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Bible verses about To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 4:7

In all its forms, sin is marked as mankind's enemy. It must be defeated to God's satisfaction for Him to accept us. If not, our relationship with Him will not be continued for eternity.

Because sin is an ever-present reality of life, it is essential that we have sufficient knowledge to recognize it before its fiery darts strike us down. This requires consistent, thoughtful study of God's Word and effort to build an awareness of its presence, enabling us to beat it to the punch, so to speak.

Overcoming sin is indeed a formidable task, but not a hopeless one. One reason why it is not hopeless, when rightly thought through, is quite encouraging. Jesus teaches in Luke 12:48:

But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

We are admonished to be alert because our enemy is at the door (Genesis 4:7), stalking us as we make our way through life. However, we are also encouraged to understand that we are all judged individually. God judges everyone against the same standard, yet He judges individually according to our natural talents, gifts, dedication, faithfulness, discipline, time sacrificed, and energies exerted to overcome against what God knows we are capable of.

We stand alone, as it were, not measured against any other person. Though the ultimate standard is the holy, righteous character of the Father and Son, we are neither measured against their performance nor any other human's performance. We are not in competition against others.

Though not measured against the performance of the Father and Son, we are nonetheless urged to strive to be at one with them. They are in complete and total agreement with each other. It is to this oneness that God wants to bring us, not merely intellectually, but also in attitude and conduct. They do not sin, and imitating this sinlessness becomes our great challenge in life.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Sin, Christians, and the Fear of God


 

Genesis 19:26

Lot's wife did not merely look back—she dragged her heels from Sodom to Zoar, dawdling and wasting time. By conducting herself in this way, she gave unmistakable evidence that her heart did not believe what the angel had said to her—God would not really destroy all of their possessions. So she reluctantly left Sodom because she loved the world, not having the faith.

This has two direct applications to our lives. In Luke 17:32, Jesus said, "Remember Lot's wife." He says that she sought to save her life but lost it. The first lesson is that when the time comes to flee, flee! Do not look back. This is corroborated by Matthew 24:17 and Mark 13:15, in Jesus' Olivet prophecy. He said, “Let him who is on the housetop not come down.” Jesus meant, “Get out of the city. Flee. Do not look back. Do not get any of your possessions. Leave!”

This is not to minimize the gut-wrenching choices that this requires of us. Scripture implies that when this occurs, our family might be spread all over the city, county, state, nation, or globe. Will we have the faith to leave the city, not just without our material possessions, but without our children? Are we going to trust God that He will protect them and get them out, too? Though this is not easy, the word of our Lord says, “Remember Lot's wife.”

The second lesson is that saving one's life also pertains to one's way of life and manner of living. It includes one's hopes, dreams, aspirations, traditions, attitudes, and relationships. All of these have come from this world, which forms and makes us what we are, often in opposition to God (Romans 8:7). This is why John warns in I John 2:15 to “love not the world.” The world is cosmos, a system apart from God, being organized and regulated upon false principles and false values. It has made us what we are before God calls us, requiring our repentance and conversion.

Like science, conversion tells us there cannot be a vacuum in life. When we are swept clean by God's forgiveness and His Holy Spirit, something must be done to keep it clean, holy, and separated from the world. No man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), and therefore, loyalty cannot be given with neutrality. It will either be God or the world.

The way to God was open to Lot's wife because of her husband's conversion (I Corinthians 7:13-14). The problem was that she failed to take advantage of all the privileges that were given to her. She dropped the ball. The lesson is to whom much is given, much is required.

We must remember Lot's wife, for never has so much opportunity been given to really know God through His Word than has been given to the end-time church. Yet, when Christ asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). The question requires each of us to answer individually. Will He find faith in us?

He will find faith if we take seriously His admonition to remember Lot's wife, who was totally unprepared because she had no faith. We need to be working diligently to build our faith in God by yielding to Him in loyalty in every opportunity life presents.

Remember Lot's wife.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part 4)


 

Amos 1:3

Notice first that the Gentile nations are guilty of the same basic sins—that of gross and vicious cruelties in warfare. In sharp contrast, God charges Judah with commandment-breaking, specifically lying. Israel's sins largely involve national and personal deceitful faithlessness in social, economic, and cultural circumstances. This is not to say that other nations do not have some of these same characteristics or that Israelites have no vicious streak in them. However, Israelites have the Word of God and most especially God's commandments more generally available to them and thus have less excuse, so God holds them more accountable than any other people (Amos 3:2). To whom much is given much more is required (Luke 12:47-48). Israelites should know better.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Seventh Commandment


 

Romans 2:21-22

It is clear what law the apostle Paul is referring to. In fact, the New Testament Commentary admits that the law here is at the very least the Ten Commandments. Paul might be talking about the whole Pentateuch, in which the Ten Commandments appear.

Paul has at least the Ten Commandments in mind. Since God is impartial in judgment, those in ignorance of the law will still be judged according to what they know. Those who are privileged to know the law—in Paul's time, the Jews, and in our time, us—must never allow themselves to think that knowledge of the law will save them. What it does is make them subject to more severe judgment because they know.

"To whom much is given, from him much will be required" (Luke 12:48). Those who have the law, however, have a tremendous advantage over those who do not, because they have the opportunity to make their lives exceedingly better by following the way of life that God sets out in the law. That is a privilege that God has not given to those who do not yet know the law.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 16)


 

Ephesians 2:14-15

The death of Jesus Christ does not do away with law but with enmity. The enmity of the law concerns the penalties that come with the law, for a law always has penalties. The enmity of the law can also be considered those prejudicial things that were expressed in prohibitions that separated Israel from other peoples and nations. However, because we believe in Christ and therefore have Him in common, the enmities and prejudices that have kept us separated begin to break down.

The end of verse 15 is interesting: ". . . so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace." It is easy to be drawn into thinking that, when He calls the unconverted person, or when He calls, say, a Gentile, and brings him in contact with the Israelite, that the Gentile will be brought up to speed, brought up to the same level as the Israelite. That is not what Paul is saying here.

He is saying this: Christ is bringing the Israelite and the Gentile together, and He does this by melting them both down and putting them together into one. That is an altogether different picture! Notice, he writes, ". . . to create in Himself one new man from the two." From two, He makes one. He melts them down and mixes them together because neither one of them is any good.

We must begin to approach our relationships with one another from that standpoint. The Israelite should have an advantage because of his introduction to God, at least in terms of having available the Word of God, the covenants of God, and so forth. But "to whom much is given, from him much will be required" (Luke 12:48), and the Israelites squandered their advantage (Amos 3:2). So the Israelite is no better.

God is melting them both down and creating a new man, one new man. Notice Paul's use of "create." A Master Craftsman, an Artisan, is at work on all of us. He instructs us, chastens us, does whatever is necessary to blend us all together into what? Into the image of the one that we have in common—Jesus Christ. He is creating us, not into an image of an Israelite, not into an image of a Gentile, but into the image is of Jesus Christ. That is the direction we are headed.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Truth (Part 4)


 

Hebrews 5:13-14

The Hebrews had to be reminded in the strongest of terms that the just shall live by faith, and that God was not pleased with those who turned and ran in the day of battle. We do not want to allow ourselves to get in that fix. Nor do we want to become discouraged, thinking we will never measure up to what God requires of us and think, "This task is too hard."

Jesus, indeed, warned that the way is narrow and difficult, but it is not impossible because God has promised never to give us something that is too hard for us. God plays the game, as it were, according to the abilities of each individual. Though there is a standard against which everyone is judged, everyone is judged fairly—according to their natural ability and according to the gifts that God has given to them. Also, "to whom much is given, from him much will be required" (Luke 12:48).

So no one can look at his neighbor and compare himself with him, because no one knows exactly where the other person stands. There has to be some tolerance of and patience with one another. We must have an attitude of forgiveness, even of encouragement. We have to do whatever we can that might help the other person make it into the Kingdom of God. That is part of our responsibility.

Besides the fact that we know those things, there is also the "great cloud of witnesses" that is mentioned in Hebrews 12:1. That is, those who have gone before and are witnesses to us that God is faithful. How are they witnesses? They finished the race, and are awaiting the resurrection! God has given us witness of their lives, and how and why they made it. This witness illustrates His involvement in their lives.

He has recorded those things so that we can understand that God will deal with us in a merciful way. He has not called us to lose us but to save us. He is able to do what He sets His hand to do. We are in good hands—the best! We are in the most secure position that we could possibly be. That "great cloud of witnesses" witnesses to us that, if they did it, we can do it too.

So there is no need to get discouraged, even though the way for each of us is just as hard, just as difficult, as it has to be. He tells us in His Word that He will do far more—over and above what we can even begin to think that He is capable of doing—to ensure that we will be saved.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Conviction and Moses


 

 




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