Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What Does the Bible Say about Money?

What does the Bible have to do with money? Everything. The Bible is the foundation for all of life. It shouldn't be surprising that the Bible talks a LOT about money. Here are a few of the things that are clear:

God's usual means of provision is work:

"For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat." 1 Thessalonians 3:10

God commands fathers to provide for their households:

"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1 Timothy 5:8

Coveting (greed) is bad:

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." 1 Timothy 6:10

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24

Money should be be real (silver, gold, copper, etc):

When Jesus sent out the twelve, He told them to “Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts," (Matthew 10:9)

"Your silver has become dross, Your wine mixed with water." Isaiah 1:22

God has control over all money:

"For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills." Psalm 50:10

Financial planning is good:

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’" Luke 14:28-30

Investing is good:

See Matthew 25:14-30.

Worrying about money is not good:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?" Matthew 6:25 (see also the rest of the chapter)

We are to tithe:

"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:10

God calls for us to be generous:

"The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself." Proverbs 11:25

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7

Money will not last forever, but we can store up eternal treasures in heaven:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

God has established some taxes:

"Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor." Romans 13:7

God has given the civil government limited authority and shown how it may tax; it may not simply follow the whims of the leaders. This will be covered in a future post on civil government and authority. Another thing relating to civil government and money is restitution; this will also be discussed.

We are not to steal:

“You shall not steal." Exodus 20:15

God has given us clear economic instructions:

Just read the scriptures above. Communism has the government stealing from the people and is thus prohibited. Capitalism seems to fit well with the Bible. The Bible makes it clear that people are to work and trade freely with each other.

God can show His blessing through money:

"The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it." Proverbs 10:22

When we're faithful in little things, God gives us bigger things:

“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much." Luke 16:10

See also Matthew 25:14-30. It's when we've shown faithfulness in little things that God will reward us with more.

Using some money for our pleasure is not bad.

"I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

In conclusion, let's be productive with everything we have, whether it be a smart mind, a strong body, or material possessions. Let's give generously, enjoying God's creation but not squandering what He's given to us. Trust Him.

"Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 34:7

To learn more, read the Bible. I also recommend Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn. Although I disagree with Mr. Alcorn's ideas that tithing is no longer required and having money is no longer a sign of God's blessing, this book is an excellent reminder to keep our priorities straight. It's a great book on money.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why Do You Believe It?

Every belief rests on something. For example, I believe the world is round. I believe this because smart people told me so and I trust them. I've also seen pictures of the earth from space and heard of people who have traveled around the earth. But all this rests on some more basic beliefs, namely, that the earth's shape doesn't randomly change, people can communicate logically, logic exists, I exist, etc. Why do I believe these things? Read on!

I just realized that the format I had planned on will not work, so I'll not use it; the content will be the same, just not ordered how I thought it would.

Ultimately, without believing in God, nothing makes sense. Why does logic exist? Why can we talk logically? If atoms just randomly bounced together to make my mind, why should I trust it? There is no coherent explanation for reality without God. An epistemology (theory of knowledge, i.e., how we know what we know) without God is absurd. The fact that someone would try to logically argue against God shows that they believe the universe has order, and there is no way to logically account for this order from the perspective that the universe is here by chance; if the universe is here by chance, then tomorrow the universe my not be here, or it could all turn green, or the logic might cease to be logic. As Van Til said, Atheism presupposes Theism. The Bible alone can account for reality.

"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" Psalm 14:1a

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened." Romans 1:18-21

Without believing in the Christian God, nothing makes sense. So there's obviously some "deity" out there somewhere, huh? But who's to say that Christian theism is right and other religions are wrong? God does. False faiths are man-made and, since they are wrong, will not be consistent. An internal analysis of non-Christian worldviews will prove that these worldviews collapse upon themselves. For example, the Koran says that Jesus was a prophet. The words of Jesus contradict the Koran. Christian theism is the only worldview that survives an internal analysis and makes sense of the world.

The verses from Romans quoted above don't just speak of people suppressing the knowledge of "some" deity, but of the true God who made heaven and earth.

See also Isaiah 44:13-28.

The Bible is the only true foundation for how we should live. How do we know what is right and wrong? Ultimately, an atheist has no basis to say murder is wrong. At best, he could say that most people think it is wrong. Even in this he is borrowing from the Christian perspective because he's assuming language can be intelligent. Really, if someone says something is right and wrong without basing it on the Bible they have no foundation to say it's right or wrong. God has created this world and He's given us directions for how we are to behave. The Bible says what's right, what's wrong, how we are to live, etc.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Things to Remember:

People often argue because of implications. For example, you could logically prove that without the existence of God the atheist has no foundation to believe that logic exists, but the unbeliever might be stubborn because of the implications of there being a God. If there is a God, the unbeliever will have to repent. They will have to radically change the way they see everything. They'll have to cease looking at themselves as the standard. They'll have to give up sin. Thus, someone may hold to a point because of the implications of changing.

God is sovereign. As stated, you can take any non-Christian worldview and show it to be internally inconsistent. Then you can contrast this with the Bible. However, it may seem like some people are blind. That's because they are. They are "dead in trespasses." It is the rich grace of God that raises people, not our arguments, though God may use us as a tool.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

God is loving, wise, and kind. For some reason Christians sometimes seem to have trouble with the fact that the Bible gives us the path for all of life. Maybe that's not stated well, but for some reason or another it seems they don't fully trust God or are nervous that He doesn't have the best in mind. Man is not wiser than God. God is awesome! He is loving, kind, gracious, all knowing, wise, powerful, just, etc. He created the whole universe, so why should we wonder if He knows how to run it? God created us to be able to fulfill His perfect will, so why should we be apprehensive about it? If He truly is loving (and He is) then let's trust Him. He certainly is worthy of it!

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28


God's word is something we can trust; it is solid. In it God has revealed who He is, how creation began, why there is suffering, and much more. Most importantly, He has revealed how we can have a relationship with Him. The Creator of the universe has revealed Himself to us. How marvelous! How can we not want to know what He desires of us?

Where to Learn More: