Summary: Principles on giving and examples to follow. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
MONEY - HOW TO TAKE UP AN OFFERING:
giving was Church centered (vs 1)
giving was regular (vs 2a)
giving was for everyone (vs 2b)
giving was proportionate (vs 2c)
giving was carefully handled (vs 3)
PEOPLE - EXAMPLES WORTH FOLLOWING:
Timothy (vs 10)
Apollos (vs 12)
Household of Stephanas (vs 15)
Aquilla & Pricilla (vs 19)
• In our type of Churches we tend not to get too much teaching on money & giving?
• We somehow assume people know what the Bible teaches.
• Over the past 5 or 10 years;
• I could count on one hand, the sermons on this subject.
• Probably because the subject of money / giving we find embarrassing;
• Speaker you find treasurer putting things in your pocket.
• Ill: Bob Telford. (bill for hymn books instead of his expenses!)
• Lady at Bitterne Gospel Chapel said to me on one occasion;
• “I would like to give you a gift towards your ministry buy I can’t because you live by faith”.
• Sadly she was serious in her misunderstanding of ‘Living by faith’.
It may surprise you to know that Jesus had a lot to say concerning both money & giving:
• In Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s gospels 1 in every 6 verses deals with money.
• Of the 29 parables Christ told, 16 deal with a person and his money.
• One out of every six verses in Matthew, Mark, and Luke;
• Deal with a person and their money.
• Jesus had more to say about money than any other subject.
• So really we ought to be clear in our thinking regarding our money and God.
Now you could divide chapter 16 under 3 headings:
• Giving, Greetings, and Goodbyes.
• Because of the restraints of time I am going to divide them into two.
(1). Money - How to take up an offering (vs 1-4).
• The instructions given here in verses 1-4:
• Deal primarily with a ‘missionary relief offering’.
• That the apostle Paul was organising on behalf of the Church at Jerusalem.
• Acts chapter 11 verses 27-30 tells us that a famine had hit Jerusalem.
• The Church (like all the other residents f the city);
• Was experiencing tough times and needed financial support.
• So long before ‘Comic Relief’ or ‘Children in Need’;
• The apostle Paul organised ‘Church Relief’,
• That is various Churches to send money and help relieve the hardships in Jerusalem.
• Elsewhere in the New Testament i.e. Romans chapter 15 verses 25-27;
• Paul said it was the Gentiles obligation to help the Jewish Christians;
• He used strong language by saying the Gentiles ‘owe’ it to them.
• He meant of course salvation came from the Jews;
• Therefore all Gentiles have shared in their spiritual blessings;
• And we can repay them by letting them share in our material blessings.
• This was a principle Paul shared earlier in this letter (1 Corinthians chapter 9 verse 9);
• With that great verse: ‘Don’t muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain’.
• Paul teaches the principle that if someone blesses you spiritually;
• You can return that blessing materially or financially!
• Although Paul is primarily instructing the Christians about a special missionary offering;
• He gives us some principles that relate to Christian giving in general:
• And in his next letter (2 Corinthian’s chapters 8-9);
• He would expand his thoughts and give even clear guidelines for giving.
Let’s look at the principles:
Principle # 1: Giving was Church centered (vs 1),
“Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income”
• There is a park in Warwick that my sisters and myself used to go with as kids;
• When we go back to the Midlands on a sunny day,
• We often jump in the car and head out to it.
• As you approach the park you have to go through a one way system;
• And you often get stuck at the lights facing a very old Church building.
• It has a big sign outside of it asking for money for the up keep of the building;
• The sign reads something like; “The future of this Church depends on you!”
• Now that might be true from an heritage point of view;
• But it is not a Biblical one!
• The up-keep of the Church and its activities do not depend on the general public;
• The up-keep of the Church & its activities depend upon the ‘Church body’!