Summary: Excel in the grace of giving as an overflow of God's grace to you
This morning I'm going to be poking the hornet's nest, touching the live rail and pouring lighter fuel on a lit Barbie. Living dangerously! Speaking about the biggest rival god to Jesus Christ in the UK. Not Islam, not New Age, not Paganism but
Money, Money, Money. Don't touch that.
Brits are renowned for being reserved. Money is terribly, terribly, terribly private!
And yet it's a big deal - UK debt is now £900 Billion.
I want to get to the heart. Not the surface. And I want to deal with it from the perspective of grace. Grace deals with the inside not just the outside.
How many have seen the King's Speech? About King George VI, who was a stutterer. His wife takes him to see a voice coach to help with the mechanics of stuttering. He just wanted him to deal with the muscles and mechanics. The coach tells he has got to deal with why he stutters the heart of the problem.
Money - it's not just about spend less than you make - it's a heart issue, a grace issue
2 Cor 8:1-15 is part of one of the most helpful NT passages on money and giving. Let's read it and dig in.
Paul's writing to the church in Corinth and he is letting them know that the church in Jerusalem is struggling financially. The Macedonian churches have already taken up an offering to help and now he's encouraging the Corinthians to give too.
You need to see that how we handle money and giving is a grace issue v1 grace of God, v6 an act of grace, excel in this act of grace also v7
Paul appeals to the church to give generously on the basis of the grace of God at work in their lives.
1) Tap into the riches of God's grace.
Paul appeals to them to give generously on the basis of grace not tithing, or even Malachi - you are robbing God.
v9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
He uses financial language to explain the grace of God at work in us. And he wants us to tap into the riches of God's
though he was rich - second person of the trinity, sat at the right hand of the Father
became poor - the incarnation, coming as a man, born in the most humble of circumstance, living as a wandering preacher with no where to lay his head. Dying for us on the cross, with even his clothes gambled away
so that by his poverty you became rich
Not prosperity doctrine. he didn't do it so you could have a big Mercedes, a nice house and white teeth.
Paul is using financial language to explain how amazing grace is. He borrows language from lots of settings - the marketplace, the law courts and often with grace - he uses money, because money talks.
Let me show from Ephesians 2 an example
Dead in sin - born spiritually dead
Following the prince of the power of the air - Satan
Might not know it - all either following Jesus or Satan
Before came to Christ following Satan - living passions of the flesh, carrying out the desires of the body
So by nature a child of wrath.
Might not have been that naughty - maybe even pretty self-righteous in your goodness, saying God we don't need you or let me clean up my mess first.
Fact is dead in sin and a child of wrath. Bible says it pretty clear
Big But in v4 - I like big buts and I cannot lie!
But God being RICH in mercy! His mercy is rich. there is no credit crunch with God's mercy. No austerity cuts. It's rich, abundant and freely available.
God made us alive in Christ because of his great love
Saved us by his grace
Seated us in the heavenly realms. You are sat here in KLA but as a believer you are also sat in the heavenly realms
God did it to show the immeasurable riches of his grace in the kindness of Christ Jesus
Do you get excited about the riches of God's grace? Or the footie score, the next promotion, a new car?
Paul wants us to tap into the riches of God's grace.
The outflow of that is
2) Give generously to the cause of Christ
Back to 2 Cor 8. Paul lets the Corinthians know that the Macedonians have tapped into the grace of God - the result is abundance of joy and overflowing generosity even in poverty and affliction.
They begged Paul to be able to give - Grace changed their hearts and makes them generosity. They gave beyond their ability - how often have you had to trust God because you gave.