INTRO: Paul is still writing of the generosity of the church in Philippi ... still thanking the people there for their continuing to be interested in and concerned about him and his needs. In this particular verse - which we will only consider briefly - there are two things about the gift on which Id like to concentrate for a little while. Well call our lesson tonight Giving ... A Good Investment.
I. THE FRUIT OF GIVING
A. On what is Paul most emphatic?
1. not on the gift ... nor any future gift
2. the real importance he attaches to the gift is on the benefit to the givers ... Acts 20:35 so, what fruit?
B. The fruit of a tender heart, spirit
1. experience of giving to another tends to joy, delight
2. effect of gift upon receiver will affect the giver with feelings, too ... he will be ever more sensitive as he continues his giving (Prov 11:24a)
C. The fruit of a healthy mind
1. each has his sorrows, dilemmas, problems - we can drown in these
2. giving to others has a tendency to move our thinking away from our troubles to an appreciation of blessings as we serve, minister to others ... as we see their needs
D. The fruit of true fellowship
1. an actual sharing - personally -in anothers difficulty
2. Acts 2:45,46 the giving here was very personal, very pointed and constituted real fellowship (Acts 2:42)
E. The fruit of likeness to God
1. I cannot picture God other than as a giving God
2. Mal 3:10 does not God daily pour out those blessings?
3. and as we learn to give openly, generously, not hoping for any special gain, we must become more like God (Lk 6:35a)
F. The fruit of an enlarged life, view, purpose
1. the world is essentially a very selfish place at special seasons, times a sentimentality may prevail
2. giving people - rare as they may be - are the truly worthwhile people ... people whose look is outward, otherward
II. GIVING AS AN INVESTMENT
A. Abound to your account
1. we must reckon with Mt 6:19-21
2. principle is that of investing ... investing in durable, lasting, safe securities
B. We do that wen we are giving to needs of others
1. the return comes in our spiritual growth, our development as people of true character
2. the return comes in blessings from others (Lk 6:38)
3. but we must not overlook the idea that what we give now follows us into eternity! or, precedes us
4. what we do for others is credited by God to our account! it is recognized by God as th offering of a cheerful, loving heart
CLOSE: The happiest people on earth are giving, sharing people. Their net worth for a financial statement may be little ... but their net worth to humanity and in Gods view is great.
Cecil A. Hutson
10 December 2000
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)