by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 5 Lincolnton, NC November 13, 2005
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.
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 notatall 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.