INTRO: As we begin our thoughts this morning, please remember the Lord once said, Before all the people I will be glorified (Lev 10:3). Moses reminded Israel that the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God ... (Deut 10:17). It is in the spirit and knowledge of these notations that I want us to study this morning. The lesson text has suggested the direction of our thoughts: glorify God in your giving.
I. BY RECOGNIZING HIM AS THE TRUE GIVER
A. All that I have is Thine alone ...
1. what a wonderful realization!
2. Ps 50:10-12 ... the world is mine..
3. it is vain and proud to claim it as mine - yet we do think of it so!
B. Jas 1:17 What good have you? It is Gods!
1. think of Mt 5:45 He maketh ... He sendeth
2. Jno 3:16 the greatest of all gifts
3. without Him I would be nothing - here is truly the beginning place
II. BY DELIGHTING IN ABILITIES TO WORK, EARN
A. God made us with intelligence and tools
1. with our minds and our body parts we can do incredible things
2. note Isa 65:22 the work of their hands
3. or Eph 4:28
B. Mt 25:15 Ability!
1. what talents, abilities do you have?
2. are you envious of the abilities of others?
3. I like the idea developed from Ex 4:2 - so, what is in your hand? delight in the ability - praise and glorify God for it
III. BY BELIEVING IN HIS PROMISES
A. For this I refer to Mal 3:10
1. our thinking may be, give what I can afford
2. and in most charitable realms that may be a legitimate calculation
3. but God challenges us to rely on His promises
B. How better to glorify Him than to trust here?
1. not what I can afford, but as I have been prospered!
2. fearful giving gives Him no joy or glory
3. I believe with all my heart that the giving taught in 2 Cor 8 & 9 will bring the blessings of God on the giver ... so, 2 Cor 9:6
IV. BY REJOICING IN THE GOOD ACCOMPLISHED FOR HIM
A. First, realize that He really needs no material thing
1. but His plan is for His people to give material things to accomplish good things
2. so, it was in the giving of the first covenant
3. and so it is now - so, 2 Cor 8:8 with 9:8,12 ... prove our love for Him - but the bounty helps others
B. Do we rejoice in the good accomplished?
1. I want my money spent in such and such a way - do we still tend to think of it as our money?
2. if the word is preached, if a back is clothed, if a child is secure, if the church grows, I rejoice
3. 1 Cor 29:9 this glorifies God!
V. BY GIVING HIM OUR BEST
A. Mal 1:8 This verse is so instructive
1. perhaps it does have to do with the Old Covenant
2. but do you think the spirit of what is happening there could be a spirit possessed by any of us?
B. Are you giving Him your best?
1. therein, sweet friend, is He glorified
2. 1 Cor 16:2 as God hath prospered him - are you giving Him your best?
CLOSE: Prov 3:9,10 - Honor the Lord in your giving ... and know you will be blessed in doing so!
Cecil A. Hutson
25 April 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)