The Biblical Principles of Giving

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Generous biblical giving gives the believer a rewarding future.

Paul captures this idea as he writes his first letter to Timothy.

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

 

Hindrances To Biblical Giving

These are some of the very dominant hindrances to generous biblical giving.

First a vague understanding of what is meant by “grace giving”.

Second, the lifestyle in which we live, or by living like or keeping up with the Joneses.

Yielding to these pressures often leads to a life of serving self instead of serving God and others.

A careful study of the New Testament reveals a large amount of Scripture on the subject of giving.

I would like to leave with you today the principles which support the truth that biblical giving is generous giving.

 

i. Generous Biblical Giving Indicates the Interest of One’s Heart

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy, and where thieves do not break in or steal; FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO. (Matthew 6:19-21)

Instruct those who are rich in this present world NOT TO BE CONCEITED OR TO FIX THEIR HOPE ON THE UNCERTAINTY OF RICHES, BUT ON GOD, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17)

 

ii. Generous Biblical Giving Guarantees God’s Supply for Our Needs

Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. And you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; FOR EVEN IN THESSALONICA YOU SENT A GIFT MORE THAN ONCE FOR MY NEEDS. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. AND MY GOD SHALL SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEEDS according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

But seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

 

iii. Generous Biblical Giving Insures Generous Return on Earth

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For whatever measure you deal out to others, it will be dealt to you in return. (Luke 6:38)

 

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6)

 

iv. Generous Biblical Giving Reaps Eternal Benefits

Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. (1 Timothy 6:18, 19)

 

v. Generous Biblical Giving Will Ensure Greater Spiritual Usefulness

If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous Mammon, who will trust the true riches to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? (Luke 16:11, 12)

 

vi. Generous Biblical Giving Is the Direct Result of Being Spirit-Filled

And when they had prayed, the place where they had fathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness. And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own; but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of lands or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales, and lay them at the apostles’ feet; and they would be distributed as any had need. (Acts 4:31-35)

 

vii. Generous Biblical Giving Is for All Believers

On the first day of every week let EACH ONE OF YOU put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:2)

This principle is true even if one’s financial situation is severe, as may be seen in the following:

 … that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord…. For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he does not have. (2 Corinthians 8:2, 3, 12)

As Dr Han of Korea points out, Jesus spoke 5 times as much about material things as He did about any other subject.

He mentioned the subject 91 times in Matthew, 57 times in Mark, 94 times in Luke, and 88 times in John.

In fact one out of every six verses in the Gospel refers to the right and wrong use of material possessions.

viii. Generous Biblical Giving Is a Privilege

… begging us with much entreaty for the favour of participation in the support of the saints… (2 Corinthians 8:4)

In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35)

 

ix. Generous Biblical Giving Is a Gouge of Our Love for God and Others

I am not speaking this as a command, BUT AS PROVING THROUGH THE EARNESTNESS OF OTHERS THE SINCERITY OF YOUR LOVE ALSO. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:8, 9)

Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.(2 Corinthians 9:7)

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Every one who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in Him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. (1 John 3: 11-18)

 

 x. Generous Biblical Giving Allows God’s Great Ability to Be Released

Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. AND GOD IS ABLE TO MAKE ALL GRACE ABOUND TO YOU, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. (2 Corinthians 9:7, 8)

 

xi. Generous Biblical Giving Is God’s Way of Meeting Needs

Generally for everyone:

Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. (1 Timothy 6:18)

For spiritual leaders, as paid staff:

And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches.

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, ‘You shall note muzzle the ox while he is threshing,’ and ‘The labourer is worthy of his wages’. (1 Timothy 5:17, 18)

… for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. (Philippians 4:16)

 

Specifically in the Church:

For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. (2 Corinthians 9:12)

And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16)

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deed were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. (1 John 3:11-18)

Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labour, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need. (Ephesians 4:28)

 

xii. Generous Biblical Giving Glorifies and Pleases God

Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all. (2 Corinthians 9:13)

And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16)

But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, WELL PLEASING TO GOD. (Philippians 4:18)

 

xiii. Generous Biblical Giving Establishes Right Priorities

And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. (1 Timothy 6:8)

… treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. (2 Timothy 3:4)

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the Last Days that you have stored up your treasure! Behold, the pay of the labourers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you. (James 5:1-6)

… not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle uncontentious, free from the love of money. (1 Timothy 3:3)

For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain… (Titus 1:7)

The late E. Stanley Jones said, “It’s true you can’t serve God and mammon [money], but you can serve God with mammon.”

xiv. Generous Biblical Giving Is Sacrificial Giving

… that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability and BEYOND THEIR ABILITY they gave of their own accord. (2 Corinthians 8:2, 3)

But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance, I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, AN ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE, well pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:18)

And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for WITH SUCH SACRIFICES GOD IS PLEASED. (Hebrews 13:16)

 

What To Do?

Several observations seem in order in light of the principles we have seen:

 

1. Faith Is Essential 

To enter into the experience of generous giving, it is imperative that faith be exercised.

This means that one not only understands what God has taught about giving, but there must be an affirmative response, “I will do it.”

For many, this may well be the longest step in the whole walk of faith, and also the most revealing.

In some ways it proves our love more than anything else we would ever do in the Kingdom.

 

Because it is very difficult to depart from our money!

The use of our possessions shows us up for what we really are.

 

2. Sacrifice Is Important

Seldom does anyone think of doing what the widow with the mite did, “… cast in her whole living.”

Yet, in several places this concept of sacrifice has been clearly pointed out.

When one considers the sacrifice that Christ made for man, how else can man think if his mind is on Jesus Christ?

Generous biblical giving will mean giving up something that we cannot keep anyway to gain that which cannot be lost.

 

3. Needs Are Increasing

The Church is forever filled with needs. More space, more paid staff, more missionary endeavors…

If all believers would practice generous biblical giving, these need would be met.

 

4. A Decision Is Imperative/

A decision to begin generous giving must be made.

Begin with ten percent if a percentage is more helpful, but begin.

Put the truth of Jesus Christ to the test.

Give and it shall be given you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For whatever measure you deal out to others it will be dealt to you in return (Luke 6:38)

 

NOTE: All Scripture quotations in this sermon are from the New American Standard Bible.