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Foundation Principles for Giving

2 Corinthians 8:1-12

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can also download our service at Baptist-Christian at iTunes. Several Biblical theologians believe 2 Cor. 8, 9 are key chapters for learning fundamental principles of NT giving from a salvation perspective. People often ask, “Are Christians required to tithe?” What do you think? Can you follow the doctrine of tithing through the NT? Paul gives us several principles for NT giving here in these two chapters. I want to share just two of them with you now. In 8:5 notice the Macedonian Christians  

  1. GAVE THEMSELVES TO THE LORD! This is vital because all NT giving starts here. Paul teaches us that in view of God’s great mercy and His amazing salvation grace we are to present ourselves to Him, holy, or set apart from all evil. That separation from all evil makes us pleasing to God. “But wait, there’s more…” We are to see that separation and presentation as reasonable service to God. Read that in Rom. 12:1. Until you give God all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, you can’t give as God intends for Christians to give. Someone will say, “but God told us to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, not give that way. Do a study of agape love and you will find it is totally others centered, beginning with God. Agape love gives, because it has no reason to receive. Why? Because agape love recognizes God supplies all! Because God supplies all and has already given all, He can ask of us to give all to Him. Take a close look at your heart and see of you are withholding something that should be given to God. Notice also the Macedonian Christians
  2. GAVE LIBERALLY. See 8:3. I believe these Macedonian Christians are immortalized in Scripture because they gave liberally. The concept of the word liberally is best described by “the widow’s mite.” Paul is the only NT writer that uses this term meaning “glad, gracious giving to the limit.” They gladly, graciously gave all they had to give! Their liberal giving is their legacy, but it is not the focal point. Notice verse 2 that describes their living conditions. These people were slaves to the Roman Empire and were extremely poor slaves. These Macedonians had literally nothing extra; they had only what the Romans gave them to live each day. Keep that in mind as you read John 16:33; Acts 14:22; and 1 Thess. 3:2. Did you catch the truth of Christian living? Jesus, Luke and Paul are all teaching that suffering, trials, persecution and tribulation are all necessary in the life of the Christian. Those spiritual forces of evil don’t care if a Christian lives in America, or Iran; Beverly Hills or the projects, on the French Riviera or in the Sahara Desert; their only concern is to destroy any testimony or love for Christ. These Macedonians gave all they had to live in an already deplorable situation. In fact, they begged Paul to let them give. That is how much they wanted to see the lost come to Christ. Is that how it is with you? We in America have no idea what hardship or poverty is, yet! We are so blessed with everything we have no idea what severe trials and persecution is. It is high time we stopped basking in our ease and face the truth that people here and around the world are daily dying and going to a Christless hell for eternity! We must give ourselves totally to the Lord, and understand true Christians living is not easy here.

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