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April 29, 2001 AM

2 Cor 8:12-15

INTRO: Over the years of my preaching experience, it has been my joy to teach and encourage on the subject of giving ... giving our money to the Lord. It has also been so rewarding to see individual response in the growth of giving. I believe of all people on earth we have been blessed beyond most peoples wildest imaginations. That blessing has become our opportunity! I want to refresh our memories this morning ... review with me some basics of giving.


A. 2 Cor 8:5 first gave ... selves to the Lord

B. Everything else about giving depends on this

C. A reminder: Col 3:4 - is He your life

D. If the Lord is not the totality of your life, your giving will be onerous, sparing, formal

E. Is your giving consistent with your blessings


A. 2 Cor 8:12 and 9:7 willing mind - cheerful

B. Great giving does not grow out of grudgingly ...

C. 2 Chron 24:8-11 the disposition was right - the giving was great!

D. A disposition depends on the value, importance we attach to something

E. How do we value, then, our blessings in Christ?


A. 2 Cor 8:8 the sincerity of your love

B. Note, too, 1 Cor 13:3

C. People can give without loving - but can we love without giving?

D. And if we love greatly, will we not give greatly?

E. Would not a husbands love for his wife motivate his giving beautifully, liberally to her?


A. Acts 11:27-30 determined to send relief

B. Phil 4:15 in the beginning fo the gospel

C. There is great work to be accomplished in the kingdom of the Lord

D. The lost, the hurting, the needy ... opportunities

E. Seeing the look of gratitude in those who receive because we give only makes us more desirous of meeting the challenge of a needing world!


A. 1 Cor 15:2 and 2 Cor 8:12 and 2 Cor 9:6

B. This may be the place where many of us have the most questions - how much should I give?

C. Some thought provoking questions

1. am I giving as much as Id like to give?

2. am I giving as much as the Jews? 10%

3. can I give more than I do?

4. why do I not give more?

5. do I increase my giving as my salary, income increases?

D. The principle at 2 Cor 9:6 should be one which guides our decisions ... you cannot out-give God

E. Choosing to give more is usually a matter of desire, will, good management ... truth is that not many of us could not give more

CLOSE: What is my hope? Because of the great needs for evangelism and benevolence, my hope is that each of us will consider this little review and be certain that our giving to the Lord is as it could and should be.

(More basics next week)

Cecil A. Hutson

29 April 2001

God's Plan of Salvation

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 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 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 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)

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!

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)