Unto All Men

James 1:27 teaches us that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” From this we affirm that, not only is the Christian responsible for taking care to avoid pitfalls and obstacles that would cause him to stumble, and perhaps even lose his faith, namely all forms of sin; but, also that he extend material aid to those who have not any means to provide for themselves: as in this passage, the widows (who have no husband to provide for her) and the orphans (who also have no means of support). However, when one couples the teaching of this passage with others he must understand that this passage in no way limits the Christian to only send aid to widows and orphans.

In Paul's second epistle to the church in Corinth, he praises them for their commitment to assist the brethren in Judea, and encourages them to carry through with their commitment. In chapter nine some very important principles are discussed so that they would understand the great opportunity they had before them to “sow bountifully,” and what it meant if they were to “sow sparingly.”

2 Cor 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

It is the common understanding in business that to reap the most profits you have to invest more to produce more products. The more products that are sold, the more profits will be realized. Every farmer knows that to maximize the yield of his fields he must sow the most seed that he can. If he sows little seed, then few plants will grow to maturity to produce but little produce.

How much each of them were to contribute was entirely within their own power. Each one would give as he had so determined.

2 Cor 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Of greatest import was the attitude with which the gift was made. God loves one who gives with cheerfulness, finding joy in the fact that he can give. Since that one who makes his contribution has complete control over his stewardship, and has decided himself what he would give, then there is no reason to “hold a grudge,” or feel like it was not a gift, but a requirement; especially since, in their giving to this work of ministering to the saints in Judea, God would make all grace abound toward them that they could completely provide all that is necessary for them to perform their good works.

2 Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

In their bountiful giving to ease the burdens of those in Judea, the results (fruits) of their good works (righteousness) would increase. There would be fruits (results) beyond mere nutritious needs being met, but the sowing of the seed (the Word) would be multiplied. There were just a multitude of benefits that would be mobilized because of their contributing to this effort.

2 Cor 9:12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; 13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;

Of course, the main point is that God would be glorified by their generosity by their doing the will of Christ (professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ). Note that it was not only for their distribution to the saints, but also to all men. Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, exhorted the Christians in Galatia to do good to all men, not just to Christians.

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Yes, it is emphasized that we are to take advantage of every opportunity to aid the brethren, but as it states in 2 Cor. 9:13 and Gal. 6:10 we are to do good and to distribute to all, not just Christians.

Remember the admonition in James:

James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

One thing that is very clear throughout the Bible (not just the New Testament) is that the only saving faith, and the only faith which is acceptable to God, is that faith which prompts action. When there is no action to demonstrate one's faith, then there is no faith at all. Consider all of that men and women of great faith which are so strongly commended for their faith in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Note that in every case mentioned in this passage, those who exemplified great faith exemplified it with action. Just as James 2:18 declares, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” In other words, “If I can't see it, then you don't have it:” Faith, that is.

Curtis A. Little, Royse City, TX

Curtis A. Little
New Weekly Article
Watch GBN live



Mailing Address