Biblical Principles of New Testament Giving

Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

To communicate — to take what is mine and share it with others. That is certainly one we forget isn't it? But it is a sacrifice that God is looking for and that pleases Him.

  1. Is Tithing for the New Testament (NT)?
    1. We are not under the Old Testament (OT) Law
      1. Jesus has delivered us from the Law. (Romans 7:1-4; Galatians 5:18; Colossians 2:20-22)
      2. So God no longer demands, 10% of my income.
      3. However, being out from under the law, is not an excuse to do what I want, but a call to higher service. (Romans 6:22; Romans 7:6; Galatians 2:19-20)
    2. The OT Principles of Giving remain unchanged.
      1. Giving is, in part, to support God's ministers. (Numbers 18:21-24; 2 Chronicles 31:4, 5; 2 Corinthians 9:13-14; Galatians 6:6)
      2. There are blessing associated with giving. (Deuteronomy 14:29; Deuteronomy 26:12-15; Proverbs 3:9, 10; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:7-10)
      3. All wealth that I have comes from God. Giving back to God is a way for me to acknowledge that. (Deuteronomy 26:1-11; 1 Chronicles 29:13-15; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)
    3. So how much should I give?
      1. Giving is to be proportional to income.
        1. In the OT the proportion was set to 10%. (Leviticus 27:30; Deuteronomy 14:22)
        2. In the NT there is no fixed ratio, but we are told that we are to give in proportion to how we have been blessed. ( 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:14)
      2. NT giving is to be sacrificial.
        1. Mark 12:41-44 — Remember the Widow's mite? Jesus was pleased because the widow gave sacrificially.
        2. 2 Corinthians 8:2, 3 — The Macedonians were honored, because in their poverty, they gave sacrificially.
        3. We will see later that giving only what I can spare (e.g., my pocket change) does not honor God.
      3. Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter.

        1. Look back at Romans 6:22 and Galatians 2:19-20 that we looked at earlier
        2. There is a very important principle here about living under grace that extends far beyond just giving. It is not a license to sin or do as I please, but rather freedom from bondage to sin and a call to service. (Romans 6:1-14)
        3. William Wilberforce said it much better than I can William Willberforce, A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians in the Higher and Middle Classes in this Country Contrasted with Real Christianity, pp. 348-349, Kessinger Publishing, Whitefish, MT.:
          Above all, measure your progress by your improvement in love to God man. ... It is the principle of love which disposes [the servants of God] to yield themselves up without reserve to the service of him, "who bought them with the price of his own blood."
          Servile, and base, and mercenary is the notion of Christian practice among the bulk of nominal Christians. They give no more than they dare not withhold; they abstain from nothing but what they must not practice. When you state to them the doubtful quality of any action, and the consequent obligation to desist from it, they reply to you in very spirit of Shylock, "they cannot find it in the bond." In short, they know Christianity only as a system of restraints. She is despoiled of every liberal and generous principle: she is rendered almost unfit for the social intercourses of life, and only suited to the gloomy walls of a cloister, in which they would confine her. But true Christians consider themselves not as satisfying some rigorous creditor, but as discharging a debt of gratitude. Their's accordingly is not the stinted return of a constrained obedience, but the large and liberal measure of voluntary service.
    4. Philippians 4:10-18 — Fruit and a sweet smell
      1. To reinforce that sacrificial giving is a NT principle, let's look at Philippians chapter 4.
      2. Philippians 4:10
        1. your care of me ... wherein ye were also careful — Giving starts with love and care.
        2. I rejoiced in the Lord greatly — Note also that this giving really thrilled Paul.
        3. We will see later that he rejoiced because it showed spiritual fruit in the lives of the Philippians.
      3. Philippians 4:14-16 — Note also Paul was not rejoicing in a onetime gift, but a continuation in a pattern of giving.
        1. The Philippians had already given more than the other churches, but now they give yet again.
        2. Keep in mind as we go through the rest of this chapter, that we are talking about a regular pattern of giving, not a one time gift.
      4. Philippians 4:17 — God can supply the needs of His servants, the question is what am I missing when I refuse to be part of God meeting the need?
        1. Philippians 4:11-13 — Paul made it clear that his focus was not that he wanted gifts.
        2. but I desire fruit — Paul's real concern was that the Philippians's faith would produce fruit.
        3. that may abound to your account — Fruit that would store up for the Philippians treasures in heaven.
        4. I want to have a fruitful life, how about you? If so, listen up, because one means of bearing fruit is plainly presented here.
      5. Philippians 4:18 the things [which were sent] from you
        1. an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable — This is language from the OT describing sacrifices to God.
          1. a sacrifice — Clearly the Philippians had not just given what was convenient, but had sacrificed to send Paul a gift.
          2. acceptable — In the Old Testament, the Israelites could not just offer anything, only certain things were acceptable. Here we are told that giving of our money to help God's ministers is a means of worship that is acceptable to God.
        2. wellpleasing to God — In fact, this is a means of worship that is very pleasing to God.
      6. Philippians 4:19 — We are reminded that when we give sacrificially, we do not need to worry about being in want. Our rich God will meet our needs.
      7. Philippians 4:20 — Most important of all is that God get the glory in everything. When I give it must be to God's gory, not my own.
      8. The principles we see here and will see again:
        1. NT giving starts with love.
        2. We are to develop a pattern of regular giving.
        3. Giving is one way in which we can produce fruit and please God.
        4. The giving should be a sacrifice.
        5. The giving must glorify God and not myself.
  2. The Role of Faith in Giving
    1. The importance of faith
      1. Faith is necessary to please God. (See notes on Hebrews 11:6.)
      2. Faith is necessary to proper obedience. (See notes on Hebrews 11:4)
      3. Faith is necessary to a good testimony. (See notes on Hebrews 11:5)
    2. What is faith?
      1. Faith is believing what God has said.
      2. God has promised to care for my needs. (Psalms 50:10-11, 15; Philippians 4:19)
      3. God has told me that all I have is from Him. (See: My Money is Not Mine below)
      4. God has promised to bless me when I give back to Him. (See: God Blessing My Giving below)
      5. Do I believe those promises?
    3. Faith produces action
      1. If I truly believe them, then I will act on them.
      2. True faith must produce action, because what God has said demands action.
      3. By the way, note that these are acts of the will, not the emotion.
        1. I see what God has said, I choose to believe that it is true.
        2. Then I choose to act on what He has said because I believe.
    4. Here is where the rubber meets the road: My giving is an area of my life that I can choose to live by faith, am I?
  3. Principles of Giving
    1. 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 — A NT commandment for giving
      1. as I have given order — Here are instructions for all the churches.
      2. concerning the collection for the saints — The saints means all Christians (See Giving to God's saints below), but from verse 3 we see this money was specifically for Christians living elsewhere.
        1. The Corinthians had started a project to raise money to send to the Churches in Jerusalem.
        2. Now, Paul is giving instructions for how to go about doing that.
      3. Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store ... that there be no gatherings when I come — Setting aside money to God is to be a regular habit. We should not just be waiting for some special event to give.
      4. as [God] hath prospered him — The amount I am to give every week is based on how God has blessed me.
      5. 1 Corinthians 16:3, 4 — And the money is to be handled carefully and openly.
      6. So we have 3 principles that we are instructed to keep.
        1. Give regularly
        2. Give in proportion to what you have, remembering that all I have is a blessing from God.
        3. The church must handle all money carefully.
    2. 2 Corinthians 8 — Our giving is to be out of love, not commandment. From my abundance, I am to help those who have little.
      1. 2 Corinthians 8:2 — Giving flowed out of joy, not duty.
        1. the abundance of their joy ... abounded unto the riches of their liberality — You get the idea of joy so full that it is bubbling over.
        2. Bubbling over and turning into sacrificial giving.
        3. This sections started by saying From my abundance, I am to help those who have little. That is much broader than it sounds. For instance, from this verse we can expands it to be, From my abundance of joy, I am to help those who have little money.
      2. 2 Corinthians 8:2, 3 — The Macedonians did not give some spare cash, they sacrificed to give.
        1. their deep poverty — They did not wait until they were able to afford to give. In fact, they gave when they very much could not afford to give.
          1. By the way, giving what you can afford to spare, or giving that doesn't hurt the wallet, is not much of a gift: Here God, you can have my spare change. Does not show love toward God.
          2. Luke 21:1-4Sacrificial giving, shows our love toward God. Here Lord, I want to give up what I could have so that I can give to you.
        2. the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto ... their liberality — Their joy worked together with their poverty to produce generosity. In other words, God was using this trial in their life to build generosity.
        3. Is God using some trial in my life to teach me sacrificial giving?
      3. 2 Corinthians 8:6, 7 — Generous giving, with the right attitude, is an area of the Christian life we need to work on.
        1. It is right up there with faith, knowledge, and love as one of the graces we need to foster in our life.
        2. Of course, all of these are inter-related. We have already seen that faith plays a role in giving, and that love is the core of having the right attitude for giving. But the reverse is true too, for instance giving will build faith.
      4. 2 Corinthians 8:8-9 — We are not commanded to give, but rather asked to model Christ's sacrificial giving.
        1. In other words, don't give because you have to. Give out of love, just as Christ gave so greatly out of love for you.
        2. This ties in with the sacrificial giving above. We know of God's love because He gave until it hurt supremely.
        3. God's example of abounding love is what causes us to sing.

          Were the whole realm of nature mine,
          That were a present far too small;
          Love so amazing, so divine,
          Demands my soul, my life, my all.

          When I survey the wondrous cross by Isaac Watts
      5. 2 Corinthians 8:10-11 — Have you ever gotten excited about doing something, but never carried it through and actually done it?
        1. Remember, we read from 1 Corinthians 16, that they had started a giving project? Apparently they had been planning this, but never carried through and did it.
        2. My girlfriend was organizing a group to spend a Saturday working on service projects in their neighborhood. The people in her Bible study had been talking very excitedly about living out their Christianity in service, and when she asked for volunteers many signed up to help. However, in the days leading up to that Saturday, many came up with excuses for why they couldn't go and dropped out. Anastasia wanted to tell them, Come on! You talked about serving, now show that meant it. (See Matthew 21:28-32)
        3. James 2:15-16 — Talk is cheap, actions show where your heart is.
        4. That was what had happened with the Corinthians, a year before they had been excited about giving and planned to give, but had never followed through and actually done it.
        5. If God challenges you as you look at these verses on giving, make sure you don't fail to carry through.
      6. 2 Corinthians 8:12-15 — We are to give as we are able.
        1. It is expected that the poor are able to give only a little, and the rich can give more.
        2. We are not blessed by the dollar amount we give, but by our attitude.
        3. The attitude, however, is a sacrificial one. Remember, that Paul praised the Macedonians who gave out of their poverty and Jesus praised the widow (Luke 21:1-4) who gave her two mites.
        4. It is very clear that the rich have a responsibility to help the poorer, but that doesn't let the poor off the hook.
      7. 2 Corinthians 8:20-22 — Those who handle the money given, should be known to be responsible and should go out of their way to be above board.
      8. We have seen two motivations for giving:
        1. I give because God has blessed me. The Macedonians gave out of joy.
        2. I give because of compassion for others. Jesus came and sacrificed all, so that I could be blessed.
    3. My money is not my own.
      1. All that I have came from God.
        1. 1 Chronicles 29:14 But who [am] I, and what [is] my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things [come] of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.

          1. This is part of King David's prayer after he and all of Israel set aside gifts for the building of the temple.
          2. I am nothing, and have nothing in and of myself. That means, I have nothing to bring to God in worship.
          3. I am privileged that God has blessed me, so that I have something to give back to Him.
          4. I think of two children:
            • A little girl loves her father and wants to get a specific birthday present for her father. She is very upset that she has no money to get that present for her father, so her mother gives her some money. You see that was her fathers money already, but it was given to her so she could express her love back to her father.
            • What about the teenager, who constantly grumbles that his father never gives him a big enough allowance? What he does get in allowance is quickly spent on music or games, but is not enough to get all the music and games that the teenager wants. Does the teenager have a right to any money? No. The allowance he does get is a generous gift from his father, but how does the teenager treat his father? With contempt instead of thankfulness.
          5. Which child am I?
      2. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 — Living Godly with wealth
        1. First of all, this applies to nearly all of us, and certainly everyone here in the USA. No matter how poor you think that you are, you can find someone poorer. Remember that out of the 6.6 billion people in the world, only one can be the poorest.
        2. 1 Timothy 6:17Charge them — There are three charges to us who are are rich in this world in this verse and there is one more in the next verse.
          1. be not highminded — We have no right to class privilege, to be proud of our wealth, or to in look down on others (James 2:1-13). In fact, it is a sin to do so (James 2:9). We are all equal before God.
          2. nor trust in uncertain riches — Putting my trust in riches is not only unwise but wrong, God requires my full reliance on Him (See: Samson's Self Reliance).
            1. What does it mean to trust in my riches?
            2. It means that my security is based on my money, e.g., do I feel safe when my bank balance is large and scared when it is small?
            3. It means that I look to my money to take care of me. (Now or when I am old.)
            4. It is important to be wise with your money, as a good steward, but it is bad to find security in it, that is making an idol.
          3. but [trust] in the living God
            1. The living and unchanging God who loves me and has all power and riches, is a much better place to put my trust (Psalms 118:8, 9).
            2. He also requires my trust (Jeremiah 17:5-8; Isaiah 30:1, 2; Isaiah 31:1-3).
            3. who giveth us richly all things to enjoy — There are two truths to learn here:
              • All riches that I have are a gift from God, they are not my own or of my own doing.
              • God is loving and gives us not only what we need, but also things to enjoy.
        3. 1 Timothy 6:18 — Life is not about money.
          1. Life is about living for God and He calls me to do good.
          2. Seeking to be rich with money is a wrong and dangerous goal (1 Timothy 6:5-10). The correct goal is to be rich in good works.
          3. ready to distribute, willing to communicate — The money that God does give us is a tool to be used in doing good. (Ephesians 4:28)
          4. 1 Corinthians 3:8-15 — Money is a tool, what am I producing with that tool gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble?
        4. 1 Timothy 6:19 — By using my money for God's glory, I am investing in eternal wealth. This is the most important place to invest and the only place where worthwhile riches are stored. (Matthew 6:19-21)
          1. lay hold on eternal life — This is not talking about earning our salvation.
          2. We can not earn salvation. (Galatians 2:16; Titus 3:5; See also the Gospel)
          3. We can however earn rewards in heaven. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; 1 Peter 5:1-4)
          4. 1 Peter 1:3-5 — As a side note, have a look at this passage. Not only are my treasures in heaven secure, but, more important, salvation itself is secured by God's power not mine (v. 5). Salvation is God's work (v. 3), not mine. So do not let this phrase in Timothy confuse you into thinking that we must somehow work for heaven or to keep heaven.
      3. Deuteronomy 26:1-11 — The offering of the first fruits was to remind Israel that all they had was from God.
        1. Galatians 2:20 — Not only is all I have from God, but my life now belongs to God. (Romans 6:8-14; Colossians 2:11-13)
        2. How much more then is all I am and have rightfully Gods? ( Romans 6:13; Colossians 3:1-3; 1 Peter 4:1-2)

        3. Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
          Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
          Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
          Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.

          Moment by moment by Daniel W. Whittle
    4. Give your best
      1. Malachi 1:6-8 — To give less than your best is to disrespect God.
        1. Our gifts to God are supposed to show our honor for God.
        2. Here in Malachi, the Israelites were offering to God the animals that were worthless to them. That only showed contempt for God.
        3. What respect would it show if your children dug through their trash to find a gift for you? God has a strong condemnation for those who give Him their scraps. (Malachi 1:14)
        4. If I am giving God my scraps, it is a mockery to God's honor.
      2. To give with an attitude of Oh, this is a tiresome chore is to besmirch God's name. (Malachi 1:12, 13)
        1. Take for instance, singing special music for church. If you do it half heatedly, it shows that you are not there to worship God and do not care to show God the honor He deserves.
        2. This is taking God's name in vain, to do some action in God's name, but do it sloppily or with disrespect to God. ( Proverbs 30:9)
      3. Give of your best to the Master;
        Naught else is worthy His love.
        He gave Himself for your ransom,
        Gave up His glory above.
        Laid down His life without murmur,
        You from sin’s ruin to save.
        Give Him your heart’s adoration;
        Give Him the best that you have.

        Give of your best to the Master by Howard B. Grose

    5. Give quietly
      1. Romans 12:8 he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity
        1. One pastor suggests that simplicity includes giving without any strings attached.
        2. The Bible clearly teaches elsewhere (see Matthew 6:1-4 below) that giving is supposed to be done secretly.
      2. Matthew 6:1-4
        1. Matthew 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

        2. Forfeiting my reward from God is very serious. Which would you rather have?
          1. A rewards from the men who will forget in 2 minutes or less what you did?
          2. Or a reward from our loving and almighty Father, who is all knowing?
        3. Matthew 6:3 — We are instructed instead to keep our giving top secret.
        4. Matthew 6:4 — Why the secrecy?
          1. Humility is one of God's big requirements for the believer. God hates pride (Proverbs 6:16-17; Proverbs 16:5, 18; Proverbs 21:4) and requires / blesses humility (Psalms 10:17; Proverbs 3:34; Proverbs 18:12; Proverbs 22:4; Matthew 18:4; Luke 14:11-14; 18:14).
          2. God must get the glory in all we do. A broad principle of the Christian life, is that I am not to promote myself. I am to promote God, then God will promote me, as He wills. (Proverbs 15:33; James 4:6-10; 1 Peter 5:5-6)
          3. This verse is applying that principle specifically to giving.
      3. Have you noticed many of the passages on giving conclude with God getting the glory?
        1. Psalms 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

        2. 2 Corinthians 8:19 which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord
        3. 2 Corinthians 9:13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for [your] liberal distribution unto them, and unto all [men];

        4. Philippians 4:20 Now unto God and our Father [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

        5. The goal of my life must be to glorify God (Galatians 6:14). So the final question must be, Is God getting all of the glory for this, or am I seeking my own glory in this? ( 1 Peter 4:11)
    6. Acts 20:35 It is more blessed to give than to receive.
      1. Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

        1. This is part of the list that started in v. 37 describing what my attitude is to be towards others.
        2. Based on this context the verse is not just talking about giving money, but my overall attitude toward others.
        3. Am I generous to others? With my money? With my time? With my home?
        4. This verse establishes a general principle that I will be treated the way I treat others.
      2. Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

        1. Don't expect anything in return from those you give to. ( Luke 6:34-36)
        2. But it seems, we can expect something in return from God. (Proverbs 22:9)
      3. Not all blessings are monetary
        1. Psalms 41:1, 2 — God promises protection to those who care for the poor.
        2. Psalms 112:5-9A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth ... He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor this is a partial description of the righteous man whom God will keep secure and safe. (Isaiah 32:8)
        3. Luke 14:12-14 — Some rewards do not come until the judgment day.
      4. Proverbs 3:9, 10 — However, financial blessing also come with giving.
        1. If you are trying to save up money, giving does not seem like the natural first step, but God says if you want to prosper, start with giving. (Deuteronomy 15:7, 10)
        2. If you want your business and undertakings to be blessed, start with giving to God.
        3. 2 Corinthians 9:6 — God promises blessings proportional to my giving.
        4. Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it].

          1. This is quite a remarkable promise.
          2. I don't know about you, but I want God's blessings poured out on me.
        5. Malachi 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

          1. Remember that protection from disaster is a blessing from God.
          2. I often get so thankless, that I forget to thank God for this blessing.
        6. Malachi 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

          1. The end of God's blessings is that others will see my blessing and glorify God.
      5. Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

    7. Give Cheerfully
      1. Deuteronomy 15:7, 10 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: ... Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.

        1. Deuteronomy 15:9 — Warns against the wickedness of only giving when you can get something back from the one given to.
        2. Then v. 10 continues that thought, telling us not to give grudgingly because we know that God will bless us for our giving. (Proverbs 21:27)
        3. We are warned repeatedly not to begrudge those in need: James 5:9; 1 Peter 4:9
        4. So, to not give because of selfishness is wrong.
      2. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

        1. To give without a cheerful attitude is also wrong.
        2. So the number of right choices has been narrowed down to one: Give cheerfully.
      3. 2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, [it is] accepted according to that a man hath, [and] not according to that he hath not.

        1. The Lord is less interested in how much I give, and more interested in the attitude with which I give.
        2. This is true for more than just giving. In general, God is most concerned with the motives of my heart. (1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 1 Peter 3:4; See Also: Follow Your Heart?)
    8. Give in Love
      1. Giving in love will ensure that I am giving cheerfully.
        1. Love wants the best for the one loved.
        2. If my focus is on the other person and their needs I will be glad to be able to help meet that need.
        3. As an example, when my girlfriend has a need (her computer is broken) or even a want (she likes chocolate) I jump to try and meet that, because I delight to be able to do things for her.
        4. Look at the Macedonians, they gave from a deep seated joy ( 2 Corinthians 8:2). In fact, Paul did not want to take the gift, because he didn't think they could afford it (2 Corinthians 8:3), but they begged him to take it (2 Corinthians 8:4). Paul said that such joyful giving was a proof of love (2 Corinthians 8:8, 24).
      2. 1 John 4:20-21 — I can not love God and not love men.
        1. 1 John 3:16-18 — Jesus' love was shown in His sacrifice towards others, our love is evidenced also by sacrifice, not by words.
        2. So if love is displayed as actions, what do these actions look like?
          1. 1 John 5:1-3 — First, love motivates us to keep God's law.
            1. Romans 13:8-10 — Loving people and keeping God's laws towards people is naturally interchangeable.
            2. John 14:15; John 15:9, 10 — Likewise we show our love toward God by keeping His law.
          2. 1 John 3:17 — Then love goes beyond just keeping the commandments towards others.
            1. I can not have love and refuse to be meeting the needs of others.
            2. To deny help to a brother in need, when I can help him, is a sign that God's love is not in me.
            3. God's love must motivate giving to those in need.
        3. Matthew 25:34-40 — Love for God and men is interlocked. We have seen that we can not love God without loving men, the reverse is also true, when I live out love for the needy around me, God takes it as me showing love towards Him. And this pleases God (Hebrews 13:16).
      3. 1 Corinthians 13:3 — The flip side is, I could be giving without love, but that would be worthless.
        1. The word translated as charity here is the same word translated as love in 1st John.
        2. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 — Look over the description of love here in terms of giving.
          1. Charity suffereth ... is kind
          2. charity envieth not — Am I concerned with what I don't have or with what others don't have?
          3. charity vaunteth not itself — We already talked about giving quietly so that we promote (vaunt) God and not ourselves.
          4. seeketh not her own — Am I seeking my good or the good of others?
          5. Beareth all things — Am I willing to suffer for the sake of others?
        3. All of this can be summed up with, What is my attitude in giving?
      4. Psalms 50:10, 11 For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field [are] mine.

        1. This is a familiar verse, we use it often to remind ourselves that God is able to meet our every need. That is true, and part of the meaning of this passage (Psalms 50:15), but there is another truth in the context of this passage.
        2. Psalms 50:12, 13 — God does not need my gifts. God is self-sufficient.
        3. Psalms 50:14 — God is interested in the heart attitude that motivates the gifts. Specifically in this verse He is looking for thankfulness and honesty, but from our preceding discussion we see He also wants to see love.
  4. Who to Give To
    1. Giving to your pastor
      1. 1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, [is it] a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

      2. God has established a consistent pattern in regard to this.
        1. Doesn't it make sense that people should be rewarded for their work and benefit from their labors? (1 Corinthians 9:7-8, 11)
        2. 1 Corinthians 9:8-10 — We see this pattern in the Old Testament law, that the laborer should have pay.
        3. 1 Corinthians 9:13 — The pattern held in the Old Testament temple.
        4. 1 Corinthians 9:14 — The application of this is, that a man serving God by ministering to others spiritual needs should be able to live and support a family off of that ministry.
          1. He should not have to work outside jobs (1 Corinthians 9:5, 6).
          2. Also, that living should come from those to whom he ministers.
        5. 1 Corinthians 9:12, 15-18 — Paul made somewhat of an exception to this in his missionary work.
          1. Paul had the right to demand support from those he preached to, but he waved that right.
          2. Instead, Paul worked to earn money, and other Christians sent support, so that he could go freely to those who couldn't/wouldn't yet support him. (Acts 20:34; Philippians 2:25; Philippians 4:16; 2 Timothy 1:18)
          3. Note that first, this was Paul's choice to wave the right, not the choice of those he ministered to.
          4. Note second, that this was for missionary work, not in an established church.
      3. Galatians 6:6-10
        1. Galatians 6:6 — I have a responsibility to care for the ones who instruct me in Biblical things.
          1. in all good things — This extends beyond just giving a little money once in a while, to meeting their physical needs.
          2. The sense seems to be that I am to share all my physical blessings with the ones who instruct me.
        2. Galatians 6:7 — God sees my actions and rewards me accordingly.
          1. Matthew Henry makes a good point in his commentary on this verse:
            • Here is a caution to take heed of mocking God, or of deceiving ourselves, by imagining that he can be imposed upon by mere pretensions or professions (v. 7).
            • In other words, excuses don't cut it. I can not shirk my duties before God and get away with it.
          2. We are now getting a very broad principle about how our life should be spent. However, do not loose sight of the context, sowing clearly includes how I handle my physical wealth.
          3. It is very easy to break v. 7-9 away from v. 6 and make them purely spiritual. There is certainly a spiritual application here, but there is also a physical, hit you in the wallet, application as well.
        3. Galatians 6:8 — If I invest in trying to satisfy myself, I will only get rottenness in return. However, if I invest in spiritual goals, I will get eternal benefits in return.
        4. Galatians 6:9 — The blessings may not be immediate, but if we are patient they will come.
          1. James 5:7-8 — Talks about the patience of the farmer, who after he has planted, must wait a long time for it to grow. We too need to be patient, and remember that some accounts will not be settled until Christ returns.
          2. By the way, note that the next verse, James 5:9, is also about our duty to meet the physical needs of our brethren.
        5. Galatians 6:10 — Finally we are exhorted to expand our giving beyond just our leader to all men, especially Christians. (James 5:9; 1 Peter 4:8, 9)
    2. Giving to God's saints
      1. Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

        1. We find this exhortation right in the middle of Rom 12, with all the others we are more used to hearing, such as showing brotherly love, rejoicing in hope, and bless them which persecute you.
        2. Meeting the physical need of the saints is just as much part of a correct Christian life as any of those.
        3. Acts 20:33-35 — Paul lived an example.
          1. He did not work so he could buy good things for himself.
          2. He worked so that he could support himself, and help others who needed support.
          3. And remember Paul did this on top of being a missionary, so it was a lot of labor to do this.
        4. Philemon 1:7 — Caring for the saints is to be an act of love. That love brings joy to many.
          1. Philemon 1:5 — The love starts towards God, but must extend from there to God's children.
          2. Philemon 1:8, 9, 14 — These verses are all about how it would have been right to demand things from Philemon, but that it is much better when they are given freely.
          3. Paul was looking for a willing gift given in love.
      2. So who exactly are these saints we are supposed to meeting the needs of?
        1. Just like the lawyer in Luke 10:25-29 (the story of the good Samaritan), we want to know how far this command extends.
        2. Romans 1:6, 7 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

          1. Romans 1:1-5 talks about the powerful gospel of Jesus Christ to which Paul and others were called.
          2. v. 6 says that the recipient of this letter were also called to that gospel.
          3. v. 7 says they are also called to be saints. Is this the same call as the call to the gospel? I think not but either way all who were saved by the gospel were also called to be saints.
        3. Romans 8:27 — The Holy Spirit maketh intercession for the saints. From verse 26, we see that the Holy Spirit is making intercession for all Christians. Thus we conclude that, Christians are saints.
        4. 1 Corinthians 1:2 — All who are sanctified in Christ Jesus are called [to be] saints. That is everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
        5. Ephesians 5:3 — Again we are all called to live as becometh saints. In other words, we are saints and should start living like it.
        6. 1 Corinthians 6:1-4 — The saints include all Christians, right down to those who are least esteemed in the church.
      3. Hospitality — Here is one specific form of ministering to the Saints that is specifically emphasized in the NT.
        1. Note that hospitality requires giving more than just your money.
          1. It also requires giving your time, which can be harder for us than giving our money.
          2. And it requires giving your personal space - letting strangers come into your home.
        2. 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8 — Hospitality should be a characteristic of a church leader.
        3. 1 Timothy 5:10 — A widow should have a history (and thus wives) of among other things Hospitality. Note here the hospitality is expanded.
          1. lodged strangers — This is pretty broad. It might be Christians that she had never met, or even non-Christian travelers. (Hebrews 13:2)
          2. have washed the saints' feet — And this broadens hospitality beyond just a room and breakfast to making them feel welcome and caring for them while they stay.
        4. 1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

          1. And in case you think you are exempt, here is a general exhortation to all Christians to be hospitable.
          2. 1 Peter 4:7, 8 introduces this verse by saying the end is at hand and we need to be focused. Most of all we need to work on fervent love for our brothers in Christ. Note that hospitality follows close on the heals of love for the brethren.
          3. 1 Peter 4:10, 11 follow to remind us that whatever we do it must be done in God's strength for His glory.
      4. Matthew 10:40-42 — God will reward me for how I treat His servants.
        1. Note v. 42 talks about losing rewards, not salvation.
        2. Note that there are four classes of people to receive: Missionary, prophet, righteous man, children.
          1. The first three classes are necessarily Christians.
          2. The fourth class though broadens it to all who can not help themselves.
          3. Luke 6:35, 36 — Expands the command and blessing to how I treat my enemies.
          4. This connects us to the next category of people to give to: Everybody else.
        3. Here we see a call to love all those that God loves, and show mercy as God shows mercy.
        4. Hebrews 6:10 — God will not forget ministry that is done as a labor of love. This specifically includes ministering to the saints.
    3. Giving to the poor
      1. The sermon on the mount (Matthew 5 & Luke 6), is one of our Lord's most famous sermons. In it He calls us to higher standards than the Old Testament law. He goes farther and deeper than the Law had. Not surprisingly this extends to our money.
        1. Luke 6:30 — In the context of loving your enemies and turning the other cheek, we find, Give to every man that asketh of thee.
          1. This clearly goes beyond giving to your pastor and fellow Christians.
          2. This extends the list to the unsaved, even the ones we really don't like.
        2. Luke 6:34-35 — Give where there is no chance of reward.
          1. And if ye lend [to them] of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? — Even the world does this. We are to go beyond how the world lives.
          2. But love ye your enemies .. and lend, hoping for nothing again — We are to go so far as to help the ones we really really dislike.
          3. your reward shall be great — God will take care of my reward!
          4. for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil — Remember God is kind to me even when I am ungrateful and do evil things. I was His enemy when Christ died for me! (Romans 5:10)
        3. Luke 6:38 — We are also told that our measure of giving will be used to scale how much is given to us.
      2. Isaiah 58:1-12
        1. v. 1,2 — The people looked really good on the outside, but it was clearly not what God wanted. Because God calls Isaiah to rail against their sin.
        2. v. 3,4 — The people have elaborate fasts, but this is not the kind of worship God is looking for.
          1. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness — Wickedness continued or grew throughout the fast.
          2. ye shall not fast as [ye do this] day, to make your voice to be heard on high — In fact, God says, that this kind of fast will not get your prayers answered.
        3. v. 5 — God does not want us to afflict out selves.
        4. v. 6,7 — God is looking for a change of heart that makes a difference in your life.
          1. loose the bands of wickedness — First deal with the wickedness in you own heart.
          2. undo the heavy burdens — Then look to help others.
          3. bring the poor that are cast out to thy house — Specifically, take in and care for the poor.
          4. hide not thyself from thine own flesh — And don't forget to care for your own family (including your extended family). (1 Timothy 5:8)
        5. v. 8-12 — That kind of worship God will honor. God will honor it greatly according to this passage, read through the blessings listed here.
        6. I think God is looking for the same kind of worship today. I must deal with the sin in my own heart and then allow God to work through me to actively and compassionately make a difference in others lives.
  5. Conclusion
    1. 2 Corinthians 9 — Let's use Paul's final exhortation to the Corinthians on giving to review and conclude.
      1. 2 Corinthians 9:1-5 — The Corinthians had gotten excited about giving, now they are called to follow through and make it actually happen. What about you, will you follow through and do it?
      2. 2 Corinthians 9:6, 7 — Each man is to give as he decides on his own.
        1. Each man is encouraged with the promise from v. 6 that his decision be liberal. (See 2Corinthians 8 above)
        2. However, he is also warned that his giving must be willing and cheerful. (See Is Tithing for the New Testament above)
      3. 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 — God promises spiritual blessings and growth from giving.
        1. 2 Corinthians 9:8 — God provides the grace needed for us to abound to every good work.
          1. This is not just do some good works, but do them well.
          2. In this context, these good works include giving.
          3. So after I have purposed, God will give me the grace to do it.
          4. Note God is giving grace, not money here. So He may provide the money (minister bread for [your] food), or He simply may provide the grace for me to do without the money I am giving.
        2. 2 Corinthians 9:10 — God provides for every aspect of ministry. Ministry is all about God, it must be done in God's strength and He must get the glory. ( 1 Peter 4:10-11)
        3. 2 Corinthians 9:11 — It must always come back to God. The end of His blessings, is that thanks be returned to Him. (See Give Quietly above)
      4. 2 Corinthians 9:12-15 — God uses my gift, to do more than just meet the needs of His saints.
        1. 2 Corinthians 9:12 — It also produces thankfulness toward God. (Note there is no mention of thankfulness toward me. I shouldn't expect to get thanks.)
        2. 2 Corinthians 9:13 — It also to brings glory to God, for how He is working in my life.
        3. 2 Corinthians 9:14 — In return I get prayers for God's continued grace in me (which would include further giving, by the way).
      5. 2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks [be] unto God for his unspeakable gift.

        1. If we are talking about my giving, why end with talking about God's gift?
        2. Because it is all God's many gracious gifts that motivate us to give in the first place.
        3. Because it is only from God's gifts that I am able to give.
        4. Because God gives blessings in return for me giving Him what He already deserves. (That is very generous of God, don't you think?)

Philippians 4:20 Now unto God and our Father [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.