It Has Been Given to You

By Mike Ratliff 

But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. (Deuteronomy 29:4 ESV) 

God is Sovereign. He is on the throne in Heaven. He is high and lifted up. The seraphim around the throne of God cry to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” The arrogant and the proud have no portion with Him for all who encounter Him will immediately see their sin and cry, “Woe is me for I am ruined!” These may fall on their face before the throne, but they do so because “It has been given” to them to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. They have been given a heart to understand and eyes to see and ears to hear the truth, grasp it, know it, believe it, submit to it, and be changed forever by it. 

10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. (Matthew 13:10-13 ESV) 

The Lord Jesus affirms that the ability to comprehend spiritual truth is a gracious gift of God, which He bestows sovereignly on His elect (v11). On the other hand, the reprobate are passed over. They reap the natural consequence of their own unbelief and rebellion, which is spiritual blindness (v13). God’s sovereign choice lies behind the hardening of their hearts towards the truth of God. Our Lord spoke in parables to the multitudes. These parables served as instruments of judgment by hardening the impenitent. Is this still going on today? Yes it is. When we teach the truth to the skeptical and all it does is make them even more defiant then we know for sure that they have been hardened. The reverse is true as well though. When people actually believe the Gospel and are saved it is because God has drawn them to the Son (John 6:44) in His mercy and by His grace through the faith He gives them they believe and repent and are justified (Ephesians 2:1-10). 

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants [3] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, [4] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. [5] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:14-30 ESV) 

Here in this very familiar parable of our Lord we see a parallel with His statements in Matthew 13:10-13 in which He says, “For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Those, to whom it is given, the recipients of divine grace, inherit immeasurable blessings in addition to eternal life and the favor of God (Romans 8:32). On the other hand, those to whom it is not given, the reprobate, who despise the riches of God’s goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering (Romans 2:4), burying them in the ground and clinging instead to the paltry and transient goods and ways of the world, will ultimately lose everything they have (Matthew 6:19; John 12:25). They will be cast into outer darkness, in that place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

The Gospel is hid to them that perisheth. This statement is taken from the note next to Matthew 13:12 in the Geneva Bible. If you have ever tried to witness to one who has walked away from their profession of faith in apostasy then you will know that this is a true statement. To know the truth, to grasp the truth, to believe the Gospel is the gift of God. Saving faith belongs only to those to whom it has been given. 

1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body [1] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But [2] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV) 

I pray that all who read this far in this post have submitted themselves unto the Sovereignty and will of God in complete understanding that to be in Christ is the result of God’s grace and effectual calling not because of any works or merit. 

Soli Deo Gloria!

8 thoughts on “It Has Been Given to You

  1. Hi, Mike! A person I’ve been witnessing to for years has changed from being sarcastic, to actually bringing up “church”, Online Bible research, and prophecy. Praying for the Lord to grant repentance, and draw him to Christ is apparently being answered! Hopefully, He will continue to lead me as to what to say/do next.

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  2. Amen Kathy! That is awesome; the Lord be praised! I pray that God will lead you into what to do or say to this one being drawn into the light. The Lord be praised!

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  3. Mike,
    I had the opportunity to witness to someone who was “once an evangelist”, now he had “risen above that level”. After having this man walk in circles around me and blaspheme God’s holy name while I tried to reason with him about his lost condtion, I watched as he drove away and was so profoundly moved by God’s grace that He alone had chosen me and that I was considered a fool for Him.
    Thank the Lord He alone choooses us and that we can’t simply learn our way to Him and possibly past Him as this man had done. He knew all about Jesus, but Jesus didn’t ‘know’ him. Sadly.

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  4. Thanks for sharing that Brent. I have encountered them as well. It is indeed humbling to realize that you are a Christian solely because of God’s grace and not any thing you do or did nor any merit in character you may have. It is amazing. Again, thanks for sharing this.

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