Systematic Theology 2: The Grace of Giving (Part 1 of 5)

Today, we begin our study on Systematic Theology Two, with lesson twenty-seven. We will be looking at what the Word of God calls, The Grace of Giving. This we find in Second Corinthians chapter eight, where Paul, the Apostle, writes the letter to the Corinthian believers wanting them to “… abound in this grace also.”

Turn to Second Corinthians chapter 8 and verse 7, now listen to what God says, through Paul, to the Corinthians: 2 Corinthians 8:7 “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.” Notice that they were an abounding church, abounding in “everything.” They abounded “…in faith!” Oh, how we need in our lives to abound in trusting God for our every need; yet how little of faith do we find in our lives. The closer we get to the Lord’s coming it seems the less faith God’s children have, what a shame!

We see also that they abounded “…in utterance!” Their mouths were not, as many Christians’ today are, sealed and speechless when it comes to speaking out for the Savior. Witnessing and telling this lost world that there is a Savior from sin, heel and the grave.

They also abounded “…in knowledge!” They knew the Word of God; knew the presence of God in their lives. Yes, they had knowledge, a knowledge that we can only have by studying the Word of God. A knowledge that only comes by getting into the word of God, and letting the Word of God get into us.

They abounded “in all diligence….” They were steady in the work of God, doing what was necessary to accomplish their given mission in this world. They did so without sloth or carelessness. No, this was not a careless people, but a diligent people.

They abounded in their “…love…” for God’s preachers. Yes, they loved the preachers and demonstrated that love by their care of them.

What they needed was to abound the grace of giving. This is a grace that comes from God and from God alone; as all grace comes from God the source of grace. God demonstrated the grace of giving in: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Certainly, there is no greater demonstration of his grace than the gift of God’s “…only begotten Son….” Think of it, God the Father gave “his only begotten Son” that we might be saved. “Such love! Such wondrous love!” That God would give for a sinner such as I his holy and righteous Son!

Abounding in the grace of giving was also demonstrated to us by the Fact that the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, willingly came into this world, went to the cross, suffered, bled, and died, that I might be saved. “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2). Salvation is available for all that will come to Jesus in faith believing; “The Lord is … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). This is our Savior’s abounding grace: the grace that is declare for us, as the reason for our need of “abounding in this grace also” in 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” Because of my Savior’s abounding in the grace of giving I can now have, as you can, as all that come unto him in faith believing, can “the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus: listen to 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he {God the Father} hath made him {God the Son} to be sin for us {me a wicked and lost sinner, bound for hell}, who knew no sin; that we {sinners} might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Notice that word “might” there is the opportunity, but we must “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31) to receive God’s righteousness in Him. What will you do with the Savior?

Considering then the demonstration of the abounding grace of giving by God; can we do less than to abound in this grace also? There is nothing stingy, or covetous about the grace of giving. Freely we have received, freely we should give: even as Jesus declares in Matthew 10:8, listen to what he says, “…freely ye have received, freely give.” Jesus says in Acts 20:35, “…It is more blessed to give than to receive.” So, if you want real blessings then abound in the grace of giving.

We see the natural path to giving in the wise men that came to Jesus in Matthew chapter two. Let’s take just a brief view of the path. Look at Matthew 2:2 “Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” The first thing that we see is they came seeking Jesus! Matthew 2:9, tells us that they followed the star, “…till it came and stood over where the young child was.” Then in Matthew 2:11, we are told that “…when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” They found the Savior, they worshipped the Savior and they then gave to the Savior of their treasure. This is the natural path to giving and going on to “abound in this grace also.” Coming into the Savior’s presence and learning of the Savior’s grace that abounded towards us naturally leads to our opening our treasures and giving of them to the Savior’s service.

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