2 Cor 8:1-5
INTRO: We have just sung a great hymn which has a very pointed lesson. From all of self, and none of Thee the song progresses to none of self, and all of Thee. There is also that phrase which says, And my wistful heart said faintly, Some of self, and some of Thee I wonder if many of our hearts may be just there...saying wistfully that we are giving something, but not as we really should. Well, the Macedonian Christians had given themselves to the Lord, and it was demonstrated in the abundance of their giving. Lets continue to think of some basics of giving this morning.
I. TO REVIEW, WE HAVE CONSIDRED:
A. The key to great, liberal giving (2 Cor. 8:5)
B. The disposition of our giving (2 Cor 8:12 & 9:7)
C. The motivation of our giving (2 Cor 8:8)
D. The challenge of giving (Acts 11:27-30 & Phil 4:5)
E. The measure of our giving (1 Cor 16:2 & 2 Cor 9:6)
F. The necessity of giving (1 Cor 16:1)
G. The spiritual dimension of our giving (2 Cor 9:12 & Phil 4:18)
H. To continue, then...
II. THE PRINCIPLE AT WORK IN GIVING
A. 2 Cor 9:8-11 ...having all sufficiency ... abound ...
B. Giving does not stop giving ... but increases in its fruit
C. God has supplied us bountifully ... so that we can abound to every good work
D. Look carefully at v.8 - God is able ...
E. Our giving cheerfully, willingly has an incredible promise attached!
III. THE REWARD OF GIVING
A. 2 Cor 9:6 ... he which soweth bountifully ...
B. This verse is a statement of fact!
C. It comes from an agricultural fact about planting seed ... bountiful harvests do not come from planting few seeds
D. When we think how much to give, this very plain verse should be on our minds
E. Note: promise is not necessarily of reaping more money ... but certainly of abundant blessings (and I have always believed that spiritual giving will bring to me the ability to give more) - Mal 3:10
IV. THE JOY OF GIVING
A. Acts 20:35 ...remember the words of the Lord ...
B. Note, too, 1 Jno 3:17,18 or Mt 6:1-4
C. The joy of giving comes only when self is not seeking some reward, some meriting, some favor
D. Lk 6:33-35 here is the point!
E. The joy of giving to the Lord (or others) comes from love for Him ... and the serendipity comes in the benefit to others
IV. THE PERMANENCE OF GIVING
A. 2 cor 9:9 ... his righteous remaineth ...
B. Our giving is permanent through its benefits toward others
1. think of how many people obeyed the gospel because of the support given to the apostle Paul (contemporary application?)
2. think of how many people hear of the Lords church through the caring benevolence show to others
C. Our giving is permanent in its becoming a heavenly investment - Mt 6:20,21 - 1 Tim 6:18,19
CLOSE: Do I believe our collective giving could be greater than it is? (And I certainly believe there is a great spirit of generosity here.) But, yes, I believe it can be greater! So, I sincerely ask each of you, of us, to reflect on this very personal act of our worship to the Lord.
Cecil A. Hutson
13 May 2001
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)