Summary: Here in this last chapter Paul deals with some of the things a church, feeling it own pressure as well the external pressure of those outside its own doors.
FINAL THOUGHTS FOR A PRESSURED CHURCH
INTRODUCTION: For everything we read about the Corinthian Church, and everything Paul attempts to teach this same church, for the most part we are left with a church struggling to identify itself to each other and in its community. It has been rocked by controversy (which church has not), it has been flustered by internal segregation, and it has been challenged in the use of its gifts and the obedience to its responsibilities. Here in this last chapter Paul deals with some of the things a church, feeling it own pressure as well the external pressure of those outside its own doors.
I STEWARDSHIP – 16:1-4
1 For The Work Of God – IE: God’s people
a Biblical giving is meant to promote the name of Christ
b Charitable giving is not biblical giving.
1 Charity may be good, but it is not necessarily biblical
2 We need to be careful in understanding the difference – the differences are subtle.
a) Hurricane Katrina – good cause to give to? Yes!
b) This kind of giving is encouraged and commended by the Lord. But this kind of giving does not promote the kingdom of God. It meets our need at this moment, but does not meet our need for eternity.
(1) Ruth and Boaz – gleaning of the fields
(1) God encouraged money and food be set aside for the poor – the poor of Israel (God’s chosen people)
2 For The People Of God
a Give to support God’s people
1 Not muzzling the oxen that tread the grain floor.
2 Our missionaries, Christian Workers, and Pastor are worthy of support.
3 Supporting the work of those presenting the gospel and edifying the church
3 For The House of God
a Haggai 1:4 4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?"
b Thought is simple – if You can live in something of beauty, then God should too!
1 Stewardship Is Regular
a The Old Testament Tithe
1 10% Temple Tithe
2 10% Levittes Tithe
3 10% Poor Tithe
b Paul said that those in the church should set aside a sum of money.
2 Stewardship Is Money Set Aside For God
a No other use
3 Stewardship is Based On Our Income, Not Our Bills
a Giving is not based on our leftovers
b Net vers. Gross
1 I do not really want to get into this one, except to say if you are giving based on your net, are you tithing you tax refunds?
4 Stewardship Should Not Be Forgotten
a Lord’s work goes on even if you are on vacation
b If doing something means that you cannot fulfill your biblical requirement in giving, you ought not to do it.
c Forgotten stewardship robs God
Malachi 3:8-10 (NIV) 8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, ’How do we rob you?’ "In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse--the whole nation of you--because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
d Purpose for Tithing
Deuteronomy 14:23 (NIV) Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.
1 Tithing teaches us to depend on God
II HOSPITALITY – 16:5-12
A GOD’S SERVANTS SHOULD BE CARED FOR
1 We should be around to hear what they have to say
2 We should bring them into our houses and let them rest
B CONCERN FOR THE LORDS WORK MUST BE A FIRST PRIORITY
1 Caring for the worker is caring for the work
C CHRISTIAN HOSPITALITY IS TO BE UNIVERSAL IN THE CHURCH
1 I am to be hospitable in the church
Romans 12:13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
D CHRISTIAN HOSPITALITY EXTENDS BEYOND THE CHURCH
1 Timothy 4:10 (NIV) 10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.
2 The “WHY’S” of Christian hospitality
a Hospitality is a practical way to serve God.
1 Abraham was eager to show hospitality to these three visitors, as was Lot (Genesis 19:2).