
You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
since you created all things,
and because of your will,
they existed and were created. (Rev. 4:11)
Similarly, the angels are seen praising Christ, the Redeemer, “singing in a loud voice”:
Worthy is the lamb who was killed
to receive power and wealth (“riches, HCSB)
and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and praise. (Rev. 5:12)
If the heavenly beings can praise the Lord for his glory, surely believers should do no less. Thus Peter concludes his thoughts reminding believers that to the Lord Jesus Christ belongs honor both now and forever (2 Pet. 3:18). Paul declares God’s praise saying, “The Lord will deliver me from every evil and will bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever!” (2 Tim. 4:18. cf. Rom. 8:18).
Not only do praise and honor characterize the Father and the Son, but so also their magnificence and grandeur, which are widely attested in the Scriptures, especially in the Psalms (e.g., Pss. 19:1; 145: 5; 148:13). Perhaps one of the most well remembered and greatly treasured accounts is recorded by Luke. At the time of Jesus’ birth shepherds were in a nearby field, “keeping guard over their flock at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified” (Luke 2:8b-9). Then, “Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased’” (vv. 13-14). Indeed, from his birth until his exaltation in heaven, great glory was often attributed to Christ (cf. Rev, 1:4-8) and will be again at his second coming (Rev. 19:1-16).
The praise, honor, and magnificent grandeur of the Lord are often presented in overlapping manner, but they all attest to the rich glory of the Lord. For their part, believers should be grateful for the fact that, as were faithful Israelites (cf. Isa. 43:7), they have through Christ been created for God’s glory. Even now from a patient and loving God they may enjoy the riches of his glory (Rom. 9:22-24). As Fanny Crosby proclaims,
To God be the glory—great things he hath done!
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the lifegate that all my go in.23
Moreover, “We all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18; cf. 1 John 3:2). When Christ returns, “We shall behold Him face to face and our transformation into His image will be complete.”24 “Such a progressive transformation … is God’s plan for his church, until our transformation is complete in sharing his final glory at Christ’s Parousia (Rom. 8:29; Gal. 4:19; Phil. 3:20-21).”25
God’s riches are thus the wealthy source of spiritual guidance for the believer as he daily is “strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person” (Eph. 3:16; cf. 3:8). No wonder that Paul declares that God “would make known” to us the “glorious riches… which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Indeed, for believers as untied to the indwelling Christ, “The fact that here and now, as members of his body, they have his risen life within them, affords a stable basis for confidence that they will share in the fullness of glory yet to be displayed, on the day of “the revealing of the sons of glory” (Rom. 8:19).26 Moreover, this retransformation into the divine image and glory is a lifelong process already underway in the person of faith.”27 So rich are those God-given riches that Peter can point out to his faithful readers that in a future day, “When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away” (1 Pet. 5:4). Indeed, Christ truly is our “hope of glory” for an eternal life of spiritual richness in the glorious presence of the Lord. As Charles Gabriel expresses it,
When all my labors and trials are o’er,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore
Will through the ages be glory for me.28
Jesus has promised an abundant life to the believer (John 10:10) and such he truly has in Christ (1 Cor. 1:5-9). Therefore, because the believer has no real lack (Ps. 23:1; Phil 4:19-20), he can share the riches with which he has been entrusted with those in need, whether material (2 Cor. 8:1-2) or spiritual (Col 1: 21-29). Thus in the early church Epistle to Diognetus (5:1) we are told that even though believers may be poor in this world’s goods, “Yet they make many rich, they are in need of everything, yet they abound in everything.” 29 As Fanny Crosby exclaimed,
Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Wealth that can never be told!
Riches exhaustless of mercy and grace,
Precious, more precious that gold!
Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ!
Who shall their greatness declare?
Jewels whose luster our lives may adorn,
Pearls that the poorest may wear!30
Do we wish to be rich? We can be, for regardless of our financial state or however much we may have of this world’s goods, we realize that in Christ Jesus our whole life is a treasure given by God (1Tim. 6:17-19). Therefore, it is to be stewarded (1 Pet: 4:10; cf. Eph. 2:10) in faithful, fruitful activity (cf. Matt. 13: 22-23). “Having been made for His pleasure, we seek to live for His glory,”31 in order that all may learn something of God’s great spiritual riches, which are available through the “riches of his grace” and the “riches of his glory.”
1 Titus Lucretius Carus, De Rerum Natura, Book 3, 1, 55.
2 Unless otherwise noted, all scriptural citations are taken from the NET.
3 Willem A. VanGemeren, “Psalms,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, eds. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, 13 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008) 5:426.
4 See also Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16: 19-31).
5 See further, Richard D. Patterson, “Psalm 145: A Song in ‘G Major,’” (Richardson, TX: Biblical Studies Press, 2015), 9-10.
6 R.T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, in The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007), 521.
7 David L. Turner, “Matthew,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort, 18 vols. (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2005) 11: 186.
8 Grant R. Osborne, “James,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort, 18 vols. (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2011) 18:102.
9 Allison A. Trites, “The Gospel of Luke,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort, 18 vols.
(Carol Stream, Il: Tyndale House, 2006) 12:111.
10 David Gooding, According to Luke (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (n.d), 241.
11 I. Howard Marshall, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Pastoral Epistles (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1999), 669.
12 Richard D. Patterson, “Faithful to the End,” Biblical Studies Press (2015), 5.
13 See further, the discussion in Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, eds. Horst Balz and Gerhard Schneider, 3 vols. (Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1981) 2: 414, 415.
14 Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953), 48.
15 C. E. Cranfield, “The Epistle to the Romans, in The International Critical Commentary, 2 vols. (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1975) 1:48.
16 Roger Mohrlang, “Romans,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort, 18 vols. (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2007) 14:54
17 The Apostle Paul also left such a godly example that he could tell the Philippians, “What you learned and received and heard in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:9).
18 Harold W. Hoehner, “Ephesians,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort 18 vols. (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2008) 16:36. Like grace, mercy is an attribute of God’s love. For a comparison of grace and mercy, see Richard Chenevix Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953), 166-71.
19 Clinton E. Arnold, Ephesians, in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids; Zondervan, 2010), 139, 142.
20 Philip Doddridge and Augustus M. Toplady, “Grace! ‘Tis a Charming Sound.”
21 William Baker, “1 Corinthians,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort, 18 vols. (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2009) 15:26.
22 Murray J. Harris, “2 Corinthians,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, eds. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, 13 vols. (Brand Rapids: Zondervan, rev. ed., 2008) 11:533.
23 Fanny J. Crosby, “To God Be the Glory.”
24 Philip E. Hughes, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, in The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962), 118.
25 Ralph P. Martin with Carl N. Toney, “2 Corinthians,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort, 18 vols. (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2009) 15:306.
26 F.F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, in The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984), 86.
27 James G. D. Dunn, The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon in The New International Greek Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans: 1996), 123.
28 Charles H. Gabriel, “ O That Will Be Glory for Me.”
29 J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, trans., The Apostolic Fathers, ed. and rev. by Michael W. Holmes (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989; 2nd ed.), 299.
30 Fanny J. Crosby, “Oh, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ.”
31 Alistair Begg, Made For His Pleasure (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1996), 181.