BABES IN CHRIST

FOR NEW CONVERTS!

I Peter 2:2  "as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby"

Lessons designed to promote the first principles of the oracles of God!

"Written By: David Hicks                                   New King James Version

Lesson 5: "GIVING"

Introduction: Now that I am a Christian, I have another responsibility and wonderful privilege that of bearing my part in giving in support of the Lord's work. The Church of Christ does not solicit contributions from those who are not members of the body of Christ. Neither does the Lord's Church engage in any fund raising schemes such as pie suppers, raffles, bingo parties, etc… Hence, the only method used in supporting the Lord's work is the method prescribed in the New Testament, the voluntary contribution on the first day of every week by members of His church. The following outline will serve as a reference to the New Testament scriptures on this very important subject.

 

I.  THE FACTS ABOUT GIVING.
a.  Why Should We Give?

 i. God commanded it.

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

 ii. All things belong to God – from Him all Blessings come (James 1:17; John 3:27; 1 Timothy 6:17).

 iii. We are not our own. We are slaves of Christ (Romans 6:18; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

 iv. We are but stewards; what is a steward?

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”
A steward was one given a responsibility, assigned task, a special work in the house of another. Our stewardship is within the house of our Lord; His body, the church!

 v. Our stewardship demands a return to the lord.

2 Corinthians 8:5 “And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.”

 vi. To prove our love for the Lord. (2 Corinthians 8:8-15).

 vii. To be happy (Acts 20:35).

 viii. It's a means of laying up treasures in Heaven (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

 ix. It's a means of glorifying God (2 Corinthians 9:12 -15).

 x. It is the only way God has ordained by which the important mission of the church is to be carried on (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

b.  What Should We Give?

 i. Ourselves first (2 Corinthians 8:5). If we do that the rest is easy!

 ii. Our time (Ephesians 5:15-16).

Ephesians 4:16 “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

 iii. Our talent (Mathew 25:14-30).

 iv. Out labor (Titus 3:14).

 v. Our financial increase (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

 vi. Our lives if necessary (Act 20:22 -24; 21:13).

c.  How Should We Give?

 i. Regularly “Upon the first day of the week” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

 ii. Individually “Let each one of you” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

 iii. Systematically “Lay something aside” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

 iv. Proportionately “As god has prospered him” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

 v. Preventive “That there be no collections when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

 vi. Liberally. What is liberality?

2 Corinthians 9:6 “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
In essence, it is the opposite of miserly, stingy, and grudgingly!

 vii. Cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

 viii. Purposefully (2 Corinthians 9:7).

1.  What do we mean by purposing to give?
If God is truly the number one thing in our lives, where does He appear when we make our budgets ?

 ix. Sacrificially (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).

II.  HOW MUCH SHOULD A CHRISTIAN GIVE?
Since there is no predetermined percentage of our income required by the church or exacted in the New Testament scriptures, each one of us must reach our own decision upon the basis of what the bible teaches. Perhaps these thoughts and comparison will be of assistance to you in making your decision.
a.  While many passages in the New Testament give us valuable teaching on the subject, there is none that specify a certain amount.

 i. 1 Corinthians 16:2 tells us to give “as he may be prospered”, but gives no rule as to how much of that prosperity we should give. The inference is as to the proportion of our prosperity!

 ii. Romans 12:8 tells us to give “with liberality”, but does not lay down a standard by which we should give.

 iii. 2 Corinthians 9:6 tells us that we will reap in proportion to our sowing, but does not tell us how much would be considered bountiful.

 iv. 2 Corinthians 9:7 tells us to “purpose” or plan ahead what we will give, but does not tell us how much to purpose.

b. While the Old Testament is not binding upon Christians as law, It was written “for our learning” (Romans 15:4), and “by way of example”; and they were written “for our admonition” (2 Corinthians 10:11). By way of example;” By considering God's dealings with his people of old, we can gain some valuable lessons.

 i. Tithing was practiced and commanded by God before the law of Mosses.

1.  (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:21; Deuteronomy 12:6; 14:28; 26:12).
2.  Every Jew regardless of size of family, financial condition, or material condition, etc., gave one tenth and more to the Lord's work.
3.  When they did not give it, God accused them of robbing Him. (Malachi 3:8-10).

 ii. Tithing as such is not a part of the New Testament law, but the example of what God expected from the Jews can serve as a valuable index in determining how much God expects from us as Christians.

1.  One fundamental principle of the New Testament is that greater privileges bring greater responsibilities (Luke 12:48).
2.  As Christians, living in a period of grace and liberty, we have:
a. A better law (Hebrew 7:18).
b. Better promises (Hebrews 8:6).
c. A better blood sacrifice (Hebrews 9:13-14).
d. A better house (Hebrews 3:3-7; 8:2).
e. A highest standard of morality, service, and sacrifice.
f.  A greater commission (Matthew 28:18 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations”). Tithing was necessary to support a religion to only one nation.
3.  Now some pertinent questions are in order:
a.  Has God raised every other standard in the New Covenant and lowered the standard of giving?
b.  Of the Jews, God required at least a tenth, of us, he requires liberality. Which is more?
c.  The Jews gave because of a binding law. We give because we love the Lord. Which goes deeper, law or love?
d.  We are to give as we have been prospered (1 Corinthians 16:2) has God prospered us less than the Jews?
e.  When thousands of Jews who had been tithing all their lives became Christians, do you think they gave less than they had before?
Bear in mind that whatever decision you reach must be in harmony with the New Testament (the standard of authority by which we will be judged - II John 9) and must be voluntary and a willing gift on your part. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).