Thinking with grace rather than justice, part 20; Giving; John 15:18.
length: 78:20 - taught on Sep, 30 2012
Title: Thinking with grace rather than justice, part 20; Giving; John 15:18.
Grace in giving:
The giving problem in Corinth:
2 Cor 9:1 For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints;
2 Cor 9:2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them.
2 Cor 9:3 But I have sent the brethren, that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, that, as I was saying, you may be prepared;
2 Cor 9:4 lest if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to speak of you) should be put to shame by this confidence.
2 Cor 9:5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, that the same might be ready as a bountiful gift, and not affected by covetousness.
2 Cor 9:6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.
2 Cor 9:7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.
God in His matchless grace provides the motivation as well as the capital for grace giving, 2Cor 9:8.
2 Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
2 Cor 9:9 as it is written,
"He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor,
His righteousness abides forever."
This is quoted from PSA 112:9
There is one who scatters, yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want.
The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.
2 Cor 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing [scattering] and increase the harvest of your righteousness [increases all the more];
The harvest analogy is used frequently to describe the investment of a believer into the plan of God.
2 Cor 9:11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.
Gracious giving is a part of Christian service, which produces thankfulness in the capacity of others, 2Cor 9:12.
Some people don’t have the capacity to be thankful. They just keep taking, expecting to receive, and get nasty when they don’t. A believer priest must make a decision in his own privacy, without judging from others, as to whether he should continue to give to such a person or persons or whether he should cut them off.
2 Cor 9:12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
2 Cor 9:13 Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,
2 Cor 9:14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.
2 Cor 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
This is a reference to Jesus Christ, already mentioned in this context:
2 Cor 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
Grace doesn’t only receive. After the believer receives the mental attitude of grace he himself becomes a gracious giver of his spiritual gift, his priesthood, his ambassadorship, as well as in divine establishment.
Some have taken these passages to justify the forceful redistribution of wealth by the government. What they miss in order to fulfill their own agenda, is that gracious giving is to never be under compulsion, but always from the self-determination and privacy of the believer priest.
We have four categories of Christian service.
1.Functioning in your spiritual gift under the FHS for divine good production for the common good of the body of Christ.
2. Royal Priesthood: privacy to pray, give, and execute the plan of God for your life.
3. Royal Ambassadorship: evangelism, personal witnessing, administration in the local church, function in the mission field, working with young people or functioning in the various legitimate Christian service organizations.
4. Divine establishment: military service, law enforcement, teacher, social services, government, etc. in which your spiritual growth becomes your full time pulpit, but never activism.
All of us are in full time Christian service and often our service involves us in divine establishment positions. This even includes the role of parents, stay at home moms, single parents, children under their parental authority, students, teachers, especially the military, and even legitimate counseling or social services. You take your own pulpit everywhere. However, this is not activism. You are not to use a position in a particular field or job to promote Christianity. This is simply the function of virtue that has accrued from spiritual growth in which you operate in love, humility, hard work as unto the Lord, truth, purity, gracious speech, royal family honor code, etc.
Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
You do this as a wife or husband that has a negative or unbelieving partner. You do this as a parent who has negative or unbelieving children. (when they are young get them in Bible class, but they reach an age where there is no forcing them to learn, therefore let them learn by your example of virtue. )
Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
There are too many children having children and leaving their training to the city or state institutions, even to the local church.
It is one heck of a responsibility to train a child. It takes sacrifice, self-discipline, virtue, humility, love, fairness, hard work, objectivity, especially in discipline [throat or stomach], and patience. Lots of virtues are there.
When discipline becomes impossible due to advanced age, then your own virtue must become the teacher.
1 Peter 3:1
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,
Definition of giving:
Giving is an expression of worship which commemorates the grace policy of God. Giving in the Church Age is the function of the believer’s royal priesthood, and since it is, giving must be accomplished in privacy without being pressured.
Gracious giving is a mental attitude that exists no matter what the circumstances of life are; rich, poor, adversity, or prosperity.
Phil 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.
Phil 4:11 Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
Phil 4:12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
how others had supported Paul, especially those in Macedonia, they
Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Phil 4:14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.
Phil 4:15 And you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter [in the accumulation of interest] of giving and receiving but you alone;
Phil 4:16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.
Phil 4:17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit [karpos - fruit] which increases to your account.
“Eis logon” is a technical business expression referring to the settlement of an account and the accumulation of interest from an investment.
Phil 4:18 But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.
Phil 4:19 And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
The pastor must never make an issue out of money. He makes needs known, but if they are unfulfilled he continues to give the gospel and teach the doctrine without charge, 2Cor 11:7-9.