Chemnitz on Earthly and Heavenly Treasures

From Martin Chemnitz (in his Harmony):

Chemnitz lays out several distinctions that Christ makes here (Matthew 6) between earthly and heavenly things:

  1. In earthly matters, the outcome is uncertain and fortune does not correspond to effort.  In godliness we have the sure promise of God about heavenly rewards in eternal life.  Since God cannot lie, the outcome in heavenly treasures is always certain.
  2. In earthly matters, very often a small fortune is related to a great effort and many difficulties.  In heavenly, even a drink of cold water has a great reward.
  3. Earthly matters include things temporary and transitory.  They are corruptible.  Even when those things are kept safe from moth and rust, they cannot make owners truly solidly and consistently happy.  Heavenly treasures are unfailing (Luke 12:33).  They are permanent, keeps owners happy forever. 
  4. Earthly treasures breed anxious concern, even if stored securely.  Heavenly treasures are safe from the perils of this life and thus need not cause worry. 
    1. Chrysostom “Just as those who have moved their dwelling place into another location generally send ahead their treasures to that place; therefore it is foolish to lay up treasures in the place from whence you will soon depart.  Why not send them ahead to that place where you are about to move and intend to stay permanently?”

The art of acquiring heavenly treasures (by Chemnitz)

  1. Romans 5:2 by faith
  2. 1 Tim 4:8 Godliness has reward now and forever
  3. Those who suffer for Christ’s sake, or lose something for Him have a great reward
  4. We are not just giving resources to those in need, but piling up reward in heaven (exchange rate)

God will repay the reward of the righteous at the Resurrection

            Luke 14:14; 2 Timothy 1:18

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