The sentence continues in the Greek as the thought now turns to the observable lifestyle of the wealthy. First Paul calls them to service, much as he does any believer. To do good, as Paul quickly translates into their vernacular, is to be rich in good deeds. The two expressions are equivalent, each describing the observable outworking of genuine faith (2:10; 5:10). The readers are to strive to amass spiritual wealth, and as the command continues, it is clear that they are to put their material wealth to use in this effort.
Their material blessing involves a special responsibility. For them, the normal Christian life of good works must include practical expressions of generosity and the willingness to share. The principle of economic equality in the Christian community that Paul enunciated explicitly in 2 Corinthians 8:13-15 implicitly undergirds this instruction. Since all they possess has come from God (v. 17), the rich are to assume a healthy attitude of detachment toward their wealth and use it to help the needy. Paul envisions a stewardship of the world's goods, and those blessed with this wealth are to be responsible administrators of it (Lk 16:8-9).
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to remove banner ads and unlock new features!
You've successfully created your account! For the ultimate Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading Bible Gateway Plus to get the most out of your new account. For just a few dollars each month, a Bible Gateway Plus upgrade gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• Special during April only: full access to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.