Delighting more in luxuries for himself than in love for Lazarus?


John Piper, in a sermon, “Preparing to Receive Christ: Hearing Moses and the Prophets”, comments on the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:

So the rich man in the parable is one of those who presumed to say, “I am secure as a child of Abraham.” But he bore no fruit that befits repentance, he shared no food, no clothes, and the axe fell and now he’s in hell. And this is no doubt the very mockery that the Pharisees threw back at Jesus in verse 14: “We are the children of Abraham! Don’t threaten us that the use of our money might change our eternal destiny.”

The Counterpart in the Contemporary Church

What would be the counterpart to this attitude in the church today? It would be professing Christians who read these parables and say, “I am an eternally secure child of God. I am justified by faith alone. Don’t tell me that the way I use my money could jeopardize my eternal destiny.”

The answer to this contemporary form of cheap grace is this: the faith which justifies PURIFIES—it purifies from the love of money. Or as Galatians 5:6 says, when it comes to justification before God, “neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail but faith working through love.” The point of this parable is that the rich man is in hell because he delighted more in luxuries for himself than in love for Lazarus. It didn’t make any difference that he thought he had a secure standing as a son of Abraham.

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