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Summary: Principles on giving and examples to follow. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Outline:

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)

Sermon Text:

• 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;

ill:

• Speaker you find treasurer putting things in your pocket.

• Ill: Bob Telford. (bill for hymn books instead of his expenses!)

ill:

• 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.

Ill:

• 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!

Note:

• 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”

Ill:

• 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’!

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