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This morning I want to preach a timely and I think providential message on the subject of giving.
I don’t go out of my way to preach about giving.
In fact I normally only talk about it as I am naturally preaching expository through a book.
This year God worked so that we could address this subject right as I am also encouraging everyone to give to our grace giving fund for 2022.
So I pray that God would use this text to stir each one of us up to love and good works in the area of giving.
Followers of Christ ought to love to give towards gospel ministry.
What are the Biblical reasons for giving towards missions?
I. Giving for gospel ministry produces a loving concern for others.
10Ἐχάρην δὲ ἐν κυρίῳ μεγάλως
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly
ὅτι ἤδη ποτὲ ἀνεθάλετε τὸ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ φρονεῖν[1],
because now at last you have revived your concern for me,
ἐφʼ ᾧ καὶ ἐφρονεῖτε, ἠκαιρεῖσθε δέ.
(Now I know you were concerned about me before but had no opportunity to do anything).
Concern- to have an opinion with regard to someth., think, form/hold an opinion, judge.
To think of someone in the sense be concerned about him.
Read missionary prayer letter.
What are the Biblical reasons for giving towards missions?
Giving for gospel ministry creates a spiritual partnership with others.
In. vv 11-13 Paul takes a brief aside to qualify his rejoicing over the Philippians.
In v. 10 he exclaims “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly.”
The reason for Paul’s rejoicing was the revival of the Philippians’ concern for his ministry.
Their concern took the form of a large gift of money.
Paul does not want them to get the wrong idea.
He wants them to know that he is not rejoicing because of the cash.
So he explains that God has taught him how to be content in any and ever circumstance.
He was content before their generous gift, and he remains content now that he has an abundance.
After this clarification he returns to expressing his joy and thankfulness for their generous gift to his ministry.
Paul rejoices over the kindness of the Philippians.
14Πλὴν καλῶς ἐποιήσατε
Nevertheless, you did well (good, kind)
In what way were the Philippians kind to Paul in their giving?
συγκοινωνήσαντές μου τῇ θλίψει.
Sharing with me my hardship/trouble
συγκοινωνέω- to participate together, to be connected/share, to be in partnership with or to associate with someone.
Paul is pointing out the biblical truth that when we participate in giving towards gospel ministry we actually form a spiritual fellowship or partnership with that individual.
We share something with them, we have something in common.
In some way there is a spiritual connection or association with them.
In Paul’s case the Philippians were partnering together with Paul’s troubles or hardships.
Paul is in Roman prison- he did not get three hot meals a day and cable TV.
He was dependent upon the generosity of others for his well-being.
The Philippians not only gave Paul a gift of money, but they also sent Epaproditus to minister to Paul’s needs for a time.
In this way the Philippians were sharing Paul’s troubles.
15οἴδατε δὲ καὶ ὑμεῖς, Φιλιππήσιοι,
You yourselves also know, Philippians,
ὅτι ἐν ἀρχῇ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου,
that in the beginning of (my) gospel ministry
ὅτε ἐξῆλθον ἀπὸ Μακεδονίας,
when I departed from Macedonia
οὐδεμία μοι ἐκκλησία ἐκοινώνησεν
no church fellowshipped/shared/partnered with me
εἰς λόγον δόσεως καὶ λήμψεως
in the matter of giving and receiving
εἰ μὴ ὑμεῖς μόνοι,
except you alone,
16ὅτι καὶ ἐν Θεσσαλονίκῃ
For even in Thessalonica
καὶ ἅπαξ καὶ δὶς
even once and again
εἰς τὴν χρείαν μοι
unto my needs
You sent something.
The theological truth in relation to your giving that you need to understand is that giving is a form of fellowship or partnership that causes you to take part in some aspect of that ministry.
This can be negative!
Or it can be positive!
So you need to be careful who you fellowship with in terms of giving for gospel ministry.
But, you should be giving for gospel ministry.
You should be entering into partnerships with people who love Christ like you do, who have a passion to see souls come to faith in Christ like you do.
When you give for gospel ministry you enter into a spiritual partnership with those people!
I am thankful to be able to partner with our missionaries!
Tim Smith, Moore Family, the Kim family!
And all of our other missionary families.
And I would encourage you to give generously to our grace giving fund in 2022 so that we can enter into more spiritual partnerships for the sake of gospel ministry.
That should be something followers of Christ love to do!
What are the Biblical reasons for giving towards missions?
It produces a loving concern for others
It creates a spiritual partnership with others
Giving for gospel ministry increases eternal reward.
This is Paul’s second clarification in regards to the Philippians gift of money.
First, his clarification in vv.
11-13 was that he did not need an excess of money to be content.
Christ was all Paul needed for contentment.
Now Paul adds a second clarification that his rejoicing over the Philippians’ gift of money was not due to money itself.
He was not primarily interested in the gift of money itself, but in the spiritual fruit that would be added to the Philippians’ account.
17οὐχ ὅτι ἐπιζητῶ τὸ δόμα,
Not that I am seeking the gift,
ἀλλʼ ἐπιζητῶ τὸν καρπὸν
BUT, I am seeking the fruit
τὸν πλεονάζοντα εἰς λόγον ὑμῶν.
that which is increasing into your account
This follows from Paul’s teaching that giving for gospel ministry enters one into fellowship or spiritual partnership with another person.
So not only did the Philippians share in Paul’s troubles, but here Paul tells them that they in some way also share in the spiritual fruit of Paul’s ministry as well.
This verse is in the context of giving!
When you give for gospel ministry, when you sow bountifully, when you sow willingly- even joyfully or cheerfully, that kind of giving results in eternal fruit that increases to your credit.
What are the Biblical reasons for giving towards missions?
It produces a loving concern for others
It creates a spiritual partnership with others
It increases eternal reward.
Giving for gospel ministry accomplishes spiritual worship.
Philippians 4:18 (ESV)
18 I have received full payment, and more.
I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
I have received full payment and more.
I am well supplied,
18ἀπέχω δὲ πάντα καὶ περισσεύω·
But I have received all and I am oversupplied;
having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent,
Notice the descriptive words Paul uses to describe the gifts from Epaphroditus!
A Fragrant Offering
The quality of something that affects the mind with an odor.
Negative Example: i.e leaves a bad taste in the mouth
Positive Example: there are some odors that are so strong and significant that they have become etched in your mind.
In fact, all I need to do is mention some of them and it will be as if in your mind you can smell them right now.
Example: freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (can you smell them?), opening a bag a gourmet coffee grounds, freshly mown grass, the smell right after a spring rain, warm sheets right after them come out of the dryer…
These are pleasant things that affect the mind with a sweet fragrant odor.
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