Summary: Many pastors were being misunderstood and criticized by the people when they preached on giving. But what does the Bible say about serving God through giving? God’s people must know, understand and give to the church based only on what the Word of God tea
Series Subject: Commitment to the Church
Theme: Serving God Through Giving Pt.2
Text: 2 Corinthians 8: 1-15
A. The word of God has reminded us of the truth that each believer is called, needed, gifted, equipped, and plays a significant role to help build up the body of Jesus. That’s why it is my desire to always remind you that each person in this church family is ordained by God to help build up His church. Each of us here is needed. Every contribution we extend for the building of the body of Christ is very important. How can we help?
B. Last Sunday I started preaching on the subject of giving. Giving to the church is one important way that a believer can help in building up the church. As I said in our previous message, the church needs generous hearts and magnanimous hands. However, giving is something that makes church people uncomfortable. Many pastors were being misunderstood and criticized by the people when they preached on giving. But what does the Bible say about serving God through giving? God’s people must know, understand and give to the church based only on what the Word of God teaches.
Paul laid out the reason of church giving. If this is understood well, every believer would be led to give with a joyful heart. Last Sunday I gave the first two reasons from our text.
I. GIVING IS SHARING THE GRACE OF GOD (VS.1-7)
The believers in Macedonia were said to have given even “beyond their means” because they were overflowing with joy over the grace they received from God –the grace of salvation. And they didn’t forget that they owe their experience of God’s grace to the church in Jerusalem because of its missionary work. They received the grace of God through them, now they were more than willing to share it back in the form of sacrificial help.
In this passage Paul used the word “grace” to describe the offering given by these churches in Macedonia for the church in Jerusalem. I believe Paul intentionally constructed his statement that way to emphasize the principle of sharing God’s grace through giving. When we give, we are sharing the grace of God.
First, your giving to the church is your kind of affirmation and response to the grace of God. It gives a testimony of your understanding, reception, and faith in the grace of God for your salvation. Christian giving testifies the truth of salvation by grace.
Second, your giving will help the church to fund its needs for it to be doing effectively with its primary task to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus. When you give to the church, you help it out to become a channel through which God extends His grace of salvation to people who are yet in darkness of sin. Christian giving is an opportunity to be part in the program of God to save sinners through His grace.
II. GIVING IS SHOWING ONE’S SUMBISSION TO GOD (v.5)
Verse 5 tells us the secret why the Macedonian churches were so eager to give in spite of their own problems and poverty. They were so zealous that they even begged Paul to help out. What’s the secret? They first gave themselves over to the Lord. The primary direction of their devotion was to God. They gave out of their great devotion and total submission to God. Their giving comes from a surrendered heart.
Christian giving confirms the reality of your submission to God; it translates your devotion into something tangible and visible. Christian giving gives us the opportunity to prove the truthfulness of our love and devotion to God.
III. GIVING IS ABOUT THE ATTITUDE OF THE HEART (v.4)
Paul used the Macedonian giving to teach the Corinthian church about Christian giving. The Macedonian area was afflicted by high taxes and plunder by the Roman government. The people were not wealthy. Paul could have made light of their gift because of their poverty. But what impressed Paul was not so much the size of the gift, but the size of the sacrifice that had to be made in order for the gift to be offered.
The Macedonians were themselves poor and impoverished. But they begged to help. They begged to give. They’re not forced to give; they gave on their own accord, they gave because they wanted to. For them to give is an opportunity. They gave because they thought the blessing they had in Jesus was bigger than their poverty. Indeed their heart was in the right place.
You see, giving is not about the size of the gift, how big it is, or how expensive it is. Giving is about the attitude of the heart and the sacrifice behind the gift. When you give you let your heart speaks messages more meaningful than your mouth can do. When you give you’re saying that you care, that you’re part, that you belong, that you’re concerned.