The Privilege of Giving
The biblical principle of giving to God is one of the most misunderstood and misused topics within the church. In order to help us here at Grace Bible Church to be informed about this biblical issues, so that we are giving from an informed mind and heart I would like to hit several high points about giving. Obviously, we can’t discuss all the Bible teaches about giving here in this format, but I am sure we can cover some good ground.
First, the Bible encourages us to give to God. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 6:19, states, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy,” here Jesus is calling us to invest our gifts and possessions for eternal purposes. In comparison, Jesus is calling us not to hoard our wealth and possession on this earth, but rather, use those blessings for eternal purposes. The church at Philippi was praised, by Paul, for their investment into eternal matters just listen, “Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.” Paul here is referring to their giving to him, so that he might carry on in the ministry of the gospel, which for the church at Philippi was adding to their treasures in heaven. This encouragement, to give back to God all He has given to us is so that we can store up eternal blessings.
Secondly, the Bible never places a price tag on the gospel. All of the New Testament teaches that the gospel is free to all whom will believer on the Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t give to God to gain favor or to purchase for ourselves eternal life. The rich young ruler, in Matt 19:16, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” This misunderstand is always in every generation. Sinners have a built in desire to earn God’s favor. We cannot earn God’s favor through giving money to the church. God cannot be bribed. God is too holy and we are too sinful to purchase our way into heaven. Acceptance by God is only obtained through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Thirdly, when we give to the church we are giving to God’s means of building His kingdom. The Bible is not talking about brick and mortar kingdoms, but His rule in the heart of the saint. The Church is not a building, it is people who have been saved by grace and brought into the kingdom of God (Col 1:13). When we give to the local church to support the ministries of the local church: preaching, discipleship, missions, equipping, outreach, counseling and much more. It is to support the means God has established to build His kingdom.
God desires His people to see their giving as an act of worship and a privilege. When we see that giving builds an eternal reward, and when we understand that we cannot place a price tag on the gospel, that has saved us, and when we see the church as the means to reach the world it helps us give from a heart to see God gloried and sinners saved.