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Doctrine of Giving

February 16, 2014

Doctrine of Giving

A.  Definition.
1.  Giving is an expression of worship to commemorate the grace policy of God.
2.  Giving in the Church Age is the legitimate function of the believer’s royal priesthood in worship, both inside and outside the local church, e.g., in hospitality.  Giving is one of the four categories of Christian service.
a.  Christian service related to your spiritual gift.
b.  Christian service related to your royal priesthood, which includes prayer, giving, and the execution of the protocol plan of God through learning, thinking, and solving.
c.  Christian service related to your royal ambassadorship, which includes evangelism, witnessing, administration in the local church, function on the mission field, and function in a Christian service organization.
d.  Christian service related to the laws of divine establishment, which includes military service, law enforcement, and government, but never activism.
3.  Giving is the presentation of money or other valuable commodities which may be used in sustaining the ministry of doctrinal communication.  These gifts do not pertain to things like building funds.
4.  Christian giving may be extended to organizations other than the local church, e.g., missionary organizations, Bible schools, radio, or tape ministries.  Giving is designed to support communication gifts.
5.  Giving is the means of inculcating teamwork and coordination into the body of Christ.

B.  The Motivation in Giving.
1.  Motivation is the major issue in giving, not the amount given.
2.  2 Cor 9:7, “Each person, to the degree he has determined by means of his right lobe, so give.  Not from distress of mind or compulsion of emotions; for God loves a grace-oriented giver.”
a.  You give based on the metabolized doctrine in your soul, not on the basis of your emotions.
b.  God provides and enjoys the mental attitude which accompanies giving.  God loves grace-oriented giving.  Don’t give emotionally or impulsively.  Determine for yourself what to give.
3.  2 Cor 9:8, “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.”
a.  God graciously provides extra finances for grace givers to give.
b.  The only legitimate system of giving is a grace giver giving to a grace cause.
4.  2 Cor 9:9 [Ps 112:9], “Just as it stands written, ‘He scatters abroad, He gave it to the poor, His righteousness abides forever.’”
a.  “He scatters abroad” means that God gives money to certain people both rich and poor.
b.  God’s grace righteousness meets at the point of grace giving.    5.  2 Cor 9:10, “Now He who supplies seed to the sower [capital] and bread for food, He will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”  God supplies and gives extra money to grace givers.  As a result, there is an increase in the harvest of your Christian service.
6.  2 Cor 9:11-12, “you will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanksgiving to God.”
7.   Giving is a mental attitude based upon the problem solving device called grace-orientation.  Grace-orientation is the basis for grace giving.

C.  The Doctrinal Principles of Giving.
1.  Giving is an expression of the royal family honor code.
a.  Rom 15:26, “For Macedonia and Achaia have decided with pleasure to make a special offering to the poor believers who are in Jerusalem.”
b.  Gal 2:10, “They only asked us to remember the poor; the very thing I was also eager to do.”
c.  Charity is from God; socialism and welfare are from man.
2.  Giving is an expression of free will, without gimmicks and without coercion.  2 Cor 8:3, “I testify on the basis of their ability and beyond their ability they gave willingly.”  Their giving was a sign of their spiritual growth.
3.  Giving is an expression of mental attitude in every circumstance of life.  2 Cor 8:2, “That in the midst of severe testing and great pressure, the superabundance of their happiness and their deep poverty overflowed in rich generosity.”  Even though under adversity, they shared the happiness of God.  And having that mental attitude, they gave even while in deep poverty.
4.  Giving must express an attitude toward the Lord before it can express an attitude toward others.  2 Cor 8:5, “And not even as we anticipated, but they gave first of themselves to the Lord, then they gave to us by the will of God.”  They were occupied with Christ and had personal love for God the Father which motivated their giving.
5.  Giving depends on the consistent post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation.  2 Cor 8:7, “But just as you excel in everything in faith-rest and in doctrine and in knowledge and in all diligence and in love from you to us, you also excel in this grace giving.”  Giving is associated with impersonal love, not with personal love!  That is grace giving.
6.  Precedence for giving is derived from the dispensation of the hypostatic union and is predicated on grace.  2 Cor 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich [eternal God], yet for your sake He became poor [true humanity], so that you through His poverty [being judged for our sins] might become rich.”
7.  Giving is a mental attitude related to an overt act.  2 Cor 8:12, “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable on the basis of what one has, not on the basis of what one does not have.”  Willingness counts for giving if you have nothing to give.
8.  Giving is related to motivation from metabolized doctrine in the right lobe of the soul.  2 Cor 9:7, “Each one, as he has determined in his right lobe, so give, not from distress of mind or under compulsion or pressure of emotions; for God loves a gracious giver.”
9.  God in His matchless grace provides both the spiritual motivation and monetary capital for grace giving.  2 Cor 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that in always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have abundance for every good deed.”
10.  God in His matchless grace provides both the monetary capital for grace giving and makes it part of your Christian service.  2 Cor 9:10, “Now He who supplies seed for the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”
11.  Generosity of mental attitude results in generosity of giving.  2 Cor 9:11, “You will be made rich in every way, so that you can be generous on every occasion; and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”  Giving is never a strain.
12.  Giving is a result of Christian service.  2 Cor 9:12, “For this service which you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanksgivings to God.”

D.  The principle of giving is related to two spiritual gifts: pastor-teacher and evangelism.
1.  The pastor must make an issue out of two things as a recipient of support from believers: the gospel, and what is the Christian way of life after salvation.  If you are making an issue out of the gospel and Bible doctrine, then you cannot make an issue out of money.
2.  The pastor must never make an issue out of money.
3.  2 Cor 11:7-9, “…, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge?  I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to serve you; and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia, they fully supplied my need in everything, and I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.”
a.  Paul was supported by other churches such as the Ephesians and Philippians while he was in Corinth.  In this way he could make an issue out of the Gospel and doctrine.
b.  The function of the board of deacons is to make issues clear that pertain to the economic survival of a local church.
c.  The Corinthians were very wealthy; and yet Paul could not make an issue out of money with them.
4.  The pastor-teacher exchanges spiritual blessing to the congregation for material blessing from the congregation, fulfilling the principle of mutual blessing by association. Phil 1:3, 5, “I am giving thanks to God for every memory of you, …because of your contribution from the first day until now for the purpose of spreading the gospel.”
5.  Giving reflects the mental attitude of the congregation toward their pastor-teacher.  Phil 4:10, “I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you have been concerned, but you lacked opportunity to give.”
6.  Giving establishes a partnership between the pastor and the congregation.  The congregation provides the financial contribution as they are spiritually blessed by the pastor’s teaching.  Phil 4:14, “However, when you shared [by giving] and became partners with me in my adversity, you functioned honorably.”
7.  Giving is the application of Bible doctrine on the part of the congregation.  Phil 4:15-16, “And you yourselves also recognize, that in the beginning of my ministry with reference to the gospel, when I had departed from Macedonia, not one church contributed to me in the application of doctrine of giving and receiving except you Philippians only; because even in Thessalonica you had sent an offering more than once for my needs.”
8.  Giving is a grace production in Christian service.  Phil 4:17, “Not because I seek the gift, but I seek after the grace production of divine good which accumulates to your account.”
9.  Giving to one’s right pastor is maximum blessing to the pastor and pleasing to God.  Phil 4:18, “Moreover, I have received in total all of your gifts, and I have an abundance; I have been filled with blessing, having received from Epaphroditus the things [money] from you, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.”
10.  The responsibility for support of the pastor is the responsibility of the local church.  The number one priority is support of the pastor, not the building.

E.  The Grace Concept of Giving.
1.  In the Old Testament, Prov 11:2425, “There is the one who gives generously, yet he becomes more prosperous.  There is also the one who [is stingy] holds back what is fitting, and he becomes impoverished.  The generous person will be prosperous.  He who gives water will also himself be caused to have water.”  Those who hang on to their money impoverish themselves.  Giving never impoverishes.  In supergrace, no matter what you give you never lose.
2.  In the New Testament, 1 Cor 16:2.  “On the first day of the week let each one of you put aside and save on the basis of his prosperity, that no collections be taken when I come.”  You determine how much you can give from your prosperity.  You don’t give if you are broke or if giving would place a hardship on your family.

F.  The True Meaning of Tithing.
1.  Tithing is not spiritual giving in the Old Testament.  Tithing promotes arrogance.  It was never spiritual giving in Israel.
2.  Tithing was a 10% income tax under the laws of establishment delineated in the Mosaic Law for the citizens of Israel only.  Believers and unbelievers alike were being charged the same amount of tax.  As a tax it was not spiritual giving.
3.  There was also a 10% tithe for all Jewish citizens, both believers and unbelievers, for the maintenance of the Levites for their presentation of doctrine, Num 18:21, 24.  This is not pertinent today.
4.  There was also a 10% tithe for all Jewish citizens, both believers and unbelievers, to support the cost of the Lord’s sacrifices, Dt 14:2224.  This is also not pertinent today.
5.  Every third year Israel required the payment of a charity tithe of 10% for those who legitimately needed help, Dt 14:2829.  This was a 10% income tax paid by all the people.  This was charity and not socialism.  This is the only tax pertinent today.  We should pay income tax for the support of the military, and should pay a 10% charity tax every third year.
6.  Spiritual giving in the Old Testament is presented under the word “offerings.”  Offerings were given by believers only.
7.  In the time of apostasy in Israel, both believers and unbelievers failed to pay their taxes; and believers were not fulfilling their spiritual obligations in giving as well.  Mal 3:8-10 talks about income tax.  “Will a person defraud God, yet you have been robbing Me.  Yet you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’  ‘In tithes [income taxes], and offerings [spiritual giving].  To the entire nation you are cursed with a curse, for you are defrauding Me.  Bring your entire tithe [taxes] to the treasury, so that there may be food in My house,’ says the Lord of the Armies.  ‘See if I will not open for you the windows of heaven [prosperity] and pour out blessings for you until there is not room enough.’”