This blog will now turn to some of the positive teachings in the New Testament concerning giving. There are certain foundational principles for giving communicated in the New Testament. These three principles describe how are giving should be driven.
First, our giving should be driven by our relationship with God. 2 Cor 8:5b says, “but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.” Giving money without having given oneself to the Lord is the wrong order. We should first examine and focus on our relationship with God.
Second, our giving should be a response to the grace God has shown us. 2 Cor 8-9 is filled with the word “grace.” As Craig Blomberg says, “grace is the entire theme of this entire two-chapter section.” When preparing oneself to give, reflect upon how God has shown grace to you. If you have a difficult time seeing how God has shown you grace, you probably should go back to step one: your relationship with Him.
Third, our giving should be driven (and motivated [see future post]) our love for God. 2 Cor 8:8 says, “I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.” Our giving will prove how sincere our love for God really is … it is a demonstration of our love. The gift Paul received from the Philippians (Phil 4:15-19) was a demonstration of their love for God, and for Paul.
These are the three foundational pillars for giving in the New Testament.
Foundations for Giving
Definition: Our giving is to be based upon our relationship with the Lord, the receiver of our gifts
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8:4-5
Definition: Our giving is to be a response to the grace God has shown to us
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8–9
Definition: Our giving is to be a demonstration of our love
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8:8 (cf. Phil 4:15–20)