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Concerning the Collection, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
September 29, 2021 4:00 am

Concerning the Collection, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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September 29, 2021 4:00 am

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We are to deal with stewardship weekly. We are to face the reality of giving weekly God doesn't want us to store up until some forgotten tomorrow. God wants us to be giving on a constant systematic week by week basis and always facing reality storage. It may be with cash or a check. It may be dropped in a wooden plate or a pouch or even made online. The question is what are the origins of giving to the church. Is this a recent development or did the early church. Also give an offering.

When they gathered for worship. Find out over the next half hour. As John MacArthur continues his series God's plan for giving and with a lesson.

Now here's John first Corinthians chapter 16.

Looking at the first four verses in discussing the subject concerning the collection of the Bible does contain a number of warnings about money, best summarized perhaps in the statement of the apostle Paul in first Timothy six verse 10 where he said for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Our Lord put it tersely when he said you can't serve God and money. Money can definitely be a curse. There's no question about it for money. Aiken brought defeat on the armies of Israel, and death on himself for money bail him sinned against God and try to curse God's people for money Delilah betrayed Sampson to the Philistines for money get Hayes. I lied the name and analyzed and became a leper for money analyzes the fire became the first hypocrites in the early church and died on the spot for money.

Judas sold the son of God for 30 pieces of silver and damned his own soul for money. Many have been cursed. In fact, the apostle Paul says that those who would be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many hurtful and foolish lusts, which drown men in perdition and destruction.

First Timothy 69. The money can be a tremendous curse on the other hand, the Bible teaches that money can also be a great blessing. The Bible teaches us that God says the silver and the gold are mine.

Deuteronomy 8 says that it is God who has given us the power to get well versed radiance for 70 apostle Paul says what you have that you didn't receive as it were from the hand of God. James says every good and perfect thing comes down from the father of lights in whom is no variableness to the shadow of turning.

The Bible says that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills Bible talks about the fact that money can cause us to be greatly blessed when we invest God so money can be a curse or money can be a blessing. It all depends on the attitude you have toward it. If you have an attitude of sharing in an attitude of's of giving Jesus said it's more blessed to give than receive. You'd be better off giving you be more blessed giving than just taking Jesus said so is a basic attitude.

The wrong attitude toward money the wrong attitude toward wealth and possessions. The Bible calls covetousness and covetousness is a very very dominant sin in humankind. In fact it's in the Decalogue, the 10 Commandments that thou shalt not covet. That's basic and that's incidentally basic command to covet.

In fact, as I thought about this.

I would venture to say that it's probably the first sin manifested a child and you notice that that the first way that a child usually manifests its depravity is its mine or to me that covetousness and you see that in your little children, and that is a problem that we have to overcome and we struggle without all our lifelong knowing in our society. You see, just panders covetousness like mad. They just pull that we need this and we need that.

You gotta have this and you deserve it, and on and on and on. They pander that it's tough to fight. You know I was reading a book by Kenneth W. Pryor was written a couple of very helpful Bible study books. This went on God and Mammon and in it he said that he had heard a man by the name of Cather would say he had talked to a priest and this priest said at the end of his life. I have listened to confessions all my life I have heard every sin imaginable confessed, except for covetousness which I have never heard confessed once in my entire life, or that's a tough covetousness is a subtle one and it's the thing that robs us of the liberty to give in the way God wants us to give so that we can be blessed in the way God wants to bless you know the apostle Paul was honest enough to face that soon in Romans chapter 7 when he was talking about his own spiritual testimony of how he came to Christ and how is his Christian life kinda started out in the conflicts he had.

He says in Romans 77 is the law sin, God forbid, nay, but this he says I have not known sin but by the law. I didn't really know sin and unless there was a lot to show it to me. I didn't know I was I was violating a specific unless the specific was so stated and so then he goes on to give an example, he says, I didn't know coveting except the law said, thou shalt not covet sin, taking occasion by the commandment wrought in me all manner of coveting.

He says you know the thing that woke me up to my sinfulness was when I saw the sin of coveting and I realize I was a cover. There's an honest man. Later on in his life. In acts 2033 he says this. I have coveted no man silver no man's gold and no man's apparel you know what happened.

The Lord gave him victory over company, but he was honest enough to admit that it was a problem with the start now. We have to have the right attitude toward money and the right attitude is not coveting the right attitude is a liberal free willing sacrificial heart. That's what Paul is after the first four verses of first Corinthians 16.

Another little phrase now concerning the collection reminds us of the phrase earlier now concerning spiritual gifts, and it introduces to us. Another one of the areas of discussion that the Corinthians were having.

This is another thing they wanted information about so that's why he writes about it now concerning the collection. I have a few principles I want to give you, and these are for you today to folks just like they were for them concerning giving or concerning the collection and the church. Principle number one is the purpose of giving and we saw it and we in verse one that giving is for the saints, but we as believers have a primary responsibility to give to the needs of other believers, whether they are spiritual or physical. We are to invest so that the believers may have their needs met where to give to each other. We are to have all things in common like the early church we are to share everything freely that we possess.

We really don't know anything. We just hold in trust, and if somebody else needs it more than we do, then it's there. Whatever it is, so we are to share. That's basic. The purpose of giving that is to direct itself at the saints, and we saw last time to do in way that sometimes it's the saints in need. And sometimes it's the saints who lead we are to give to meet the needs of the church, the saints, the believing community whether their needs are physical or spiritual. Maybe were giving so that we can provide food for their soul as well as food for their body. Secondly, we saw the period of giving not only the purpose but the. There did we verse two in the first day the week was appearing forgiving we are to deal with stewardship weekly. We are to face the reality of giving weekly God doesn't want us to store up until some forgotten tomorrow. God wants us to be giving on a constant systematic week by week basis so that we are always facing the reality of stewardship. Now we come to the third point and will cover several this morning and finish up next time and I call this the place of giving him like a little academic on this point because this is a confusing point for a lot of people and I want to castrate some things out. Hopefully it will be practical for you the place of giving.

I believe this to be the church. I think that's what Paul is saying here. I want to show you why verse two on the first day of the week let every one of you watch this phrase lay by him in store. Okay lave I am in store. It says in the authorized know when we talk about that a minute there have been many people who have tried to interpret this.

How are we to give are we just to keep the little bank account and dole out money to the needs as we see them.

Are we to give our money to various and sundry organizations. Are we actually to bring all of our money and just dump it in the church and at the church decide what how we do well here we have the phrase lay by him in store to what does this phrase refer people. It's very vital to understand to what it refers because we must know the place of giving. Where are we to get well since as early as the second and third century after the church began, there have been some commentators who interpreted this as a private personal account in the home or a private bank on this is not uncommon. Today there are some very fine Bible scholars who teach that even today the what the verse is saying is that each of us is to lay by himself in the store since it doesn't say the church they assume in some personal storehouse X number of funds every week and keep building up that fund to be available to be used when God calls on us to invest with him right, others say no, no, lay by human store and the store really is the church which is true. Will let me say this, I first of all believe that there is reason to have some money in an account to be available for those needs and God brings directly to your attention, but I believe this text is teaching us that we are to place our money in the church primarily this is to be the primary pattern of giving that Paul is seeking here not to show you I say that there are several reasons, from the earliest years of the church need to focus on this now think with me because this puts a very practical concept in your giving from the earliest years of the church. It was the pattern of giving that the saints would take their monies and they would give them to the church leaders and the church leaders would distribute them so that giving in a sense, was indirect to the need. The church leaders would determine the needs the church leaders would distribute to meet the needs rather than every individual simply giving money to whatever and whenever, wherever he wanted to show you how this function by turning to acts chapter 4 verse 35 acts 435. A very familiar passage, but one that will remind us of this basic common practice in the church acts 435 says mode backing up to verse 34 to get a start on the thing it says neither was there any among them, and it's talking about the early church in Jerusalem just a new church just in its beginnings. There wasn't any lack among them for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and where they bring it and laid them down at the apostles feet and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. Then there's an illustration and 36 of Barnabas who did that verse 37 having land he sold it, brought the money and laid it at the apostles feet.

Now there you have the common practice of the early church. It was to make a central distribution point being the leaders of the church who would then disseminate the funds to the area of need. Now the reason I say that is because there is no statement anywhere at all. In the New Testament about keeping private funds that is not common to the early church. We can't find any indication of such practice, but rather it was deposited in the care of those who are in spiritual responsibility and done so on a week to week basis on the first day the week and those spiritually minded man determined the distribution of said funds.

Now only go a step further to show you why I believe that not only does it seem that this was the pattern in history, but the phrase here to lay by human store does not necessarily mean in a private fund to lay by himself simply means that each individual by himself in a very personal and a very private kind of way is to set aside this giving. In other words, the by himself doesn't mean beside himself in his house.

It means that he is to determine this by himself.

This is a private, personal thing.

In other words, nobody to tell you how much to set aside how much to invest with God, how much to give.

That is something you determined by yourself and then you lay it in store know what is it mean delayed in store while the Greek word face out result from which we get thesaurus which you might recognize there's a book called the thesaurus which is a treasury of words. The word means treasury it. It could mean it. It could be treasury it could mean money box. It could mean the chest. It could mean a warehouse, a good Mina a chamber. It has a lot of meetings but it's where you put treasure.

It's where you put valuable well the thing is the word then doesn't tell us anything, it doesn't tell us anything about where this thing is. But if we study history we learned something very interesting in the early years of the pagan temples in Greece and in the Roman world. The pagans would give their money and their offerings at the pagan temples and all the pagan temples had what were known as the Souris or treasure boxes and people would come with their money and place it into the Souris, the treasury of the temple. This was true Judaism was in it. The temple treasury, don't you read about that in the Gospels. This was true in many pagan religion.

In fact it got to be so that the temple actually would come to the place where it would not only receive the gifts of the people, but it would even hold their money for them so that temples pagan temples became banks. The biggest banks in the Greek world weren't temples and the reason was because the people worship the gods they worshiped out of fear and nobody would rob the temple bank safest place to put a bank they actually had safe-deposit boxes that you could have for your own deposit so for so the idea in terms of the cultural background is of a treasury associated with the meeting place or the place of worship the idea of the term simply means to set by yourself privately and devoting your own thinking and self-determination to the determining of whatever amount you to give and to place it in the treasury. Now, the use of the term treasury in that world would've commonly brought to their mind the treasury at the house of worship, so it seems best to see that the phrase is simply saying what your money in the treasury and they would know that the treasury would be that which was common to their place of worship. Further, I think it's important for us to know this at the end of verse two he says this. You do this on the first day of the week so that when I come there be no collections. Now listen to that there be no collections. It's the very same word that's in verse one collections Nellis if they just put it in a private fund every week when he came what would the first thing be that they have to do that. Data collection right if they had it all at home but what he is saying here is that this should work out in such a way that when I come I don't have to take a special offering because it will already be there available. So the very context indicates that these would be collected and ready to be distributed. When he arrived. Further, I would add it says on the first day of the week. If this is some private fund in the home of what import is it to be the first day of the week when this is done. The only sense that that would make would be if the first day of the week was in view of them coming together in the church and giving in common as was their custom. So I think it's best. All that said, none to see this as giving to the common treasury of the local church for distribution by the leaders who will be led of the Spirit to distributed to those places where it has its greatest need, so I'm saying beloved is that you have a primary responsibility according to the word of God here to lay by in a private act of giving systematically week by week. Some of your funds as you desire in your heart to do, to the church so that the church can then determine its distribution know this is a very practical pattern for giving, but this is what I believe the text is teaching not somebody might say, are you saying John. They should never meet the need of an individual without going to the church, not at all.

I think you have every responsibility and every biblical injunction to meet a need directly as well as in directly through the church.

For example, first John three says if you see your brother has a need and you shut up your mercy or your compassion, how dwells the love of God and you reach out and meet his knee if you're like the good Samaritan you're on the road and you see a man is torn up and bleeding that get over there and meet his knee. Don't say. By the way I'm going to the temple and would try to get a check process will be back in three days. Meet the guys need and that's why said it is for us and our family. Understanding this principle we keep a little there so that not only are we systematically giving to the church for for the work of the world of the Lord in the word, and so that the leaders can distributed but we keep a little bit over here so that we can meet needs as needs arise because sometimes needs are very very immediate so there is direct and indirect but the indirect giving the proportionate giving majority kind of giving the systematic giving the regular dealing with stewardship is to be done on the first day of the week and entrusted to the care of the treasury of the church for distribution at the determination and direction of the godly people who lead and that's why beloved you want godly people and responsibility in the church. So we see the purpose of giving to meet the needs of the saints. The period of giving the first day of the week and the place of giving the church.

Fourthly, fourthly, the participants in giving the participants in giving this and I'm just gonna stay very simply because it's not hard verse two again on the first day of the week let every one of you in the Greek. That means let every one of you for means that an Italian in Hebrew and French to let everyone of you seems that nobody is exempt.

So he was a well I can't give money so I'll give my talent, none on everybody say will I give my money to this thing in that organization. I keep my number.

Every one of you is to take this systematically, week in and week out, and to place it in the treasury of the church for distribution to the needs of the St. it's a matter of stewardship. Everyone you say will I'm very poor. Well, if you have anything you have something to give the right. If you have anything you have something to give Mark chapter 12 interesting story, you remember. And Jesus sat opposite the treasury, and he watched how the people through money into the treasury. I would not be an interesting way to spend the day.

Just watch the people come by and give you a lot about character. That way, first you used to have a trumpet blow to announce their arrival, they would give but he said he was sitting there watching them give it says and they that many that were rich through it a lot. Rich people they give a lot became a certain poor widow she threw in two mites, which makes a farthing not much of might is 1/8 of a cent. So 2/8 of a cent would be 1/4 of a cent. She threw it in. He called his disciples and said to them, truly I say to you, this poor widow has cast more in that all they who cast into the treasury for all they did cast in all of their abundance, but she of her want did cast in all that she had even all her life support. You know why she gave what percent hundred percent. If you have anything you have something to give everybody get everybody say well if I had more I give more. Luke 1610. It says Marcus one he that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.

And he that is unjust in the least is also unjust in the much if you haven't been faithful in the unrighteous money who will commit to your trust the true riches. In other words, if you can't prove yourself when you're poor being righteous and going to change your spirituality be enriched just compounds your problem if you can't trust God when you poor. Believe me, it's going to be tough when you're rich and you got all the resources you need.

Apart from him so. Second Corinthians 8 gives us the pattern for the poor who gave in second Corinthians 8 verse two it says that the Macedonians only return to it will just worry about this remind you of it says at the Macedonians listen to this gave liberally and abundantly out of their deep poverty that great and in verse seven it says the reason why verse verse five it says the reason was because they first gave themselves to God and then out of the giving themselves to God.

They gave abundantly to God out of their deep poverty. If you have anything you have something to give. And it's an investment with God. That's John MacArthur on grace to you. Looking at the reason God calls you to support the church. John's current study is showing you God's plan for giving no early in the lesson today. John mentioned that money can be a curse.

Well, when you think about money problems in the most fertile ground for those problems.

What probably comes to your mind first is the home and marriage.

So John is a pastor and a father, you've counseled your kids as they headed toward marriage.

What is your most important advice. How can a husband-and-wife make sure that they avoid conflict over money. Well it's inevitable that there are going to be discussions and maybe even some level of conflict when two people have two different approaches with the what they want to do with the resources so that there's going be conversations about that in a marriage but I think what I've tried to teach our children what we try to model patrician INR home is that everything we have is to be used for the glory of God. It isn't just the money we give to the church, or give to Grace to you, or give to some mission enterprise or some schoolwork to the seminary, whatever.

Every thing that we have all the money all the resources we have. We are to use for the glory of God goes back to first Corinthians again. Whatever you do with the eat or drink to all to the glory of God.

So if eating and drinking something as mundane and routine is that is to be done of the glory of God.

Certainly giving is I think that's the checkpoint. If we do this if we purchase this if we invest in this good is this going to bring glory to the Lord. What we know the Lord wants us to save Bible says that we know he wants us to give.

We know he wants us to use our funds wisely for kingdom purposes. And that's were talking about laying up treasure in heaven. So we have a lot already to go on it that's laid out in the word of God.

We are supposed to help people in need people who are poor all those things.

So those are things the Lord's explicitly said to us. This is what you need to do with the resources you have in fact if you if you see your brother has needing you don't do that you know your your salvation is called into question in first out so we try to instruct our kids that first of all you need to do everything that the Lord specifically instructs us to do with our money and that's where we start with our money and then we need to think about everything else we do and asked the question, is this just pure indulgence for indulgent sake, or does this have value and and can I honestly say that the Lord can be honored in this expense. So I think that should be the discussion. How do we honor the Lord with this decision and that's going to take a lot of the conflict out of new and we talk about it from the right angle and that is what is going to bring honor to the Lord. There will be decisions you have to make in the Lord doesn't expect you live in absolute poverty where you will add comforts to your life.

But God gives us richly all things to enjoy, but you can even enjoy them with a thankful heart before the Lord, but that is how you have the discussion around how is it going to glorify him.

That's right. Thank you, John, and that is really helpful advice. Let's turn the corner bit if you were encouraged by today's lesson or a recent broadcast help you find peace in the midst of a trial or gave you fresh motivation to share the gospel with a neighbor would love to hear your story. When you have time to jot a note please do and send it our way. You can email your letter to that's or if you prefer regular mail right to Grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 and if you're looking to know more about the topic of John's current study God's plan for giving or any other subject of Scripture. I would encourage you to get our flagship resource. The MacArthur study Bible. It's an all in one spiritual library that has introductions to each book dozens of maps and charts and the 5000 study notes from John that explain virtually every passage of Scripture. It's a great resource for a new war veteran believe to order the MacArthur study Bible.

Visit our website or call us at 855 Greeks. That's our toll-free number one more time 855 now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson reminding you to watch Grace to you television this Sunday on DirecTV channel 378 or check your local listings for channel and times and make sure you tune in again tomorrow.

John will help you consider this important question. Am I pleasing the Lord with how I it's another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you


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