Thinking with grace rather than justice, part 21; Giving; John 15:18.
length: 61:51 - taught on Oct, 2 2012
Title: Thinking with grace rather than justice, part 21; Giving; John 15:18.
Grace in giving:
The giving problem in Corinth:
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.
2 Cor 8:1 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia,
2 Cor 8:2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.
Gracious giving is self-motivated and therefore an expression of free-will, 2CO 8:3.
2 Cor 8:3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord,
A gracious giver must first give himself to the Lord and then he can give to others, 2Cor 8:5.
2 Cor 8:4 begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints,
2 Cor 8:5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
Therefore, to fake graciousness for the sake of approbation is only hurtful to you. A gracious mental attitude cannot be faked before an omniscient God.
Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,
Acts 5:2 and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet.
There was nothing wrong with keeping back a portion of the profit, but they had proclaimed that they gave the entire price to the church, so they lied about the price and they lied about giving it all. Why do this? They were jealous of Barnabas and lusted for the approbation that he received.
Acts 4:32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own; but all things were common property to them.
Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.
Acts 4:34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales,
Acts 4:35 and lay them at the apostles' feet; and they would be distributed to each, as any had need.
Acts 4:36 And Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means, Son of Encouragement),
Acts 4:37 and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.
Acts 5:3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land?
Acts 5:4 "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God."
Acts 5:5 And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came upon all who heard of it.
Acts 5:6 And the young men arose and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.
Acts 5:7 Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
Acts 5:8 And Peter responded to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?" And she said, "Yes, that was the price."
Acts 5:9 Then Peter said to her, "Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out as well."
Acts 5:10 And she fell immediately at his feet, and breathed her last; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
Acts 5:11 And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.
Grace giving depends on the rehabilitation of your soul from ignorance of doctrine to cognizance along with execution of the PPOG for your life, 2 Cor 8:7.
2 Cor 8:6 Consequently we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.
2 Cor 8:7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also.
The precedent example of gracious giving is Jesus Christ, 2 Cor 8:9.
2 Cor 8:8 I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.
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.
The Corinthians boasted in a promise to give a sizeable gift to Paul’s ministry and didn’t follow through.
2 Cor 8:10 And I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it.
2 Cor 8:11 But now finish doing it also; that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.
The Corinthians were on their way to pulling an Ananias and Sapphira, knowing how others had supported Paul, especially those in Macedonia, they verbalized their desire to give a year ago and Paul had yet to receive anything. They can’t all drop dead like A and S, and Paul has a greater purpose than that in mind.
Giving is a mental attitude followed by an overt act, 2Cor 8:12.
2 Cor 8:12 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he does not have [empty, undeliverable promises].
For the Corinthians, Paul knows that it is better for them to give what was promised than to welch and not see the power of gracious giving as well as to become known as a church that makes empty promises.
Paul is unconcerned about the money. He is very concerned about their mental attitude of graciousness, which he describes as a bank account that needs to be filled, Phil 4:17.
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.
Continued spiritual growth removes the fear associated by the sin nature with graceful giving as the agricultural analogy shows.