Systematic Theology 2: Lesson 27 The Grace of Giving (Part 2 of 5)

 

Before we even get to the subject, that most of us cringe to hear of, the giving of our money. Let’s consider what God wants most from us, our bodies: Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” You know if Jesus has our bodies then he has all that is attached to our bodies.; he has our treasure, our lives, our all. This was the key to the giving of the churches of Macedonia, because they first gave themselves to the Lord: 2 Corinthians 8:1-6, listen to what the word of God says, “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.” Paul says look at God’s grace abounding in these churches and notice that it is based on their giving themselves to the Lord, then to us. Yes, Christian, if we are to abound in this grace also, we must first give ourselves to the Lord.

Giving ourselves to the Lord, as we have already read, is our “reasonable service.” For our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Ghost: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” We are the Savior’s purchased and sealed possession, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30”. This shows that our giving ourselves to the Savior is just a natural response to his grace that has abounded towards us “…saving us, keeping us, from all sin and shame! Wonderful is my Redeemer! Praise his Name!” Since we are his purchased possession we are then to give ourselves wholly unto the Lord and to his Word: 1 Timothy 4:15, “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” What he is to give himself to is found in 1 Timothy 4:12-14, where this young preacher is told, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”

We are also commanded in Scripture to give ourselves to prayer, in Acts 6:4. In our prayers we are to give thanks for everything: listen to what 1 Thessalonians 5:17-19 says, “Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.” Notice that we are to be thankful for everything that God allows to come our way. Now I have to confess, that I find this hard to do. But hard or not, it is what God wants me to give.

Now let’s come to the business of giving our money, “abounding in this grace, also.” Such giving is an act of fellowship and communication: 2 Corinthians 8:4, “Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.” Then look at 1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;” and Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” This is a communication of our material goods, seeing we are indebted to God for all that we have, spiritual and material. Where do you think your health comes from, your job, your talents, etc.? All that we have comes from God and all by his amazing and abounding grace: Acts 17:28 “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” Matthew 5:45, “… for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” All is by his abounding grace. Recognizing God’s abounding grace let us “abound in this grace also.”

Our giving should be systematic giving: 1 Corinthians 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” The giving is not limited to just one person in the house but to all believers. We are all to be involved in abounding in this grace also. The husband, the wife, and the children. Yes, even our children should learn to give to the Lord, while they are young; where else will they learn it?

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