Giving to God (Part 1)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Saturday, April 12, 2014.
I. The commandments to give to God 1. God commands us to give a portion of our increase (income) to Him (Pro 3:9). 2. This is a sacrifice which is well pleasing to God (Heb 13:16). 3. Communicate v. - 1. trans. To give to another as a partaker; to give a share of 4. Since we can't give anything tangible to God because He is a spirit in heaven, we give to him by giving to others. A. When we do something for others such as providing them with food, clothing, shelter, or comfort and support, we are doing it for Jesus Christ (Mat 25:35-40). B. When we give to the poor, we are lending to God and He will repay it (Pro 19:17). C. On the other hand, God will judge us for not giving to the poor (Pro 28:27). 5. Giving to your minister A. Christians are required to support their pastor financially. B. God has ordained that they that preach the gospel should live of the gospel (1Co 9:14). i. The general rule is that a pastor should not have to work an additional job because he should live of the gospel. ii. The workman is worthy of his meat (Mat 10:10). iii. This fact should be self-evident based on observation and reasoning from other areas of life. a. It would be unheard of for a soldier to go to war for his country and be expected to pay his own way (1Co 9:7). b. It would be unreasonable to expect a man to plant a vineyard and not eat of the fruit of it (1Co 9:7). c. It would be abnormal to expect a man to feed a flock and not eat of the milk of the flock (1Co 9:7). iv. Human reasoning would lead one to this conclusion, but so does the law of God (1Co 9:8-10). v. If I have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if I reap your carnal things? (1Co 9:11) vi. The priests and Levites lived of the things of the temple and the altar (1Co 9:13). a. The pastor of a New Testament church should do precisely likewise (1Co 9:14). b. Even adv. - Exactly, precisely, ‘just’. Now chiefly arch. after Bible use, and suggesting some notion of 9. a. of manner; often followed by as, thus, so. vii. Sometimes a minister must work outside the ministry like Paul did on occasion (Act 18:3; Act 20:34; 1Co 4:12; 1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8). a. This should be the exception, not the rule. b. Paul didn't take any money from the Corinthian church (1Co 9:12,15; 2Co 11:7-9). c. He later regretted it (2Co 12:13). C. Elders that rule well should be counted worthy of double honour, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine (1Ti 5:17). i. Paul backs up this fact by the law of Moses (1Ti 5:18 c/w Deu 25:4). ii. He also proves it with a quote from Jesus Christ in the NT (1Ti 5:18 c/w Luk 10:7). iii. I labor in the word and doctrine. I will let you determine if I rule well. D. Those who are taught in the word (church members) are to give a share of their income to him that teaches them (the pastor) (Gal 6:6). E. Communicate v. - 1. trans. To give to another as a partaker; to give a share of F. Paul praised the church at Philippi because they were the only church that gave in support of his ministry (Phi 4:14-15). i. They did it multiple times (Phi 4:16). ii. Paul's real desire was not to get money from them, but to see fruit abound to their account (Phi 4:17). iii. In other words he wanted to see them maintaining good works which proved their faith (Jam 2:17). iv. I desire the same thing for you all. II. The benefits of giving 1. It is a blessing to give (Act 20:35; Pro 13:7). 2. Human reasoning would conclude that giving to the poor or to the ministry would be a net drain on one's finances. 3. The opposite is true - it is a net gain to give to the Lord. A. When we give to the Lord of our substance and the firstfruits of all our increase, God will fill us with plenty to the point of overflowing (Pro 3:9-10). i. We are to give of our FIRSTfruits, not leftovers after we have covered the rest of our expenses and desires. ii. Firstfruit - 1. The fruits first gathered in a season; the earliest products of the soil; esp. with reference to the custom of making offerings of these to God iii. In the law, the firstfruits were a tithe (2Ch 31:5). iv. Israel was to give the firstfruits of all they sacrificed to God to the priest (Deu 18:3-4). v. The priest was not to get whatever was left over that the people didn't want or need (Mal 1:8; 2Sa 24:24). vi. The widow woman was told to give the prophet Elijah first even though she had next to nothing, and she was promised that she would not lack (1Ki 17:13-14). vii. We are to give the firstfruits of ALL our increase, not only the increase that is left after the government and our creditors get their share. viii. How much faith does it take to give to God what you have left over at the end of the month? NONE! ix. Don't simply give the pastor your spare change if you happen to have any that day. B. When we do this, God promises that our barns will be filled with plenty (Pro 3:10). i. I have personally witnessed this in my own life over and over again. ii. I have seen this happen in the lives of other Christians too. iii. When we give of our firstfruits, God will bless us with plenty (2Ch 31:10). iv. When we give to the poor, God repays us (Pro 19:17). v. When we give, men will give to us good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over (Luk 6:38). vi. You reap what you sow (Gal 6:6-7). vii. If we sow bountifully we will reap bountifully (2Co 9:6). viii. When we scatter, we increase (Pro 11:24). ix. Those who give liberally shall be blessed (Pro 11:25). x. If we seek God first, all of our material needs will be met (Mat 6:33). xi. The problem most people have when it comes to giving to the Lord is that they simply don't believe that God will honor His word and bless them with plenty when they do so. It's simply a lack of faith on their part. C. We shouldn't be giving because we expect to be blessed and repaid by God though. D. We should be giving because it's what God commands and it's the right thing to do; and if we are blessed for it, then that's just an added benefit.