Saturday, May 28, 2016

Givers with a Generous Heart - 1 Cor 16.2; 2 Cor. 9.7 / 160529AM@TBC

If you are a believer and are able, please stand and affirm these Scriptures that make up our TBC church covenant…
“We, the members of the Church … do covenant together, God helping us…
o    1. That as strangers and pilgrims we will refrain from fleshly lusts.     (I Peter 2: 11)
o    2. That we will put away from us all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking and
o be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven us.                                                                         (Eph. 4:31-32)
o    3. That as we have opportunity, we will do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.                                                 (Gal. 6:10)
o    4. That we will remember them who have the rule over us who speak unto us the Word of God. 
o    That we submit to the loving oversight and discipline of the members and officers of this Church of Christ…                                                                 (Heb. 13:7)
o    5. And that we will give as God has prospered us, not grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.                                               (I Cor. 16:2 ; 2 Cor. 9:7)

Thank you, Kent, for leading us in reading the Scriptures in our TBC Church Covenant.  It is great to have our young people in the service with us this morning.  I am reminded of something Alister Begg said in his sermon, “Stay the Course.”
"I want you to know kids. I've been where you are. I want you to know that sometimes I thought I was listening. Sometimes I was sure I wasn't. I want you to know that I rubbed the wrist of my mother raw because I used to turn her watch around to try and see the time with frequency all through the evening message. She bore silent scares to her grave of this activity by her child. But I want you to know if you are listening boys and girls that I am so thankful to my mom and dad who didn't capitulate to my stupidity and brought me under the sound of the proclamation of the Word of God.”
---Stay the Course (Part 1 of 3) | Truth For Life with Alistair Begg /
We know that children are in the process of developing self-control and longer attention spans.  Let’s be careful to encourage them and their parents at the grow and mature with us.

A.  Church Covenant Affirmed
·       These five sets of Scriptures are both
--> our response to God’s grace in our lives and
--> some specific aspirations we have to express our gratitude and love for God as we seek to be conformed to the image of Christ.
B.  Church Covenant Explained
    The members of Tulsa Bible Church covenant together to follow five Scriptural imperatives.
o    1. STRANGERS with a heavenly home
à Since Christians are citizens of heaven, should put off the former life and embrace the values and life of the new man.
à The OT patriarchs sought a city whose founder and maker was God.
T.S. As we put off the old man, we are called on to embrace the Gospel life.
o    2. FORGIVERS with a tender heart
à As imitators of God we must be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving.
à Joseph realized that a God follower was obligated to forgive his brothers.
T.S.-- The change in our attitude will naturally move us from an inward self-focus toward an outward look.
o    3. DO GOODERS with an outward look.  
à Let us be energized by hope to continuously do good.
à King David sought out an opportunity to do good.
T.S.-- As we follow Christ doing good, we should follow the church leaders that He has put into our lives.
o    4. FOLLOWERS with a submissive spirit
à We should consider and follow Christ’s under-shepherds bearing Christ’s reproach to bring them joy.
à As we follow Christ, we will follow his under-shepherds.
T.S.-- As we follow Christ’s under-shepherds in His work, we should gladly support it with our finances, time, etc.
o    5. GIVERS with a generous joy
à As Christians, our focus is on the joy of giving not getting.
à We worship God with generous and joyful giving.
A preoccupation with temporal things distracts us from our heavenly citizenship.

o     Big Idea:
·       These are NOT things people do to earn God’s favor.  That would be the religion of “DO.”
·       God’s love to us constrains us to respond to His love with these heart attitudes and actions.  These are expressions of our response to what Christ has DONE.
"The Christian’s response to the Gospel is a joyful generosity."

I. Mark 12:38-44
& Turn with me to Mark 12:38
A. Warning about Pretending
Read vv. 38-39
38 Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces,  39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”
·       Five things are mentioned about the scribes in verses 38-40. 
·       1. Long robes, 2. greetings, 3. best seats, 4. devouring widow’s houses, and 5.  long prayers.
·       Which one does not belong?  Wait!  They all have something in common.  What is it?
·       If I give to enrich my reputation (getting something), I am probably missing the whole point of the spirit of giving. 
B. The Widow’s Portion
Read vv. 41-44
41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much.  42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 
43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
·       Q: What made the widow’s mite more?   A: There was less left over when she finished.
·       The question we ought to ask ourselves in NOT “How much should I give?” but “How do I need to keep?”
·       We see the principle here of proportion over the raw value of the gift.
·       The God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills is more concerned about our heart as givers.  It is our privilege and an act of worship to give not only our lives but also but our temporal possessions.
These next two passages have the immediate context of a special offering for the poor but shed light on general principles for a believer’s giving.

II. Corinthians 16.2 
& 1 Corinthians 16.1-3  (esp. 2)
1 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. 3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.
A. Context:
1) Before
One of the important ministries Paul had during his third missionary journey was the gathering of a special “relief offering” for the poor believers in Jerusalem.
2) After
Arrangements for delivery of the gift.
     collected before he came
     person to deliver the gift
B. Key Ideas
·       Each one  Paul’s assumption seems to be that all the church will participate.
·       Giving should be systematic.  ...each believer was to set aside his offering at home and then bring it to the assembly on the first day.”
!as he may prosper  (hcsb-- with how he prospers; niv-- in keeping with his income; net--to the extent that God has blessed you; nlt-- a portion of the money you have earned;
·       Giving is to be proportionate.  “As God hath prospered him (1 Cor. 16:2) suggests that believers who have more should give more.”
Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1996, c1989, S. 1 Co 16:1

C. Motivation
·       Each Why did God give us so much.
        The Corinthians had been blessed with financial abundance so they were able to give generously.  

When we think like owners, it’s a red flag.  –Randy Alcorn

III. 2 Corinthians 9.7
& 2 Corinthians 9.7
1 Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; 2 for I know your willingness, (esv readiness) about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority. 3 Yet I have sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this respect, that, as I said, you may be ready; 4 lest if some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you!) should be ashamed of this confident boasting.
 5 Therefore, I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous (esv willingness) gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.  6 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. 
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:
"He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever."   (of  the man who fears God  in Psalm 112.9)
 generous, bountifully  ελογα  G2129 - eulogia: 1. lit., "with blessings"  2. Bounty

A.  Context:
1) Before:  Paul reminds them of their good reputation.
! The willingness (readiness), zeal, generosity, and bounty of the Corinthians.  
The importance of preparing the gift beforehand
2) After
… the generous grace of God

B. Key Ideas:
·       Each one  —Paul anticipated each member to share in the offering, the rich and poor alike.”
·   “Intentional, not impulsive.
—Each member purposed (or decided) in his heart what to give.
· Giving is to be joyful.  They were not motivated by guilt or a painful obligation, but a generous heart that is glad to be able to help.
1. grudgingly.  Lit. “with grief,” “sorrow,” or “sadness,” which indicates an attitude of depression, regret, and reluctance that accompanies something done strictly out of a sense of duty and obligation, but of joy.  --John MacArthur
2. The gift had been promised, and there does not seem to be an issue of whether the gift would be given.  It was a matter of how or with what attitude it would be given.
3. Sometimes it is a necessity to give, but an attitude of grudging obligation is not consistent with the Lord’s generous heart.
4. λαρς  (Strong's G2431)  hē-lä-ro's: This is the root of our English word "hilarious."

C. Motivations:
1. Thanksgiving to God  (12)
·       You have an incalculable debt of sin that you could never repay if you had a thousand chances to do it.  You deserve judgment, punishment, and condemnation.
By the blood of Jesus Christ, God gives you the best He has to pay the penalty of your sin at the cross
You ask for mercy because that is all you can ask for , and you receive mercy and grace.  By faith instead of being a guilty sinner on your way to Hell, you are a born again child of God on your way to Heaven.  --HB Charles
·       How can you then be anything but joyfully, generously thankful?

2. Your confession to the Gospel of Christ  (13)
·       Charity given to needy fellow Christians constitutes a necessary behavioral evidence of having submitted obediently to the gospel that was confessed verbally.[1]
Do our actions confirm what we say God has done for us?

3. God’s Unspeakable Gift   (15)
·       Paul summarized his discourse by comparing the believer’s act of giving with what God did in giving Jesus Christ (cf. Rom. 8:32), “His indescribable gift.”  --John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. p.1641
·       A hand that is wide open to accept God’s grace is a hand that is open to the poor.

Giving is not something we do,
but something we are.
--Warren W. Wiersbe
The Christian life is about giving not getting.
Ephesians 4.28
Let him who stole steal no longer,
but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good,
that he may have something to give him who has need.

Benediction   Hebrews 13.20-21
20 Now may the God of peace
who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead,
that great Shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
21 make you complete in every good work
to do His will,
working in you what is well pleasing in His sight,
through Jesus Christ,
to whom be glory forever and ever.

[1] Robert H. Gundry, Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010), 716.