Is the parable of talent referring to good works needed to get to heaven?
Posted by fact-s.net
What do “talents” refer to? The English word “talent” is a translation from the Greek word “talanton” (5007/5342). This means “a balance (as supporting weights), i.e. (by implication) a certain weight (and thence a coin or rather sum of money) or “talent”:–talent.”
- the scale of a balance, a balance, a pair of scales
- that which is weighed, a talent
- a weight varying in different places and times
- a sum of money weighing a talent and varying in different states and according to the changes in the laws regulating currency
- the Attic talent was equal to 60 Attic minae or 6000 drachmae
- a talent of silver in Israel weighed about 100 pounds (45 kg)
- a talent of gold in Israel weighed about 200 pounds (91 kg)
Matthew 25:15 Greek five talents … two talents … one talent; also throughout this parable; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wage.
Compare NIV and NKJV about the narrative.
In short, a “talent” is the value of “currency or worth” of labor or gift given to a person. In spiritual essence, it is the “energy/power” given to a person by God through “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit “.
Regarding Matt. 25:14-30,, the servants were given “talents or bag of gold” to use as they please to gain something from it. One didn’t use it to gain and the value stayed the same. The message was to use it for good and not to be dormant. Therefore, this narrative refers to “good works” emanating from the “energy/power” of the Holy Spirit “. Therefore the short answer is, Yes they are required for salvation, that gets to heavenly kingdom of God
But, these good works must not emanate from us, flesh-composed body. They should not be “our” works per se, like Job ( a perfect and upright man who finally acknowledged his blindness) or atheists doing good. But works or “fruits” must come from the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that we merely expressed through and shown by “our works”.
As such, no one will boast (Eph. 2:9). By faith of Jesus, it took his death and resurrection for us to receive (Jn. 14:16) the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is a great gift, by the grace of God, to have and we must show “fruits of the Spirit”(Gal. 5:22-23).
Any good work that anyone can do by himself is as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) and not consistent or reliably sustainable as our “flesh is weak”(Matthew 26:41).
Eph. 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Notice the example of Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane:
“He withdrew about a stone’s throw and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done’” (Luke 22:41-42). Matthew records Jesus as making his request of the Father twice: “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken away from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26:39) and “He went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done’” (Matt. 26:42). Mark records his prayer in a positive way, “‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).
While not “his will”, he expressed the “will of the Father” through his works empowered by the Holy Spirit. Similarly, we are the “vessel” through which the “fruits of the Holy Spirit” will be manifested. The “fruits/works” are of the Holy Spirit, even if we did those “works” ourselves.
Beware, we might be cut off as in:
Matt. 7:19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Dan. 4:14 “He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches”
See also Matt. 3:10; Lu. 3:9, 13:7; John 15:2, John 15:6;
We need to be overcomers, as in Rev. 3:5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.
Yes, the “talents”(metaphor for in-dwelling of Holy Spirit) have to be used and give rise to good works/action guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Without these “fruits of the Holy Spirit”, the Holy Spirit will be taken away from us. Without being “overcomers” we will be “cutoff” and will not reach the heavenly kingdom on earth.
Hyperlink version revised and posted: November 17, 2020. Note: Original post on 10/20/2015
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