Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Principles for Giving in the NT-The Details of Giving

While the three foundational elements are helpful for the process for giving, certain details are spelled out that should guide Christian giving as well.

First, giving should be universal. Every believer should be involved with giving. 1 Cor 16:2a says, “On the first day of every week each one of you.” So, it isn’t only the rich/wealthy who should be giving, but every Christian should be involved.

Second, Christian giving should be systematic, not sporadic or spontaneous. We need to be giving on a regular basis, that is, weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly. The more often, the better. Again, 1 Cor 16:2a says, “On the first day of every week.” Why does Paul say this? There could be many reasons, including the fact that the more consistently we give, the more we will give in the long run. Giving $100 every week is, for most people, much easier than giving $5200 per year. Writing that check for $5200 could inevitably be a painful experience for some, thus not a joyful/cheerful experience. Also, practically speaking, churches have bills to pay and salaries to pay. If all Christians began giving every couple of months, the church would have a hard time paying its bills on time.

Third, certain precautions should be made with the contributions. Those who handle the money should be trustworthy individuals. 2 Cor 8:18-21 says, “We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches; and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness, taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift; for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” This may be where the modern practice that pastors have nothing to do with the collection (and have no knowledge of who-gave-what) came from. Regardless, Paul took this precaution and it would be wise for us to do this, also.

There are three details to our giving that need to be considered alongside of the foundations for Christian giving.

The Details of Giving
Definition: Every believer should give
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 16:2 (cf. Rom 1:20–21)

Definition: Give on a regular basis, that is, weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 16:2

Proper Precautions
Definition: Precautions should be made with the handling of money
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8:18–21


Richard H. Anderson said...

2Cr 9:7 Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

dacroteau said...

Which part are you referring to? If it's the "cheerful" part, that principle will be in a future post.