The Riches OF GRACE

“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11

Robert W. Reed

2015

 

 

Christian Giving

 

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

2 Corinthians 9:7

 

+ New Testament Principles +

 

In the New Testament, there are many Scriptures given to us on the subject of Christian giving. The whole concept of Christianity is giving. God gave His Son, the Son gave His life, the apostles gave themselves, and Christians give of themselves. Giving is a part of our worship as is singing, praying, or coming to the Lord’s table. Money is a test of character and stewardship. In my study on New Testament giving, I found about one hundred and twenty five verses on the subject and seventy-five of those are in the Apostle Paul’s epistles. This is not an exhaustive study and yet shows the importance of Christian giving. May the Lord bless and honor His word and speak to our hearts. Amen.

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Acts 20:35

 

In this article we will show that giving was commanded by Christ, taught by the apostles, and practiced by the church. Then, we will give ten New Testament principles on giving.

 

Giving was Commanded by Christ

 

According to Acts 20:35, the apostle is reminding the elders of the church at Ephesus to remember the words of the Lord Jesus and how He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” This exact statement is not found in the gospels, but shows His overall teachings on the subject of giving.

In Matthew 6:1-4, Jesus taught “alms giving” in the Sermon on the Mount. He did not say if ye give, but when ye give, then He instructs them on how to give. Also, in verses 20-21, the Lord Jesus speaks of Heavenly investments, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” In Luke 6:38, a part of the Beatitudes, Christ speaks again of the principle of giving, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” In Luke 12:32-34 our Savior challenged His disciples to give. In Mark 12:41-44, the Lord takes great interest in the poor widow’s giving as He sat and watched. He also told His disciples to observe. In other words, Jesus uses her as an example of giving, for others gave of their abundance and she gave of her poverty. This one single act of giving outshined all others. The Lord also spoke of giving in Matthew 19:16-26, when he tested a young man’s heart with money.

 

Giving was Taught by the Apostles

 

The apostles spoke only the words of Christ to the church, and in Acts 2:42, the church continued in the apostles doctrine, “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” In Ephesians 2:20, the church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets which is the teaching of Jesus Christ. In Paul’s epistles alone, there are at least seventy-five verses on the subject of Christian giving. In I Corinthians 16:1-3, the church was to take a collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem, and in II Corinthians 8 & 9, both chapters speak of giving. In I Corinthians 9:1-14, the apostle speaks of the importance of the church in their support of ministers, using the Old Testament priesthood as an example. The church had the authority to receive and distribute money and also took great care and accountability with it (II Corinthians 8:16-24). So, all of the apostles were careful to maintain the teachings of Christ in the matter of Christian giving.

 

The Practice of the Church

 

The primitive church in the first century was very generous and giving (Acts 2:44-47; 4:34-37; 5:1-10; 6:1). In II Corinthians 8:1-5, the apostle Paul uses the churches of Macedonia to encourage the church at Corinth to follow through with their promise of giving. The Grace of God in verse one refers to giving, and in verse two, this giving of the Macedonian churches was out of great trial of affliction and deep poverty. Also, verses 3-5, there was much willingness, desire, and joy in their giving of themselves first, and then of their possessions. The entire chapter is an encouragement for Christians to be generous when it comes to the kingdom of God. Also, in chapter nine, the entire section centers around giving. It speaks of the purpose and motivation for giving and the blessings and fruit of giving. In verse seven, we see that God loves a cheerful giver, 2 Corinthians 8:7 “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.” The joy of giving is also seen in Philemon's 4:13-20, and Hebrews 13:15-16. Let us remember, every Christian must one day give an account of his giving as well as other things in our Christian life.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

II Corinthians 5:10

New Testament Principles of Christian Giving

* Some of these principles have been taken from other Authors.

I Corinthians 16:2

Giving is to be done by all. Everyone is to lay by him in store.

I Corinthians 16:2

Giving is to be proportional, according to one’s income or means and not according to what he does not have. II Corinthians 8:12, Acts 11:29

II Corinthians 8:5

Giving is to be done sacrificially. They gave of themselves first, then of their goods.

II Corinthians 8:1-6

Giving is an expression of the Grace of God. The gospel is our motivation.

II Corinthians 8:9

Giving is inspired by Christ. Through his giving we are encouraged to give also.

II Corinthians 9:7

Giving is characterized by joy. We are to give cheerfully.

II Corinthians 9:11-15

Giving promotes thanksgiving to God. When our giving blesses others, they glorify God.

II Corinthians 9:6

Giving resembles a harvest. God rewards giving, and one’s return is determined by his investment.

II Corinthians 8:7

Giving is obedience to God. As we are to grow in the things of God, we are also to learn the principle of giving.

II Corinthians 8:4

Giving is a great privilege. They begged the apostle in vv. 2-5 to allow them to give for Christ’s sake.

 

 

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  Acts 16:31

 

 

Victory Baptist Church

Pastor Robert W. Reed

14473 Bellingrath Road

P.O. Box 257

Coden, Alabama 36523