(Feel free to read Part 1 or listen to the sermon these posts upon which these two parts are based. This sermon was preached at Arapahoe Road Baptist Church, Centennial, CO on Sunday, March 18, 2012.)
Give graciously (2 Corinthians 9:8-10).
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
Notice a pattern:
· God is able to make all grace abound to you (9:8);
· He has distributed freely
· He … supplies … and multiplies (9:10).
This pattern in regards to giving is a pattern we see in the gospel. You aren’t able, but God is able. By God’s mercy, he distributes grace and faith to supply our need and multiply! He supplies seed to the sower and bread for food—in regards to dispensing the Word He uses ‘sowers’ of that seed.
John Bunyan once wrote: “A man there was and they called him mad; the more he gave, the more he had.” This principle applies to the Christian only—and the Christian gets it! This is madness to our culture. But it’s a living, breathing reality to us. God has promised that with Christ we would continually have all we need. Romans 8:31-32 says:
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[a] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32).
“All things?” Yes, everything we need to live as He would have us.
In regards to giving, we need to recognize the spiritual aspect of the matter. When we give generously and gladly, God makes all grace abound to us! This is a principle all through Scripture. In Deuteronomy 8:16-18:
16 [He] who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Paul reminds them that the source of everything, even the things that we give, do not come from us. They come from Christ. We give graciously on how graciously God has given to us! We give knowing that God will provide all we need. When we give, do we give trusting God for the increase? Do we trust God to provide for us? King David wrote:
25 I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or his children begging for bread.
26 He is ever lending generously,
and his children become a blessing (Psalm 37:25-26)
4. Give gratefully (2 Corinthians 9:11-12).
11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.
We will be enriched as believers. This is the paradox, isn’t it? The more generous we are, the more enriched we are?
When God, through His grace and generosity, plants the seeds of the gospel in our hearts and that begins to bloom, and change in heart and mind begins to take place—an overflow of thanksgiving to God for His abundant mercy!
As we have received, we give so that the offerings of money we give will produce offerings of thanksgiving unto God! So as we give gratefully, attitudes of gratitude will continue to sail up as a fragrant aroma to God.
Spurgeon was once asked by a wealthy man to come to preach in a certain country church, to help the membership raise funds to pay off a debt. The man told Spurgeon that he was free to use his country house, his town house, or his seaside house. Spurgeon wrote back and said, “Sell one of the places and pay the debt yourself.”
5. Give gravely (i.e., seriously) (2 Corinthians 9:13-15).
13 By their approval of this service, they[l] will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
Do you see, again, how this all comes down to the gospel? “They will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ.” It all starts here. This obedience and desire and joy in giving is fueled by their obedience and desire and joy that comes from the gospel.
A missionary returned to his home city, where he announced a collection for foreign missions. A good friend said to him, “Very well, Andrew, seeing it is you, I’ll give five hundred dollars.”
“No,” said the missionary, “I cannot take the money since you give it, seeing it is me.” His friend saw his point and said, “You are right, Andrew. Here is a thousand dollars, seeing it is for the Lord Jesus.” We as believers are entrusted with Christ’s money to give to Christ’s causes in order to advance Christ’s gospel!
Some of you will leave this place saying, “I need to give more to the poor,” or “I need to give more to the church.” If we give to various endeavors, even the church, without seriously understanding that, as 2 Corinthians 8:5 says, we must first give ourselves to the Lord.
A.B. Simpson is reported to have said that the gospel "Tells rebellious men that God is reconciled, that justice is satisfied, that sin has been atoned for, that the judgment of the guilty may be revoked, the condemnation of the sinner cancelled, the curse of the Law blotted out, the gates of hell closed, the portals of heaven opened wide, the power of sin subdued, the guilty conscience healed, the broken heart comforted, the sorrow and misery of the Fall undone.