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Liberality that Approves, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
July 10, 2024 10:00 am

Liberality that Approves, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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July 10, 2024 10:00 am

The way the body of Christ gives and stewards what is given should make Christ beautiful. The church must wisely manage what is given to leave no avenue to discredit the gospel of Christ. Today Pastor Rich lays out six principles for responsible giving from 2 Corinthians 8:16-24.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The way the body of Christ gives and stewards what is given should make Christ beautiful. The church must wisely manage what is given to leave no avenue to discredit the gospel of Christ. Today, Pastor Rich lays out six principles for responsible giving from 2 Corinthians 8, 16 through 24. Let's listen in. This is part three of a message first preached on July 6, 2014.

To hear the whole message, you can visit The principle of accountability. He says in verse 19, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord and to show your ready mind. Verse 20, avoiding this, that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us. When he says avoiding, the implication there is that Paul made sure that safeguards were in place so that there was no room for anyone to bring blame against those who were entrusted with the handling of the funds.

It was all out in the open. Paul knew that it was very important to keep a good reputation through wise stewardship so as not to bring any reproach to the gospel of Christ. And so he says, providing, verse 21, providing honorable things not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men. Here is clear cut accountability, providing honorable things, not just in the sight of the Lord.

Why is that? Is not God himself the ultimate accountability for us? Well, indeed, he is. And we will give account of all before him in the end. But meanwhile, it can be claimed dubiously that one is doing ministry and yet being dishonest or being greedy.

And that has happened many times through the history of the church. And Paul says, we're not going to let anyone have that perception of what we're doing here. It's not about us. It's not about our greed. We're not in the business of living off of other people's money. This is for the Christians in Jerusalem.

This collection is to glorify God, to show the love of Christ. And that's what this is about. And we're not going to give anyone opportunity to bring fault or an accusation against us. But providing things honorable in the sight of men.

What is that? That is, if you would, in the financial sense, peer review. It's accountability at the human level so that others looking in can see and they can observe and they can be sure that everything is above board here. There is nothing happening under the table.

There are no dishonest dealings here. Unfortunately, those safeguards are very, very necessary and many of you have given charitable to many things. But I remember, I recall speaking with Dr. Jim Burse, who is one of our missionaries who established Haiti Bible Institute. I was down there last October.

We'll be again this October. And the devastation, you still see the devastation down there from the earthquake several years ago now. And there are many charitable organizations there in Haiti. And what Jim pointed out to me is that when this earthquake happened and there was just a flood of charitable donation that came down to Haiti, all of a sudden where these organizations that generally have reputable reputation, have good reputations, reputations of integrity, in these chapters here with the level of corruption that there was in this area. He said when these donations started coming in from America and around the world to Haiti, all of a sudden within a couple of weeks in the parking lots where these charitable donations are, where these organizations are, all of a sudden you see the parking lots lined with brand new SUVs. And these were organizations that were not willing to be accountable for the funds that were given. And Jim Burse recognized that as we practiced, he said if the people in Haiti who really need the funds, if they're going to get the money, someone has to take it down to them in person and give it to them directly.

We took a collection and you were generous and we sent it down with Jim and he gave it to those who genuinely needed the help. That's a necessary accountability. Otherwise we would be unwise stewards of what God has entrusted to us. There has to be that accountability and with that accountability, the fifth principle is that there has to be answers.

Why? Because people will ask questions. Paul is anticipating these questions. Look what he says in verse 23. If anyone inquires about Titus, middle of the verse, or if our brethren are inquired about, he's anticipating questions to be asked, whether it be from onlookers or from prospective contributors.

Who are these guys who are going around and taking up the collection? Because people are going to inquire and Paul needed to make sure that everyone who was looking at this needed to understand that these guys were neither peddlers nor swindlers. They were not in this for themselves. This was a ministry to the glory of God. But if you look at this whole paragraph and look through this with me, through each one of these verses at verse 16, he speaks of earnest care. In verse 17, he speaks of an earnest appeal of being diligent. In verse 18, he speaks of praise that is the high reputation of this brother throughout all the churches. Verse 19, he speaks of their giving with a ready mind.

He speaks of men chosen for the task. In verse 20, he refers to the intentionality of being blameless in their administration. In verse 21, he speaks of honorable things. In verse 22, those who proved this one who has proved diligent in the confidence that they had in him.

In verse 23, one who is a partner together with the apostle and these men who were messengers of the churches. In all of this, in this whole paragraph, as Paul is bringing out these principles of honest and good and responsible stewardship, in all of this, there is no sense of any coercion of people having to give out of a sense of coercion. Paul said very clearly, I'm not giving you a command.

I'm just presenting you with the opportunity. So there is no sense of coercion. There's no guilt. There are no pressure tactics. There's no peddling or there are no dubious promises of seed giving so that you receive abundance in return.

There's much of that that goes on today in churches and on TV. And all that does is feed the greed of the giver. There is none of that in this. There's no personal gain for those administrating the funds.

It's not about them. And there's no mishandling of the funds. There's no negligence in the administration. But instead through this and these words that are used as we go through this paragraph, there is a high degree of willingness on the givers. There's a high degree of trust in the process.

There's a high degree of accountability in the administration. But there's also a very high sense of godly purpose in it all as well. It's not about any particular man.

It's not about getting on some bandwagon. It's about glorifying God. It's about the church manifesting its love.

And that's what this is. And so these answers come forth in the words that Paul uses because he knows that people are going to be asking questions. And so in the end that takes us to the sixth and final principle in this paragraph. And that is simply affirmation. Affirmation show the proof of your love.

Show the proof of your love. Display the love for which I, Paul, bragged about you. Paul says to the Corinthians, I've been boasting about you to my brothers in the work that God is doing in your heart and mind. And now in your generosity, under the gospel of grace, I invite you to show the proof of your love for God and for his people.

And that's what it is. That's what Christian generosity is. Showing your love for God and for his people. He is calling the people to an eager prompt generosity. He called them to abound in this grace. He knew that it would be a lavish gift because Paul was confident of the work that God was doing in the hearts and minds of the believers. Now let me add, please, another angle to this last principle.

And that is the principle of affirmation. Because it is, Christian generosity is a proof of a Christian's love. Not only for God, but also for God's people. Because the apostle John makes it very clear that if you love God, then you love his children.

Think about that. If you love God, then you love his children. And oftentimes one finds him or herself in need or a family is in need. And there rises then the opportunity for other members of the family of God to show their love for you by helping you with that need. You need to allow them that opportunity to do that. Do not rob a fellow Christian of the blessing of giving and showing their love.

Do not rob them of that by your own pride. Generosity, Christian generosity is a proof of love. And I should not allow my pride, you should not allow your pride to get in the way of those who want to come alongside and help you with their Christian generosity. A church and a ministry that operates this way, according to these principles, directs people's attention to Christ as a display of the gospel of grace. That was Paul's intent, pictured by us to the glory of God. The way we handle our funds points to God in his goodness, in his grace, in his holiness, in his truth. And so it ought to be with us in our giving and in our administration of these funds. Thanks for joining us here at Delight in Grace. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in him, the one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on Weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-07-10 12:07:30 / 2024-07-10 12:11:47 / 4

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