Summary: God uses generous giving to make sure the church is a community where no one stands alone.

Biblical Giving: For Mature Audiences Only – Part 4

May 26, 2002


(Acts 4:32-5:11, p. 1081-1082)


(Show video of Katherine and Linda Brooker testimony)

The message this morning is about the results of giving.

When Robert and I went over to the Brooker’s this past week, we learned a lot about our roots here at the Christian Church of Clarendon Hills. Katherine and Linda gave us a tour of their home, and they told us a lot of things I never knew about the early years. They led us down to their basement – which, I learned, is the very place where this church was birthed – through a weekly small group Bible study. Fifteen people or so would sit down there on folding chairs. The old pump organ that was to accompany the worship songs they sang still sits along the wall. The counter where refreshments were served is still in its place. The checkered tile floor is the same today as it was back then. I could almost hear the singing and the laughter from one of those meetings as I stood in that place.

What is so significant to me is how people like the Brookers and many others gave in those early years. That original small group Bible study of 15 gave of themselves physically and financially for the church to be formed.

Other Christians in the area also gave so that they could purchase their first building in Brookfield. These people made sacrifices so others could have a place to hear about Jesus – so others could have a “church family” – so that wonderful thing called biblical community could be realized - a place where no one had to stand alone.

They gave and we still receive from them today.

For the past few weeks we’ve been talking about a heavy subject – biblical giving. Due to its challenging nature, it is a subject intended for mature audiences.

Week 1 – We learned that to stand together in community we need to adhere to God’s standard of giving – which begins at 10% of our income.

Week 2 - We examined the proper motivations for giving.

Last Week – We saw how God ensures that generous giving will be a mark of biblical community by rewarding those who give.

And today we come to the pinnacle. What this has been building up to all along. This one truth…

God uses generous giving to make sure the church is a community where no one stands alone.

You see, money and wealth have two key competitors.

We could call these rivals Community and Consumption.

Consumption is about me. Community is about we.

Consumption is about individualism.

Community is about reflecting the Oneness of God.

Consumption is one of the biggest threats to a church that desires to be a place where no one stands alone.

In a book called The Connecting Church, Randy Frazee says:

“While in its basic form consumption is both necessary and permissible, when it is practiced in an environment where the individual is sovereign, it can easily become an imbalanced obsession that kills community.” (Randy Frazee, The Connecting Church, p. 177)

How could that be true? How can consumption become an imbalanced obsession that kills community?

Consumption kills community because it makes us…

 Think we need things to be happy – not each other

Consumption kills community because it makes us…

 View people with suspicion (They might be trying to take these things I’ve purchased to make me happy).

Consumption kills community because it leads us to potentially…

 Use lawsuits to protect what we have

 All the while those with the greatest needs are neglected

When the original church began in A.D. 30, these kinds of elements were not common in their community.

The very first church countered selfish consumption by just saying, “NO!”

TRANSITION: Let’s look at the positive ways in which that first church said no. First, they said…

1. No longer I, but we.

Acts 4:32 says…

All the believers were one in heart and mind.

Look how they said, “No!”…

No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. (4:32, TNIV)

This is similar to Acts 2:44, which says…

All the believers were together and had everything in common.

They made the ultimate leap from “I-centered living” to “we-centered community.”

Is the Bible advocating communism? No.

The notes (on v. 32-35) in the Life Application Bible point out three ways this type of living in the early church was different from communism:

1) The sharing was voluntary (They weren’t forced to give).

2) It didn’t involve all private property, but only as much as was needed (Clearly among church members there was still such a thing as private ownership of property)

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Giving Hands
PowerPoint Template
Guide To Giving
PowerPoint Template
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion