Copyright © 2003 J. Neely. All rights reserved.
To receive notice of each days Bible Study,
please go to my Twitter and Facebook pages and sign up.
If you enjoy these Bible Studies, please consider making a Donation
Lesson # Prov. 11:17
Study Material - Prov. 11:17
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
17 The merciful [checed] man [iysh] doeth good [gamal] to his own soul [nephesh] : but he that is cruel [akzariy] troubleth [akar] his own flesh [shaer] . KJV-Interlinear
17 The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm. NAS
'Every man for himself' is a saying that has been around a long time, and it is a true principle of doctrine, but not in the way you are probably thinking. It is a true principle for the good as well as true for the bad.
We'll define good people, as those who study Bible doctrine, reside in fellowship, learn doctrine, apply what they learn to their lives, and generally advance in their spiritual life toward spiritual maturity. They do for themselves, that which is good for themselves. They advance in their spiritual lives.
The bad people we'll define, as those who do not advance in their spiritual lives. This includes a broad range of people. It includes all unbelievers of course. It is impossible for them to advance in a spiritual life because they do not have the equipment to aid them in their advance. Namely a human spirit.
All believers who spend most of their time out of fellowship (and this includes quite a number of believers) are included in the 'bad' category. All believers who bounce in and out of fellowship, all believers who try to include many compromises within their lives, all believers who are just indifferent toward Bible study, all believers who are antagonistic toward Bible study, all believers that are neither hot nor cold for doctrine, and not even luke warm, all believers who disregard their prime responsibilities in life, all these are included in the 'bad' category. If you see yourself in there, then forewarned, what you are doing for yourself (every person for his/her self) is not good, but bad for yourself.
What they do in life is avoid advancing in their spiritual life and that is the prime objective of every person who has ever lived. Without a spiritual life, you are cutting short the vast majority of your life's existence.
How so? If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then your make up is - body, soul, and spirit. You have two sides of your life to live. The one side is your experiential side. That is. It is your worldly side of life. You grow up physically, learn, apply what you learn to your daily life, and you build up norms and standards of living, within your soul.
Your other side is your spiritual side. That is the supernatural side of your life, and by far the greater portion of your life. It is impacted by the Bible doctrine you learn (spiritually, not academically) or not. Since your life begins at your birth and does not end at your physical death, but continues on and on forever for the next billions of trillions of years, then the greater portion of your life will exist in eternity and not within this life time. This line represents your life timeline:
'Birth - death -------------------------------- Your next life into eternity forever and never ending >'
Life between birth and death can be 100 years, but life in eternity will go on forever, trillions of trillions of trillions of years and more. What portion of your life is the greater portion? The eternal portion of course. So is it not wise to prepare for that portion? Or is it wise to just have fun during this life and disregard the next life?
The first step for anyone is salvation. Life now can be fun or not, but life in the Lake of Fire forever will be beyond terror. So why shouldn't people simply believe in Christ in order to avoid the Lake of Fire?
The first lesson here is that the person who lives at all is really living for himself. If you follow Gods lead, then your life will be better. If you ignore Gods warnings, then your life in hell will be very bad.
Next we look at believers. Some are positive toward God, most are not. Again the question of eternity. But for believers it is a very different question. Since all will go to heaven and have resurrection bodies, then what is there to gain by being good in this life? We've done all that is necessary to go to heaven - believe in Christ. So why study the Bible anyway? Good question.
Well, we all will go to heaven as believers in Christ, but in heaven there are more blessings, greater blessings, that await us, and those blessings depend on our spiritual growth. But before we even get to heaven we have to live in this world and our life here will be more tolerable and blessed if we grow up spiritually. Without Bible doctrine in your soul you will lack the spiritual assets to deal with the trials and blessings of this life. No capacity, then no ability to enjoy or even orient to whatever life throws at you. You will be miserable. And there is no reason to be miserable in life when God gives you the means to enjoy life regardless of your circumstances.
In eternity there are blessings and then there are blessings. At the judgment seat of Christ you will receive your evaluation. To some He will give nothing because they have nothing to be rewarded - no spiritual growth, no spiritual assets to which they have earned additional blessings. To some He will give ten fold, to some twenty fold, to some one hundred fold and so forth. Those people who have made an effort in advancing in their spiritual lives will be the recipients of blessings beyond imagination. Why settle for half a pay check, when you have the opportunity to collect it in full.
Thus our life here on earth. What will it take to get a person on track and with a daily study program and thus in line for a greater life now, and in line for greater blessings in eternity. Remember that eternity is a very, very long time. So whatever additional blessings you receive in heaven, they will be with you forever. Whatever you do not receive, you will never see, ever.
In this life all of us had no say in the definition of the circumstances of our birth. We were either born into a silver spoon or into a wooden one. In life we have some say regarding improvements, maybe, and may find improvement in our life, but most will not advance very much in life. But we all will have a next life, and we now, during this life, have the opportunity to define the circumstances of our next life. Who would pass up such an opportunity?
We can all look around and see the life (the pleasant side) of the rich and the famous, which is a great representation of the better side of life. Who would refuse the opportunity to be filthy rich if it were simply handed to you? Wouldn't that be nice to have in eternity and under eternal definitions? Most of us will never see that side of life now, but we can have it for a possession, our own possession in eternity, and in even greater, infinitely greater measure in eternity. Isn't that what God is handing to us?
Just as heaven is infinitely greater than going to the Lake of Fire, so too, spiritual maturity will bring infinitely greater blessings in heaven than will spiritual immaturity. A lot is at stake. What will you do for yourself now?
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.