Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This message on giving encourages believers to share, reap, and share some more because of our freedom in Christ.

Freedom’s Harvest (Galatians 6:6-10)

On the wall of President Lyndon Johnson’s White House office hung a framed letter written by General Sam Houston to Johnson’s great-grandfather, Baines, more than 100 years earlier. Baines had led Sam Houston to Christ. Houston was a changed man, no longer coarse and belligerent but peaceful and content.

The day came for Houston to be baptized—an incredible event for those who knew him. After his baptism, Houston offered to pay half the local minister’s salary. When someone asked him why, he said, “My pocketbook was baptized too.” (Randy Alcorn, The Law of Rewards, Tyndale, 2003, p. 12; www.Preaching Today.com)

When a person comes to experience the wonderful freedom we have in Christ, that freedom affects every area of his or her life, including the pocketbook.

Christ has set us free from the law of sin and death. That means we are free to serve one another; we are free to live by the Spirit; and we are free to truly help one another.

That also means we are free to invest our money in ways we never dreamed before. A relationship with Christ is not just about Sunday morning. It affects every area of our life including, and especially, our pocketbooks.

You say, Phil, How? How does my freedom in Christ affect my pocketbook? How does my relationship with Christ affect my spending habits? How does my spirituality affect what I do with my money?

Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Galatians 6, Galatians 6, where the Bible tells us how our freedom in Christ frees up our money as well.

Galatians 6:6 (Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. (NIV)

We express our freedom best when we SHARE, when we VOLUNTARILY GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE TAUGHT US GOD’S WORD.

There is a special relationship that develops between a pastor and his people. There is a special relationship that develops between a teacher and his or her students, especially when it’s the Word of God being taught. It’s a relationship in which teacher and student share with each other.

Now, the word for “share” in this passage comes from the Greek word koinoneo, from which we get our word “fellowship. It literally means to hold things in common or as it is translated here, “to share.”

In other words, I’m not here to do a job for pay. No. You have invited me as your pastor to share our lives together, to share in ministry together, and to share what we have with each other. I share the Word of God. You share “all good things” with your pastor.

And we share voluntarily. We share willingly. We share not because we have to by law. We share because we want to out of love. What we have here is not a contractual relationship between employer and employee. We have a covenant relationship between brothers and sisters in Christ.

It’s a joy, not a job, for me to be your pastor and to teach you the Word of God. I mean there are days when I can’t believe you give me money when I’m having so much fun! & I’m sure it’s a joy for you to take care of your pastor, to make sure he has enough to eat and provide for his family as we work together to reach this community for Christ.

We don’t tax you for religious services like they did in Bible days. Then, the Jews were required to pay 10% of their earnings to support the priests. & The Gentiles paid set fees for religious services. They were both in bondage to their religious systems. They had to pay their teachers, because that was the law.

But now that Christ has set us free from the law, we don’t “pay” our teachers to do a job; no, we “share all good things” with them, because they share the Word of God with us.

Does that mean our teachers get less? No. Many times it means they get more, because of the relationship we share, which is always stronger than any requirement or regulation.

When East Berlin was under communist control, somebody from that side took a truck load of garbage and dumped it on the West Berlin side, the free side. The people of West Berlin could have retaliated in the same way, but instead, they took a truckload of canned goods, bread and milk and neatly stacked it on the East Berlin side. On top of that stack, they placed this sign: EACH GIVES WHAT HE HAS. EACH GIVES WHAT HE HAS.

Those who are free give “good things.” Those who are in bondage give garbage. Those who are under the law give the bare minimum, and they do it grudgingly. Who pays more taxes than they have to? But those who are free give as much as they can, and they do it gratefully.

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