Stewardship - Possessions To Give

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  16 : 1-4
Subject: Stewardship
Series: The Kingdom Like

INTRODUCTION:

This passage gives a clear picture of the activities of the first century congregation and we will do well to observe them carefully. Remember, there is nothing more typical of Paul than the abrupt change between Chapters 15 & 16. Chapter 15 has been walking in the loftiest reaches of thought and theology and discussing the life of the world to come. Chapter 16 deals with the most practical things, in the most practical way, and is concerned with the everyday life of this world and the administration of the church.

 

In this section of Scripture, Paul illustrates the human side of Biblical inspiration in that private desires and divine directives blend into the same expressions. The human writer uses an active participant, not a passive stenographer. The theory of mechanical, verbal dictation cannot account for the warm human touch of this section.

Psalms 37:4-5

“Delight yourself also in the Lord,

And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him,

And He shall bring it to pass.”

1 Cor 16 gives us several exhortations in regards to giving, doing the Lord’s work, faithful living, and love within the Christian fellowship.
 

I. THE DOCTRINAL CELEBRATION. 1 Cor 15:

v.35-49 our new bodies

v.50-58 hope of our resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:57-58, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Apostle John says it this way:

1 John 5:4-5, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

EXAMPLE: Janet and I visited Green Lawn Cemetery
 

II. THE DUTIFUL COLLECTION. 1 Cor 16:1-2

1 Cor 16 will deal with at least 3 areas of stewardship:

1. Money - 1-4

2. Opportunities (Time) - 5-9

3. People (Relationships) - 10-24

QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE COLLECTION:
 

A. WHO?

“let each one of you” – all were to participate, whether rich or poor. Giving was personal and individual; all-inclusive. No Christian is exceptional or excused.

Our generosity to the Lord’s work is best determined by what we give when we have little. A person who is well-off financially can afford to give much without affecting his life-style or well-being. A person who is poor, however, must give up something for himself in order to give something to others. Jesus said that if we are not generous when we have little to give, we will not be generous when we have much. The dollar amount of our giving may increase, but our generosity will not.

Luke 16:10, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”

ILLUSTRATION:

Macedonia:

2 Corinthians 8:2, “that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.”

2 Corinthians 8:5, “And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.”

Reason for their generosity was wrapped up in their Christian priorities:

1. Gave themselves to the Lord first

2. Gave themselves to the Leaders next

Generosity is impossible apart from our love of God and of His people.

EXAMPLE:

Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I know of some who have given generously to missions and later acquired a heart for missions. Our hearts follow where we place our treasure.
 

B. WHERE?

“lay something aside, storing up” (put aside and

save) – the word from which we get treasury or collection; represents a storehouse or the likes where valuables are stored. The treasuries in many Greek temples not only were repositories of gifts to the temple itself but served as banks in which citizens kept their personal money and other valuables for safekeeping.

Paul’s use of a verb form of this term for treasury suggests that the putting aside was to be in the church, in some sort of repository designated for the offerings. It was to be put there by “each one,” by himself, on his own initiative. The church had a treasury, a place for safekeeping and dispensing the offerings.

Present tense suggests, “have the habit of doing it.”
 

C. WHEN?

“On the first day of the week” – Christians, according to our early Church Father, Justin Martyr (2nd Century A.D.) testified that contributions to the church were received on Sunday. Although Israel had celebrated the Sabbath as its day of worship, the church looked to the day of Christ’s resurrection as its official meeting day. (Jn 20:19, Acts 20:7, Rev. 1:10)

“The first principle is that the most appropriate period of giving is weekly. Not only did the N.T. church meet on this day, but its worship included regular giving of money.”

John MacArthur
 

D. WHY?

Romans 15:26-27, “For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.”

Philippians 4:17, “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.”

Our giving should not be based on periodic emotional appeals or feelings, but on regular, willing, and a grateful commitment of our possessions to the Lord, to His people, and to His work. Weekly giving raises sensitivity to money, so that giving is seen as an ongoing, regular spiritual responsibility.

“Christian giving is a grace, the outflow of the grace of God in our lives and not the result of promotion or pressure. An open heart cannot maintain a closed hand. If we appreciate the grace of God extended to us, we will want to express that grace by sharing with others.”

W.W. Wiersbe

E. WHAT?

“as he may prosper” – speaks of giving proportionately; suggests that believers who have more should give more. “Prosper” – to have a good journey; literal translation is well and way or journey.

To have done well on your journey.

2 Corinthians 8:12-13, “For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened”

1. Give Generously.

Proverbs 3:9-10

“Honor the Lord with your possessions,

And with the firstfruits of all your increase;

So your barns will be filled with plenty,

And your vats will overflow with new wine.”

Proverbs 11:24-25

“There is one who scatters, yet increases more;

And there is one who withholds more than is right,

But it leads to poverty.

The generous soul will be made rich,

And he who waters will also be watered himself.”

3,564 Georgia Baptist Churches, average giving 2.33% (15.88 per week)

In Roswell, Ga., 4.9%, (33.43 per week) – Double

2. Give Cheerfully

2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Paul used several terms to describe the offering:

1. I Cor 16:1 COLLECTION

(LOGIA) – an extra collection

“A man never satisfies his Christian duty by disobeying the obligations which he can legally be compelled to fulfill.”

Matthew 5:47, “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?”

2. I Cor 16:3 GIFT (LIBERALITY)

(CHARIS) – describes a free gift freely given; not something extracted from a person. Something given out of the overflowing love of a person’s heart. A man’s heart must tell him what to give.

3. II Cor 8:4 FELLOWSHIP

(KOINONIA) – sharing;

“Christian fellowship is based on the spirit which cannot keep to itself that which it has, but which regards all its possessions as things to be shared with others. Its dominating question is not what can I keep, but what can I give?”

William Barclay

4. II Cor 9:1 MINISTERING

(DIAKONIA) – word for deacon; it may sometimes happen that the limitations of life prevent us from rendering personal service, and it may often happen that our money can go where we cannot go.

5. II Cor 8:20 LAVISH GIFT

(ABUNDANCE)

(HADROTES) – an abundance; what they

were hoping for in the collection for the poor

saints in Jerusalem

6. II Cor 9:5 BOUNTY (GENEROUS GIFT)

(EUGLOGIA) – means bounty; all true giving

is a bounty which we are supremely glad to

give. Word also translates “a good

communication.”

7. II Cor 9:12 SERVICE

(LEITOURGIA) – speaks of someone who volunteers out of their pocket to shoulder the expenses of some ministry. Key word is volunteered; should be accepted as a privilege to help in some way. Word translates liturgy, referring to an act of worship.

8. Acts 24:17 ALMS

(ELEEMOSUNE) – merciful expression; mercy experienced – mercy expressed.

9. Acts 24:17 OFFERING

(PROSPHORA) - word used for sacrifice

To Paul, the “collection” for the poor in Jerusalem meant that they were not members of a congregation only, but members of a church, each part of which had obligations to the rest.

LOCALLY - NATIONALLY - GLOBALLY

All of these varied expressions are designed to describe the generosity of those who would give such an offering.

“Out of the merciful expression of hearts bound together in common commitment, motivated by the grace of Christ, a good communication is provided in abundance as an act of worship and service brought forward in an public expression of participation. Perfunctory giving out of mere habit or demand of law, therefore, is excluded in favor of a consecrated act of willing participation in the works of the Kingdom of God.”

Paige Patterson