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September 26, 2021 8:00 am
The world thinks of charity is arising from the natural goodness of the human heart, but the human heart is not all that good Christians on the other hand, noted real charity originates in the love that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ and affection that we can then share with others are welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. True charity came into being with the early church and it was a new and amazing thing to the watching world.
Join Dr. Boyce as he studies the origins and effects of charity spurred by love for Christ and overflowing into a love for others in today's world.
Charity is practiced on a very wide scale and is thought to be the natural product of the innate benevolence of the human spirit. Actually, this is not so for true charity came into the world solely through Christianity in the charity we see today in the United fund and the Red Cross in hospitals and benevolent foundations and in government is purely a byproduct of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I do not mean to suggest by this that there was never such a thing as a gift to the poor and pagan lands in the pre-Christian era.
We read in ancient sources of those who would toss a few coins to a beggar and thereby gain a reputation for magnanimity from their contemporaries such a display was infrequent at best and was motivated by a desire for men's praise rather than a genuine concern for the recipient before Christ. There were no homes for the sick or the poor. No orphanages. There was a world of toil and poverty of the exposure of unwanted children of slavery, of great hunger side-by-side with great affluence and appalling indifference. After Christ came, there was an instant and sacrificial love of the believers for each other. This was followed by the care of the poor hospitals reform and the status of women, and eventually by a change in labor laws, the abolition of slavery and other things.
The proof that this is true is to be seen in the law by which the life of the ancient church was first viewed by the ancient world for instances early as 125 A.D. the Athenian philosopher Arista days delivered a defense of the Christian faith to the Emperor Hadrian in which he said of normal Christians. They do not commit adultery or immorality. They do not bear false witness, or embezzle, I do not covet what is not theirs. They honor their father and mother and do good to those who were their neighbors.
They love one another. The widow's needs are not ignored and they rescue the orphan from the person who doesn't violence. He who has used him who is not ungrudgingly end without boasting one of their poor passes away from the world. Each provides for his burial. According to his ability. They hear of any of their number who are imprisoned or oppressed for the name of the Messiah, they all provide for his needs. If it's possible to redeem them. They set him free.
If they find poverty in their midst and they do not have spare food they financed two or three days in order that the needy might be supplied with necessities is evident from this spirited apology that the charity of the early church was a new and amazing thing to its contemporaries in their all of it is the best evidence that true charity entered the world with Christianity is one apparent exception to this truth, however, upon a close examination it seemed to be not really such an exception as it seems in Judaism nurtured as it was in the Old Testament Scriptures. There was a strong concern for charity, particularly the giving of alms. The Old Testament taught this duty. Proverbs 1917 says he that piteous the Portlanders to the Lord and the Lord will give them back again. Proverbs 29 seven says the righteous consider if the cause of the poor Psalm 41 one pronounces a blessing upon the one who does so saying. Blessed is he that considerate the poor rabbis even amplified upon this teaching, adding that almost deliver from death and will purge away all sins, and that alms giving is more excellent than all offerings.
The problem however was that in Judaism. Charity, like other aspects of morality was largely external, and although it was far more common than in the cultures of Greece or Rome was performed. Nevertheless, with similar motives only with the coming of Jesus Christ did motives change in only in the power of his spirit to charity flow from a divine love welling up internally today we come to a series of verses in which this new spirit of charity is revealed for the first time is a section of the sermon on the Mount, and because of its historic significance like like to proceed from these verses to consider the subject in the light of the New Testament generally in the opening verses of chapter 6 of Matthew's Gospel Jesus said, take heed that you do not your all is your good deeds before men to be seen by them.
Otherwise you have no reward of your father who is in heaven. Therefore, without duelists died alms but sound of trumpets before they as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men early, I say unto you, they have their reward. When thou do installments, but not by left hand know what thy right hand do with the fine, almost may be in secret by father who see it in secret shall reward thee openly. The phrase let not thy left hand know what thy right hand do with points to an absence of ostentation not only before men, but also before the giver himself is indicative of a charity inspired by the presence of Christ in the heart and that spirit men and women have given since even to their own heart, and without any prospect of thanks or appreciation of the first obvious principle of these verses is that true charity must come forth out of a life that has been surrendered to God they teach. Clearly that we are to give for his approval and before him. Have you ever notice that this is what made the Philippian Christians such outstanding examples of giving was according to Paul's judgment. The Philippians had learned to give first because of their love for Paul, who was the father in the faith. When he left them after his first visit to Philippi to go on to Thessalonica. The sum sent messengers to find out how he was doing when work came back that he was in financial need. They took up a collection. They sent it to them later when they heard that the need continued, they did the same thing again.
Paul refers to this in his letter to them saying or even in Thessalonica you sent once and again under my necessity, of course, they continue to do this throughout his life sending to him, even at last, when he was a prisoner in Rome sometime during the course of his long association with this church, presumably during his second missionary journey, Paul presented the need of the poor at Jerusalem. We don't know much about the state of the Christian church.
There was an outlying and underdeveloped area of the Roman Empire.
It was probably true that it was much like the appellation region of the United States today or like Scotland in the last century that is was probably just not enough work for normal man to earn sufficient wages any rate the case of the poor was so bad the church. They are practiced form of voluntary communism in which the believers share their possessions when the first church council met in Jerusalem request was made through Paul for help from the Gentile churches. This request Paul honored, for he wrote to the Galatians in reporting the Council only they would that we should remember the poor are the same, which I also was diligent to do. I would Philippi.
Paul presented the case of these believers none of whom any of the Philippian Christians had ever seen in the response was so overwhelming that the believers at Philippi actually competed for the privilege of giving, having learned to give to Paul in his need, they were ready now to give even more liberally to others. How do we know we know this because sometime later Paul wrote to the Corinthians of the outstanding charity of the Macedonian church.
He wrote, moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia Howell that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded under the riches of their liberality at the Lord's formula. By the way, joy plus great poverty equals bounding liberality the course.
That's the way Christians give to Christian works today for to their power, I bear witness yeah and beyond their power they were willing of themselves, beseeching us with much entreaty that we would receive this gift and take upon us the Fellowship of the ministering to the saints, and this they did not, as we hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord and undo us by the will of God. Here was a church composed entirely of those who were a few years previously had known nothing more than the values of the Greek and Roman world, and yet they were competing beyond their actual resources to give the poor Jews in a distant area of the Empire. What made the difference. The answer is in the last phrase and this they did.
But as we hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord and undo us by the will of God. They gave because they had first given themselves to the Lord Jesus. One commentator is written in the natural course of human nature. The individual seeks only to get for himself when the grace of God has touched his heart.
He turns toward the Lord and thus inevitably toward others. I see this every day and those who give sacrificially to Christian causes such as the Bible study our of the second great principle of Christ teaching is that through his stewardship. A Christian is to look for spiritual rewards if he gives spiritually as God leads them to give you will receive spiritual rewards from God gives to please men. Well, he will have rewards from Manhattan but not from heaven. Jesus said when thou do installments let not thy left hand know what thy right hand do with the thigh and arms may be in secret, and thy father who see it in secret shall reward thee openly.
Once again, this is amplified most profitably in one of Paul's statements to the Gentile churches occurs in the letter to the Galatians and it includes the much quoted phrase. Whatever a man so effectually also reap which incidentally has nothing to do with sewing wild oats as most people think. But with the giving of money.
In fact the whole last chapter of Galatians is primarily concerned with the subject of all rights.
Let him that is taught in the word share with him the teacher and all good things.
That means the members of the church should give money to support their pastors be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man's soul with, that shall he also reap.
Read it. So with to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, that is, if he spends his money on his body or on his lower nature. The money will be gone and the body will dissipate. Also but he that so with to the spirit.
Paul says, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting men means.
He spends his money on spiritual things, then the spirit of God will see that he gets a great reward in heaven. Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
As we have therefore opportunity that is pending upon the amount of our income and the ups and downs of the stock market, let us do good unto all men, especially under them who are of the household of faith upholds great principle here is that money spent on the body to clothe her feeder house or entertain it while it has value for this life has no lasting fruit for eternity. While money spent in obedience to the Lord spread the gospel and meet the needs of those were poor and suffering will have results not only in this life, but in eternity also. I wonder if you've noticed that these verses also contain another principle that perhaps we need especially to remember is the principal that we are not to be weary in well doing, I sometimes think myself as I see the numerous requests that come to my church for money many from very worthwhile causes.
As I pass along scores of these to the members of my congregation as objects for their giving that there is no end to end.
The task of responding to the needs themselves. Seems burdensome. Perhaps you feel this time to send perhaps you become weary. Well Paul knew this to because he refers to it and yet he says that we are not to complain, there will always be one more cause for an offering.
Let us give to it as we are best able, let us not become weary, let us take confidence in the promise that we shall reap. Eventually, in this life and in heaven. If we do not lose heart. Now there is one more point about how we are to use our money. That is not stated explicitly in Christ teachings in the sermon on the Mount Bend is involved in them precisely because it is Christ teaching and flows from his character, is the principle of sacrificial giving the Bible points to it in Christ case when it says for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich. Therefore again Paul is referring to the offering for the Jerusalem saints perform the doing of it that as there was a readiness to will so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have let me ask this question. Have you ever been led of the Lord to give sacrificially perhaps even of that which you do not yet have let me tell you how Dr. Oswald J.
Smith Pastor of the well-known People's church in Toronto, Canada first learned to give sacrificially he was sitting on the platform of the People's church for the first time the first week it commenced his ministry there was at the time of year that they were holding their annual missionary conference.
He was unaware of their normal procedure and he was somewhat surprised to see the ushers going up and down the aisles handing out envelopes. Surprise turned to amazement. However, in amazement the horror when one of the ushers had the audacity as he set it to walk up the island hand human envelope you read on it in dependence upon God.
I will endeavor to give toward the missionary work of the church blank dollars. During the coming year.
I never seen such a thing before.
And as he had a wife and child to keep and was at that time earning only $25 a week.
He had never given more than five dollars to missions that any one time previously and that only once I started to pray or not, I can do anything you know I have nothing. I have a dissent in the bank. I haven't anything in my pocket. Everything is sky high in price and it was true.
World War I was on the Lord seemed to say to him. I know all that I know you were only getting $25 a week. I know you have nothing in your pocket. Nothing in the bank will and he said, that settles it. Although it doesn't Lord answered. I'm not asking you for what you have.
I'm asking you for a faith offering. How much can you trust me for Lord that Dr. Smith lets different. How much can I trust you for $50 $50. He exclaimed why that's two weeks salary. How can I ever get $50.
But again, the Lord spoken with a trembling hand as he tells it. Oswald Smith signed his name in the amount of $50 on the envelope really is written since that he still doesn't know how he paid it yet to pray each month for four dollars each month, God sent it in at the end of the year. Not only had he paid the whole $50 it himself receives such a blessing that he raised it to $100 during that year's missionary conference and he went on. Of course, to give much more. Later in the lead People's church into an ever-expanding and ever more effective program of home and world missions that is real sacrificial giving and it is borne solely of the Christian gospel.
If you are concerned about your giving. You should be. If you're a Christian, then begin by yielding yourself to the Lord. Seek out spiritual causes and asked the Lord to lead you in his own pattern of sacrificial giving when you've given yourself to him. Then your struggles will end.
He will guide you and he will provide for all of your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus our father, we thank you for these basic principles of Christian giving, giving ourselves to you giving the spiritual causes and giving sacrificially. We ask you to help us to put them into practice in the very practical areas in which we handle our money.
We pray in Jesus name, amen. You're listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce. The New Testament gives us a formula for giving in that formula consists of three elements that may surprise you. You can learn more in a message by our beloved Bible teacher, Dr. Boyce through today's free offer entitled the grace of giving this free CD is our gift to you. Call us at 1-800-488-1888 will be happy to send you a copy of the grace of giving that number again is 1-800-488-1888. Charity is often regarded as a means to meet the physical needs of man, but it's also needed to meet spiritual needs, and the Bible study our exists for this purpose.
Would you help us continue to broadcast Dr. Boyce's life-changing messages by making a generous donation online today that the Bible study. Our daughter work. You could also call us directly at 1-800-488-1888, and our mailing address 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Thank you the message you just heard as well as other content from Dr. Boyce and many reform teachers, authors and speakers is email@example.com that's reformed resources.org. What if you could have just about every sermon broadcast by Dr. Boyce at your fingertips. That's just one of the many benefits of being a friend of the alliance supporting the Bible study our Bible study. Our app is your gateway to hundreds of hours of great Bible teaching and friends of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals supporting the Bible study our hold the key to unlock the treasure today visit the Bible study our.org/friend and become a friend of the alliance.
Today I marked Daniel's prayers bring you into the presence of God.
Many of us would answer not always get Jesus taught were to pray only when were aware of the Lord's presence and is the answer to this dilemma. Join Dr. James Boyce as he explores the often misunderstood subject of prayer and shows us how sinful man should approach a holy God. That's next time one Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically