In our series living together we have seen the importance of fellowship together as shown in the early church. We have also look at the intimacy together we should have and our being one body and living and acting as one body being comprised of many parts. Now as a body we come together to worship and we will look some at the elements of worship as the body.
Tonight giving together.
Whereas some may consider this item as noted in the scripture as the least of the spiritual acts of worship it should not be negated or discounted. Some feel it is totally personal and not an act of fellowship or living together, but it is.
In our life together we give together, but why, is it about money? Let’s look at some scriptures tonight.
Is our giving an act of worship?
Is my giving an act of my devotion to God?
Before moving on some view bible study, singing, praying, Lord’s supper and the preaching acts of worship and when it comes to the plate they think of it as 2ndary form of worship if they consider it a form of worship at all.
Others may view it is private that is personal as purposed in heart, to give back a portion of what was given to person, and yes we hear that said often and it is scriptural even. This act of worship has nothing to do with fellowship at all.
So what is right? How about we turn to the Word? (2Cor9:6-15)
6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 9 as it is written, “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.
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. 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,
14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
I.New Testament giving (church)
I.New Testament giving (church)
Direct giving to the church for the church (Act2:44-45; 4:32-35, 5:1-4)
In when we see the Spirit of giving because what was given
44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
From the giver to the one who was in need, so no one was in need
Other proofs were the giving, offering, collection, was given to the Apostles for distribution
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. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.
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 35 and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.
the collection distributed again to the the needed so no one had need.
It was a freewill gift, no under obligation as noted in (Act5:1-4)
Individual Christians giving freely to the need of others.
How about for relief? (Act11:27-30)
The prophesy of Agabus which spoke of the famine that was coming that lead to a relief effort for the church at Jerusalem from the church at Antioch.
27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.
29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. 30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Notice that they gave
According to ability (v.29)
Why they gave - for relief (v.29)
Sent the relief (v.30)
Here is the example of churches helping other churches. Makes you think of Churches of Christ Disaster Relief, or direct giving to help meet a need (i.e. CoC- West, etc.)
In Paul’s work and ministry
Remember the poor (Gal2:9-10)
9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.
Helping the poor was proven in his ministry work (1Cor16:1-4)
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.
3 When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem; 4 and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me.
I will just cover a couple of those verses now.
He also encouraged them to give, and to give liberally and to imitate others who did (2Cor9:1-2)
1 For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints; 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.
Word spread and the motivation was used in Achaia too at the liberality of the Macadonians (2Cor8:1-7)
It was said must be given willingly (2Cor8:12) and according what to what you has been prospered (1Cor8:13-14)
12 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.
13 For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality— 14 at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality;
Giving must be purposed, and cheerfully not grudgingly (2Cor9:7)
7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Paul was a conduit to help carry the message and the gift, He was going to carry the contribution back to the church in Jerusalem (ROm15:25-26) and did (Act21:17), we too can be a conduit to help carry the message, right here in Vernon and surrounding areas like we do with the children’s homes we help too.
Now, we are only 1/2 through here there is more to look at the Biblical view of the collection.A
II. Living Together, Giving together, Biblically
II. Living Together, Giving together, Biblically
Yes, a way and mean to meet needs (2Cor9:12)
And yes, to supply for the needs of the preachers (Php1:5, 4:15-16; 2Cor11:8-9)
5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.
15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.
so you may still wonder how does giving together have anything to do with fellowship, or our living together as one body, intimately in fellowship with one another.?
(below not on a slide, keep it that way)
In passages just read Paul considered it
participation in the gospel (v.5)
sharing the responsibility for the preaching of gospel (vv.15-16)
These are ways of strengthening the fellowship, our living together, a longing to help one another, we already looked at the passage of (2Cor9:12-15) and the intent and heart there.
Our giving is proof of our being of one heart and soul (Act4:32)
Our giving is proof of our love for one another (1Jn3:16-18)
16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
giving is one of the ways/means of promoting fellowship with the body, the family of God.
Giving helps to meet the needs of the body here and afar when possible
Giving helps promote the fellowship of the preaching the gospel
It is a spiritual act of worship
May we be a giving fellowship!
(lead to invitation)
Next week will continue in fellowship acts of worship with Lords Supper