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The Gospels & Acts discuss Calvin on Luke 16:9 in the The Scriptures forums; Luke 16:9 , "And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you ...

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    Calvin on Luke 16:9

    Luke 16:9, "And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations."

    9. Make to yourselves friends. As in the words which were last considered Christ did not enjoin us to offer sacrifices to God out of the fruits of extortion, so now he does not mean that we ought to search for defenders or advocates, who will throw around us the shield of their protection; but teaches us that by acts of charity we obtain favor with God, who has promised, that to the merciful he will show himself merciful, (Ps 18:25.) It is highly foolish and absurd to infer from this passage, that the prayers or approbation of the dead are of service to us: for, on that supposition, all that is bestowed on unworthy persons would be thrown away; but the depravity of men does not prevent the Lord from placing on his records all that we have expended on the poor. The Lord looks not to the persons, but to the work itself, so that our liberality, though it may happen to be exercised towards ungrateful men, will be of avail to us in the sight of God. But then he appears to intimate that eternal life depends on our merits. I reply: it is sufficiently plain from the context that he speaks after the manner of men. One who possesses extensive influence or wealth, if he procure friends during his prosperity, has persons who will support him when he is visited by adversity. In like manner, our kindness to the poor will be a seasonable relief to us; for whatever any man may have generously bestowed on his neighbors the Lord acknowledges as if it had been done to himself.

    When you fail. By this word he expresses the time of death, and reminds us that the time of our administration will be short, lest the confident expectation of a longer continuance of life should make us take a firmer grasp. The greater part are sunk in slumber through their wealth; many squander what they have on superfluities; while the niggardliness of others keeps it back, and deprives both themselves and others of the benefit. Whence comes all this, but because they are led astray by an unfounded expectation of long life, and give themselves up to every kind of indulgence?

    Of the mammon of unrighteousness. By giving this name to riches, he intends to render them an object of our suspicion, because for the most part they involve their possessors in unrighteousness Though in themselves they are not evil, yet as it rarely happens that they are obtained without deceit, or violence, or some other unlawful expedient, or that the enjoyment of them is unaccompanied by pride, or luxury, or some other wicked disposition, Christ justly represents them as worthy of our suspicion; just as on another occasion he called them thorns, (Mt 13:7,22.) It would appear that a contrast, though not expressed, is intended to be supplied, to this effect; that riches, which otherwise, in consequence of wicked abuse, polluted their possessors, and are almost in every ease allurements of sin, ought to be directed to a contrary object, to be the means of procuring favor for us. Let us also remember what I have formerly stated, that God does not demand sacrifice to be made from booty unjustly acquired, as if he were the partner of thieves, and that it is rather a warning given to believers to keep themselves free from unrighteousness.
    I've always struggled a bit with Luke 16:8-9. Calvin really helped with verse 8 as I posted his comments on that verse just a few moments ago. I'm still struggling and grappling with verse 9. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Ryan Barnhart
    Husband to a beautiful wife, Father to two beautiful girls and one on the way
    4th year student at Whitefield Bible College - B.A. Bible
    2nd year student at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary - MDiv

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    Trying to get the context of Luke 16 and the unjust steward, I find it interesting that it is sandwiched between the story of the two sons in Luke 15 and the story of Lazarus and the rich man in the latter part of Luke 16.

    I just downloaded a sermon by Pastor David Reese on Luke 16:1-18. I look forward to listening to his understanding of this passage. I'll let you know what he thinks when I'm done listening if anyone's interested.

    Better yet, here's the download:

    SermonAudio.com - Luke 16:1-18
    Ryan Barnhart
    Husband to a beautiful wife, Father to two beautiful girls and one on the way
    4th year student at Whitefield Bible College - B.A. Bible
    2nd year student at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary - MDiv

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    Seems as if I've already listened to Pastor Reese on this passage back in the fall. The best sermon I ever heard on Luke 16:1-18

    One of the worst things about the fall of man is how it has affected our memory. Looks like I'll just have to listen to it again.
    Ryan Barnhart
    Husband to a beautiful wife, Father to two beautiful girls and one on the way
    4th year student at Whitefield Bible College - B.A. Bible
    2nd year student at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary - MDiv

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