The parable of the minas (parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30) shows that a Christian is to be occupied with a certain “business” in his daily life until his death or Christ’s return whichever comes first.
Luke 19:12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’
The nobleman is Jesus Christ and the far country is heaven. The mina, or talent, is the Holy Spirit which the Christian was entrusted with and with which he is to conduct the “business” he is charged to be engaged in.
Jesus already went to heaven. And Daniel was shown the vision that God already had “given dominion and glory and a kingdom” to Jesus Christ.
Daniel 7:13 “I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.
The next event is Christ’s return. At his return, the Christian is given the idea what will happen. Christ will call him and make him account for his accomplishments, if any.
Luke 19:15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
The question the Christian must be asking seriously to himself at this point should be: How much have I done, if any, with the business I am supposed to do?
One aspect of the Christian’s “business” is to “put off” his “old man”
My second son, who is abroad with his own family, affectionately calls and refers to me as his “old man”. Just a few years ago he was just so tiny he holds my forefinger with the whole of his full hand and it could not even cover half of it. Now he has grown big and well muscled from lifting weights as a hobby. There is no question he could overcome his “old man”, me, in any physical contest. He easily lifts me off the ground with his embrace when we say goodbyes whenever he returns to his place of work after some days of vacation spent at home.
But the Christian’s “old man” is not another person but his own old egoistic and self centered being. The Christian’s “old man” is his “former conduct” which he needs to “put off” so that he could “put on a new man” which God will create in him.
Ephesians 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Paul tells the Christian how to “put off” the “old man”:
Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, “ Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
In his letter “to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse” (Colossians 1:2) which is directed as well to the Christians in these latter days, Paul reminds all concerned:
Colossians 3:8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…
Consistently struggling to follow Paul’s admonitions in trying situations will result to growth in the Christian’s new man image.
The question the Christian should ask himself every end of each day is: How much have I done during the day, if any, with the business of putting off the old man Paul reminds me to do?
The Christian must realize that God is working on him
The creative work God is doing to a person who becomes a Christian is to transform that person’s worldly orientation to that frame of mind which was in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…
Jesus was submissive to the Father’s will.
Matthew 26:39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
To succeed in the Christian’s “business”, the Christian should bear in mind that it is not natural to him to do God’s will. He should realize that it is God who will work on him, if he allows it, “to will and to do” God’s purpose.
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
By allowing God to work on him through the Holy Spirit in him, the Christian is actually engaged in the “business” the converted person must be doing.
The Christian must do that function which God assigns him
Christians are parts of the Body of Christ and as such parts they do different functions for a common purpose which is that of the body as a whole. Each Christian must follow the lead of the Holy Spirit as to which function he is to perform.
1 Corinthians 12:4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
One function in the body is not better than another. Each function is important for the whole bodily function. Hence, a Christian should not look down on another’s function which seems of lesser importance to his’.
1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ…14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
A Christian is concerned not only of his own function in the body but also that of his fellows and render assistance to another as the need arises.
The Christian must give time to study to do his assigned business better
A new convert needs to grow in the knowledge of the things of the spirit. He must progress from just ingesting “milk” to eating “meat” in matters of doctrine. When he stalls, the teacher will find it difficult to give him advanced lessons.
1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
The babe in Christ now should be able to assume the job of teaching new converts when his teachers grow old and die. Every member of the Church has a job, a business, to perform to attain the common objective.
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
Every part of the body of Christ must grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever.
Always bearing in mind who he is and who he represents makes the doing of the Christian business efficient
The Holy Spirit indwelt person should bear in mind that in his dealings with the unbelievers:
1. He is the salt of the earth. Salt makes food taste better. So should a Christian in a gathering, he adds “flavor” to it.
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth…
2. He is the light of this spiritually dark world.
Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world…
Darkness of the knowledge of who God and what his purpose is. A Christian is not to force his beliefs on the unbelievers. Light is not loud but bright. He needs only to obey God in his dealings with men and God’s good ways would not escape attention and would lead people to become ready to know more about God.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
It is only when asked where the Christian should be ready, by constant study, to give an answer about his stand in humility and not in a manner that offends the one who asks.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…
3. He has wisdom and in conversations, his words should not be offensive to the hearers.
Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
4. His citizenship is in heaven and should not be too much involved in worldly politics.
Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven…
5. He is a soldier of Jesus Christ and he could endure the difficulties in fighting the Christian fight.
2 Timothy 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
The Christian fight is not physical but a spiritual battle.
These are difficult aspects of the Christian business to do. But the Christian must overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The Christian must be doing a regular periodic performance self evaluation to measure progress
The Christian must monitor his own progress in the Godly image building process. God’s image is love for God is love.
1 John 4:16…God is love.
Every now and then, the Christian must self evaluate how much of the manifestations of the fruit of the spirit which is love has he acquired.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.
In like manner, the Christian must also self evaluate how much of his worldly ways, the works of the flesh, had he since then discarded.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like…
Everyday the Christian must do his part towards becoming identified with and synonymous to love. Paul enumerates the suggested performance evaluation standards for a Christian. The Christian could simply substitute his name to the word “love” in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to find out for himself if his name is getting closer to becoming a fitting substitute.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
The initial result of the self evaluation would be a good start towards attaining the desired result. Subsequent results should show progress.
It takes a lot of effort to become love but with the lead and power of the Holy Spirit in the Christian, he could overcome.
Being in a spiritual battle, the Christian should always don the whole armor of God
The business the Christian is told to do is not hidden from Satan. Satan is aware of God’s purpose and he is envious of man whom God is fashioning to become like God, a being of a higher level than the angels.
1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels?
Satan knows. So Satan is doing everything sparing no effort to again stall, if not thwart, the progress of God’s creative work on man.
While Satan knows the Christian he is to defeat, the latter might not even know the capability of his enemy and how to fight him. The Christian is instructed to put on the whole armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
By letting Christ work on him in assembling the whole armor – “The ‘business’ the Christian must be doing” – and putting it on him at all times, the Christian is protected and ready to fight and he fights every moment of his life to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy and overcome.
Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
The Christian should be fully occupied in doing his assigned business till Christ’s return
The Christian, after being saved from the penalty of death for his sins, is not going to be idle and do nothing. He has been given a responsibility, a business to be busy with. Aside from striving to consistently be victorious in his battles with the enemy, Satan the devil, the Christian must also totally vanquish his “old man” by putting more and more of love.
By being vigilant on working on his progress and conducting regular performance self evaluation, the Christian registers accomplishments to be ready whenever the “certain nobleman” who gave him the mina returns for an accounting.
No one knows when Jesus will return, not even the angels know it but the Father only.
Matthew 24:3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?….36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
The Christian is better off to always be doing the business till Jesus comes.
Matthew 24:45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
“And so it was that when he returned…”
The big question is, “Christian, will you be ready?”
Christians are informed what happens when “the certain nobleman” – Jesus Christ – who entrusted his investment mina (Holy Spirit) in him returns. Jesus will ask for an accounting as to how much the Christian “had gained by trading”. That is, how much counterpart investment of time, effort and personal resources the Christian had contributed to realize “profit” in the business.
Luke 19:15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
As the Christian concerned, and every Christian is concerned, each of us should be asking now the question, what have I to show to Christ?
The Christian life is no longer concerned much of his salvation. He has been saved when he was baptized symbolizing the washing away of sins and with it the penalty of sins and being reconciled to God (Romans 5:10, 1st part). When the Christian sins, Jesus Christ, the advocate or defense attorney, is ever ready to intercede in asking for forgiveness and repentance to keep the Christian in going forward.
The Christian life is about increasing the mina, the Holy Spirit, in the Christian who would show how much of love, the image of God, could be found in the Christian at Christ’s return. The Christian life is mastering over one’s self to be ready to rule and teach those who will be called later to salvation and the Godly image building process.
If the Christian has been diligent as he should be, he could identify himself with the first two servants who showed Christ increases in Christ’s investment money.
Luke 19:16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ 19 Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’
Notice that what Christ will be giving the overcomers is not a gift but a reward. It is not eternal life because eternal life is not a reward but a gift. A gift is free. If one has to work for a gift, it ceases to be one. The reward is becoming an administrator of 10 cities or 5 cities under Christ’s government on earth. This is the position of governor in the kingdom or government of God.
The overcomer, who had previously been given the guarantee of eternal life, the Holy Spirit, will be changed to spirit and the guarantee becomes absolute.
The Christian who does nothing and just let the Holy Spirit in him grieve within him for being unutilized, will have the Holy Spirit taken back from him thereby nullifying the guarantee of eternal life.
Luke 19:20 “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
24 “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ 25 (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) 26 ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
Not doing the “business” of a Christian is tantamount to not making God to reign over the person’s life. It is rejecting God and showing God that he does not want to be with him for eternity.
The merciful God will just terminate the temporary life of the unfaithful Christian. Merciful because the person who chooses not to make God to reign over him will suffer the second death which is an eternal or permanent punishment.
Once slain, the dead is unconscious. He is not suffering as is erroneously being taught by many. When a supposedly “dead” person still suffers, like writing in pain in the lake of fire, he is not yet dead but still alive. The second death, the slaying, that Jesus will mete out on the wicked servant is final, real and absolute. It is eternal punishment, not eternal punishing, because from such state there is no more revival.
Luke 19:27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’”
The saved from death for sin man and gifted with the Holy Spirit is still to engage in “business”
The Christian now has freewill. He can choose to be doing “The ‘business’ the Christian must be doing” or he can do nothing.
The “certain nobleman” had since gone to the “far country” and had received the “kingdom”. The next event to surely happen is the nobleman’s return.
The Christian who wants to be in the position of anxiously expecting Christ’s return should devote and dedicate seriously his remaining temporary life now, while there is still time, to “do business” of allowing God to create in him God’s image of love till Christ comes.
how about the unfinished business Ka Eps – The Great Commission.
EMA: Preaching the gospel and making disciples of all the nations are the concerted efforts of those who become members of the Church. The involvement of any such member by any necessary means is a manifestation of his actively doing the business of a Christian.
“The Great Commission”, while this phrase is not part of the verses in the bible, is used to refer to Jesus’ command to preach the gospel of the kingdom to all nations.
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
It is only after the gospel has been preached to all nations that the end of this age comes.
Matthew 24:And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
genetophile: Salamat ka Eps!
EMA: You’re welcome gene!