Summary: Giving to the church is a very basic part of Christianity. Giving should be from the heart, thought about before hand, should be done willingly. After this sermon our church stopped passing the offering plates for offering.
Back to the Basics - Giving
Well we are at the end of the Back to the Basics sermon series. Before I started this series I had it planned out the basic things I would talk about. Although I planned out what I was going to preach, I offered up to you all to suggest any topics you would like to hear about, but I didn’t receive any responses so we will end this series today with talking about giving financially to the work of the Lord.
As with communion which was the last thing I talked about in this series and with baptism not everyone agrees on the subject of giving. Generally the main subject matter of discussion when it comes to giving is concerning the tithe and whether or not it is still in place today in the New Testament Christian Church.
On both sides of the subject people hold very strong opinions. My objective this morning is not to consider those strong opinions, but simply look at the scripture to see what it says about giving in the times we live in, which is the church age, under the New Covenant that God made with us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
We have already read the passage in Acts 2 verses 42-47 several times and I have used that as a basis to leap frog into these basics of the church. While I’m not going to read that passage again this morning someone might wonder about where is giving seen in that passage. Well, it is in the fellowship.
Fellowship is not just getting together and having a meal together, but much more than that. It involved doing life together and sharing with one another when and where there is the need. Involved in fellowship is giving to support the needs of others and to see that the ministry of the church can continue.
If you want to get an idea of what these new Christians did to help each other financially take a look at the Acts 2 passage again because it does say they sold possessions to help others in verse 45. But also look at Acts 4:32-37. I’m not going to read that or go into that further for the sake of time this morning.
I do want to read the chapter that is probably to most recognized passage in the New Testament concerning giving, 2 Cor. chapter 9.
There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.
3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident.
5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Cor. 9:1-15