Monday, March 13, 2006

Principles for Giving in the New Testament-The Foundations for Giving

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
Relationship-Driven 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

Grace-Driven Giving
Definition: Our giving is to be a response to the grace God has shown to us
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8–9

Love-Driven Giving
Definition: Our giving is to be a demonstration of our love
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8:8 (cf. Phil 4:15–20)

4 comments:

Alan S. Bandy said...
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Alan S. Bandy said...

Great post Dave. This will help many pastors offer a number of NT guidelines for giving.

Richard H. Anderson said...

What about?
In the Gospel of Matthew we read: “Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

dacroteau said...

Richard, this was the first post in this series on NT principles for giving ... I got about 17 or so more I'll give over the next few days. Matt 6 is is there.
dave