The Grace Way of Giving,
In the study of what the Word of God
has to teach us
concerning the Christian practice of giving, we have learned certain
as we come now to this fifth segment.
None of these principles that we have learned are
designed to excuse any
of us from the practice of giving.
Sometimes board members get a little nervous when we
lay in heaven on
the grace system of giving because it seems that if people really
little they are under pressure and under demand and what a really
the matter of your money and supporting God’s work is, that there
will be a
tendency on the part of Christians to drift off and not to rise to the
opportunity, the challenge, the privilege, and the responsibility which
However, while that is a natural
tendency within us, it is
in reality not the way it works. When
people learn what God’s principles are, when people what doctrine
has to say
and then are receptive to it, it causes them to function in the right
way. There is nothing greater in the world
come to know what God thinks. There is
nothing more disastrous than to operate on some basis other than what
thinks. Once every member of this
congregation has received these principles and is functioning on them,
will never again be a time when there will not be enough money to pay
because God always brings together enough people in a local
congregation to do
His job and His work and in His order.
Therefore, if we want to get our bills paid, we have
to learn these
divine principles and then we’ll know how to function. There is no other way. To
substitute something else is really
self-defeating. So here are the
principles we’ve learned thus far to which we should be oriented:
We have learned first of all that
tithing has no part in
grace giving (Romans 6:14b, 2 Corinthians 3:7-13).
The Old Testament had a religious income tax
called tithing which was levied upon all the Jews—believers and
alike. These tithes were paid. That’s why the expression “paying
is used. It really causes the hair to
stand up on the back of my neck to stand up and praise the Lord for the
blessings that he has received because he has paid his tithes. When you get hold of the feeling of grace and
you get oriented to grace, you will certainly be revolted by a
that which is such an insult to our God.
The Old Testament giving that was real offering was
freewill giving. Tithing covers up using
our own money as our
income expands for ourselves rather than sharing equally on an
with the Lord’s work.
Secondly, an emotional love for money
is the source for all
kinds of sins (1 Timothy 6:10). If we
have an emotional love for money, an emotional attachment to money, it
a lack of that facet of spiritual maturity in us that we have referred
the mastery of the details of life. It
leads to covetousness for things that are temporary, and this results
sorrows which pierce us because we have failed to have a control of the
of life, and money is one of them. An
emotional attachment to money will often neutralize one’s active
service. People get so head up about
money. People get so attached. People get so emotionally involved with
pursuing it that they must look back upon their lives in time and say,
know, I really didn’t do much in the way of Christian service. I just really wasn’t with it. I was with getting out to get the money, and
maybe under the guise that I was going to help others do Christian
I myself failed in real Christian service.
The third principle we have learned: Grace giving stems from the mental attitude
of grace orientation (2 Corinthians 8:2).
Part of the spiritual maturity structure of the soul
is built through
Bible doctrine—grace orientation. The
only way you will become oriented to God’s viewpoint on grace is
learning the principles of the Word. So
grace giving through these chapters in 2 Corinthians does not stress
given, but the mental attitude. The poor
Macedonians were able to give sacrificially and with great joy because
were oriented to the grace of God. Our
giving is to commemorate this grace which God has showered upon us. That’s why you walk up to an offering
every time you do it. It’s not to
God back for anything. It’s to
commemorate the grace that He has given you.
And there are few Christians, unfortunately, around
us who understand
what it is to be oriented to the grace of God.
Christians are up to the ever-loving necks in
Fourth, grace giving must be voluntary
8:3). That means no human coercion, no
appeals to your emotions, and no legalistic pressures or gimmicks
you. I cannot stress enough to you that
so much of your spiritual well-being and of your eternal rewards are
upon your grace giving, and giving in a proper way in this age of the
church. I cannot urge upon you strongly
enough to be very careful about associating yourself with groups,
organizations, and religious bodies who violate this principle of
grace giving. Anytime somebody stands up
and gives you an emotional pitch to give to the Lord’s work, you
wallet shut. If you respond on that
basis, what you give is no reward to you, and God does not honor it. Grace giving is a function of your Christian
priesthood, so it has to be privately and without pressures upon you. Sacrificial giving cannot be sacrificial
unless it’s an expression of freewill.
Next, number five, grace giving is a
privilege to be eagerly
sought (2 Corinthians 8:4). The
Macedonians, because they understood grace giving, were enthusiastic to
apostle Paul to let them have a share in the Jerusalem relief fund.
Number six, grace giving requires soul
giving first (2
Corinthians 8:5). How do you give your
soul to the Lord? By having some little
emotional ritual you go through? By
making some public pronouncement? By
walking an aisle and dedicating yourself, or rededicating which is even
to the Lord? This is not how you can
give your soul to the Lord. There is
only one way you can give your soul to God, and that’s by getting
the facets of
your soul lined up with God in His thinking, in His will, and in His
feelings. That’s how you give your
soul. Now how are you going to line up
your soul in that way with God? Only
through Bible doctrine. When you’ve
learned what doctrine has to say, and you respond to it, you’re
in phase with
God. Christian giving is an expression
of the believers’ own character, as God’s giving has been
an expression of His
Number seven, grace giving depends
upon the believer
functioning daily under the grace system of perception (2 Corinthians
8:7). The Corinthians super-abounded in
spiritual things, we read at 2 Corinthians 8:7.
This is in the indicative mood which is a
declaration of reality and a
fact. Then at the end of that verse we
have the subjunctive mood which is potential—a doubtful mood, a
question. It was a question whether the
Corinthians would super-abound in giving also, as they super-abounded
the spiritual blessings that God had poured out upon them.
The level of our giving reflects the degree
of our functioning under the grace system of perception.
And these people who show up at Berean
Memorial Church once in a while, and occasionally drift in and drift
get a little spiritual food, you may be certain, without a shadow of a
almost, that they are very cheap givers.
The people who drift in and out rarely give much at
all. It is the people who are functioning
regular basis under the grace system of perception of taking in
doctrine. These are the people who can
give. Until you do this, you cannot give.
Now in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, Paul is
describing the giving
of the Macedonian Christians to these Corinthians Christians in order
the Corinthians direction for their own giving.
What we are learning in these two chapters are basic
Christian giving. They relate to grace
giving in very specific ways so that we learn from what Paul is saying
the principles which govern the Christian’s giving.
And you will discover that many other
doctrines are related to grace giving. A
Christian who knows how to give under grace is going to be straightened
a lot of other relationships with the Lord.
The Christian who is wrong on grace giving is going
to be wrong in his
relationships to God on many other doctrines that have nothing to do
Now Paul has sent Titus to Corinth to
collection for the Jerusalem relief fund which had been begun a year
having commended to them in verse 7 that they should get with this
again that they had begun. They were to
get it completed as God has prospered them through the grace system of
providing spiritual insights, they had developed spiritual maturity
in their souls. The pentagon of defense
and offense within their souls has developed and prospered and matured. Now God says God has given you knowledge, He
has given you that “gnosis.” You
responded and it has become full knowledge, usable
“epignosis” knowledge. Now as
God has prospered you spiritually, why
don’t you go on in the matter of grace giving and complete that
2 Corinthians 8:8-10
But he wants to qualify
something—something that they should
understand about what he is saying. He
qualifies this in verse 8 by saying, “I speak not by commandment
occasion of the earnestness of others, and to prove the sincerity of
love.” “I speak
not…” In the Greek this is
the word “lego.” This simply
means to communicate. He says,
“I’m not communicating, I’m not
telling you this, I haven’t been discussing this, I haven’t
brought up this subject by way of a commandment.”
He uses here a preposition “kata.” This means “according to a
standard.” The standard here is what
he calls an
“epitage.” This is an
command. Paul says, “I am not
to you according to the standard of a command.
I am not issuing an order in what I said in verse 7
super-abounding in giving,” although he had apostolic authority
and he could
have commanded them to get with it. They
were a wealthy church. There was plenty
of money in Corinth. He could have told
them to get with it, “and you people who are well off, underwrite
and let’s get this money off to the Jerusalem saints, and
let’s get relief onto
them. They’re in desperate
straights.” But he did not command
them. He said, “I am not speaking as
command,” because grace giving can never stem from a dictatorial
The Christians are commanded to do
certain things in
Scripture. God does command us to be
filled with the spirit. He does command
you to come to church and listen to a pastor-teacher.
I wonder how many people are very faithful in
confessing to the Lord the sin of staying at home from church services
Sunday morning and Sunday evening. God
commands us to pray. He commands us to
study the Word. He commands us to have
“agape” love and a relaxed mental attitude, a mind free of
people. But He does not command us to
give. He never commands us to give. So don’t let anybody slip you the notion
you have some kind of a commanding duty or responsibility, etc. by way
order to give. There is a
responsibility, but it’s not by way of an order.
Grace giving results from these things that
God commands us to do—to be filled with the spirit, to pray, to
study the Word,
to assemble with the saints for pastor-teacher instruction, etc. It’s very relaxing to realize that all
God asks of you and me in our giving is that we extend what we are
to that offering box. That’s all He
asks. He’s just saying, “What
my child, spiritually, what you have developed in your soul, I want you
by and extend and express that toward that offering box in what you
give. Now that’s very relaxing. God is asking you to respond to something
that you are, not something that you are not.
So he says, “I don’t speak
to you by way of a commandment in
telling you this and encouraging you to this offering, but by occasion
earnestness of others.” Here
a Greek preposition. When he says
it’s the Greek expression “dia,” and that means
“by the instrument” or “by the
means of” by the instrumentality” of the earnestness of
“earnestness” is “spoude.”
This means “diligent application.” “So I ask you by the
‘spoude,’ the diligent
application of others (that is, the Macedonian Christians), as to what
did, that this giving should affect your diligent application in the
way. Why were the Macedonians this
diligent? Because they knew the
Word. All the information and thinking
that they had was able to guide them.
The only guidance you can get is what guidance comes
mind. If you don’t know the Word,
will have no guidance. This is why
Christian giving is such a hard thing because the average Christian has
denied an understanding of the principles by which God wants him to
The level of doctrine in the directive
side of your mind is
going to determine your capacity to love God and therefore your
give. If you don’t love God, you
not give. If you love God in a very
small way, you will give in a very small way.
There is no way for you to love God except as you
take in His Word. As doctrine develops in
the directive side of
your mind as the result of what’s fed up from your human spirit
that God has
taught, you will develop a love for God.
This is always true of love. This
is part of our spiritual maturity—the capacity to love. Capacity to love comes from the Word. This is not only true toward God.
This is true between the sexes.
This is true between your friends.
The level of love is determined by the level
of intake of the Word.
The Macedonians are an example of love
for God and it moved
them to give. They’re a good example
because of the fact that they were poor.
You and I, if we were writing the Bible and we
wanted to give an example
of good Christian giving, we’d find ourselves a few wealthy
people. We would say, “Now look at
person. He began many years ago in the
business. He promised God that he would
give him 10%. So his business started
and he gave God 10%. His business
prospered and then he gave 20%. The next
year he was making $4 million and he gave God 30% and he lived off the
it. Then he went on until now he gives
90% of his $10 million a year, and he squeaks by on a million bucks a
Now that’s how you and I would
try to demonstrate how nice
it would be for Berean Memorial Church to get $9 million a year from a
million earner. Already your hearts are
saying, “Gee, that is a good illustration.
I wonder if we could find anybody like that.” But God comes along and says, “I want to
teach you something about giving. If I
use somebody that has money, you’re going to have the wrong idea. The first thing you’re going to do is go
off to left field on the subject of giving.
So what does He do?
He gets a group of Macedonian Christians who were
having their heads
beaten out by the Roman army, who are under fantastic pressures, who
suffered economic disasters, and they’re poor as can be,
squeaking by. And He says now these are
the people I’m
going to teach you how to give under grace with because how much they
could not have been the issue. It was
the motivations, the qualities, and the attitudes with which they gave
constituted grace giving. Grace giving
is an attitude of mind. If you don’t
that, you will never learn. Grace giving
is an attitude of mind. It is not the
amount that you donate. That is not the
issue that is stressed in the Word. It
centers on the factor of love for God as the result of our doctrinal
intake. The Macedonians, in spite of
their poverty, were outstanding grace givers because they knew how to
God. Some things in the Christian life
are done in obedience to a command, but giving is an expression of
love, not a
So the Corinthians, who were wealthy,
were as good stewards
as were the Macedonians. This was not
because the Corinthians didn’t have money to be just as good, but
were weak on doctrine, and consequently weak on love, and consequently
So he says, “I don’t speak
in the nature of a command, but
by the instrumentality of the earnestness of others, the diligent
of the Macedonians, and to prove the sincerity of your love.” The word “prove” in Greek is
“dokimazo.” This word tells us
significant. “Dokimazo” is a
means “to test something for the purpose of approving it.” It means to test something to show that
good. The idea is to take it and to
demonstrate by some kind of a test the good quality which is already
there. That’s what Paul is doing. Paul is saying, “I know you Corinthians
have been very carnal have been getting on the ball with the Word. Things have improved considerably. I’ve had the direct report from Titus. That’s why he wrote 2 Corinthians, in
response to the good news. He said,
I want to demonstrate what I know has happened to you spiritually. The one way to demonstrate it, the par
excellence way of spiritual maturity and advancement and development is
grace giving because the person who has had something realistically
him by the Lord Jesus Christ and has responded to the Word of God is
be a grace giver. “Dokimazo”
test, to show what is good.
There is another word for
“testing” in the Greek. It’s
called “peirazo.” This means
“to test to see whether there is
something good or bad—to discover what’s there,” and
actually it connotes the
idea of proving that a thing is bad.
This is the word that the Bible uses about what
Satan does to us. He tempts us.
He “peirazos” us in order to prove that
we are bad and to get us to do
what is evil. God never
us. God always “dokimazos” us
to prove the good and the worth that He has put into us, but he never
to do that which is evil.
So Paul is going to test the
Corinthians to show the
genuineness of their love through their giving.
The Corinthians have probably been emphasizing the
amount that they
gave. Wealthy people tend to do
this. So they’ve probably been smug
the fact that they gave a large amount, but a large amount short of the
ability. Large churches with wealthy
members can very easily gather together a certain sum of money for a
would take a considerable sacrifice for a smaller church with members
not so wealthy to achieve. So just
because this church at Corinth had come up with a sizeable sum of money
apparently, compared to their ability it was nothing as to what the
had done out of their poverty.
The thing that was important was not
the amount that was
different. The thing that was important
was what this reflected about the spiritual condition of each of them. Well things have changed in Corinth. Where they have been smug about what they
have given in spite of what they could have given, things are changing. Paul says, “I know that these has now
into your life a spiritual…” The
translation says “sincerity.” It’s
Greek word “gnesios.” This
not “sincerity.” … The
your love.” This is the word which
used for “born in wedlock,” or “legitimate.”
He is going to demonstrate the legitimacy and the
genuineness now “of
your love,” and this is the “agape” love, the mental
attitude love. Paul’s encouragement
is for the Corinthians
to follow the grace giving example of the Macedonians and to thereby
their love as the Macedonians reveal their love for the Lord. Grace giving is the system that God has
designed, in other words, to test the reality of our love for the Lord.
I want to express my love for God. How do I do it? It’s
easy to say, “I love Him,” but that
often means very little. The reality of
this expression depends on the person who says it.
Some people can come up to you and say, “I
love you,” and you know that they don’t know a flip about
love, and therefore
the expression is meaningless. Because
have no capacity for love you distrust what they’re saying to you. Because you know their motivations are
worthless you don’t accept the expression.
When are moved to tell God that we love Him in a
crisis, it doesn’t mean
very much, or because we want to gain some benefit, it doesn’t
much. It’s like some little kid
up on his mother’s knee when he wants a present and he says,
“I love you.” But how can we
express our love for God?
Well, some people say, “I can
express it through worship,”
and that’s true. “I express my
God through worship.” What is
worship? Some people think it is ritual,
going through motions, but that is a religious service.
Anybody can do that. You
don’t have to be a Christian to go
through those motions. You can’t
God you love Him that way. Worship has
certain outward aspects to it. People
gather together in a room. They
sing. They pray. They
listen to the explanation of the Word of
God, but these are outward factors.
There is an inner quality to worship through which
we show God that we
love Him. That inner quality is a
capacity for worship. The Bible tells us
we must worship in spirit (God the Holy Spirit) and in truth (doctrine
soul). Anyone sing. Anyone
can pray. Anyone can give.
These are the outward aspects of worship, but
it takes somebody with a human spirit filled with doctrine, the inner
worship, for it to be genuine and real. Worship
is impossible from this kind of a relationship to doctrine. Ultimately worship is a response of our love
with an ability and a capacity. The
ability is the outward expression.
That’s the use of doctrine.
the capacity is the inner expression which is the storage of doctrine
have built up.
In love for the opposite sex we have
relationship. You cannot love in a
genuine realistic deep way physically until there has been a soul
that individual. Once there is a soul
love, then the physical love follows and can be expressed.
The inner quality has to be there first
before the outer quality can come to the forefront.
This is the same thing in giving.
Until there is a love for the Lord on the
basis of knowing His Word and responding to it within, you cannot give
outwardly and thus express your love for Him.
So there are these two factors. Paul says, “I am not speaking as a
but through the instrumentality of the diligent application of others,
to reveal the genuineness of your love.”
So here’s the principle which is taught in
this verse: Grace giving is a test of the
one’s love for God. Grace giving
reveal your affection for God. Grace
giving is love giving. It is not law
giving or emotional giving.
Then there’s another principle
in verse 9. He goes on:
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that though He was
rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty
rich.” The grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ: “For” introduces the
sacrificial giving. “Ye know:” This word again is a significant word in the
This means “to know” but it means
“to know as
the result of an experience.” There’s
another word “oida” which means “to know as a result
of information that you
have received,” and thinking a thing through.
“Ginosko” is what you get by experience,
and the experience here is
external through the hearing of doctrine concerning the incarnation of
Christ. The experience here is also
internal in that it has the reality of personal salvation through Jesus
Christ. Paul says that you know something
in two ways: by an external way, which
is learning doctrine; and, secondly, by an internal way, which is your
salvation reality in Jesus Christ.
Continual understanding is actively secured as we
learn the Word. That understanding is
internal and it has
Now what has he learned?
That you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. That Greek word for “grace” is our
“charis.” This is the
sacrifice of Jesus
Christ for sinners as the supreme example of grace giving.
It’s an expression of unmerited spontaneous
love. Sacrificial giving is the very
essence of divine grace. Grace of the
Lord Jesus Christ has made us rich. God
in grace has made us rich. How has He
Well, it is the grace of God that
provided you and me with a
priesthood under which we give. It is
God who has provided us the money to give.
It is God who has given us the means to learn
doctrine to guide that
giving. Grace functions on the basis of
who and what God is, not on who and what we are or what we do. That’s the great thing about grace. What God has provided for us can never be
spoiled because it depends only on Him.
Grace makes a believer into the image of Jesus
Christ. We call this positional
sanctification. We are in Christ. We call this experiential
sanctification. That’s our life now
that’s building a spiritual maturity structure in the soul. We call this ultimate sanctification when we
have our resurrection body and the old sin nature is removed. Grace does that for us. Grace
brings maximum love of God to the
believer—God’s maximum love through the cross.
The Christian faces the hazards of
being disoriented to
grace and of reverting to legalism in his giving. That’s
why we have to understand that God
functions under grace, and what grace is.
God waits to pour out his grace blessing on the
Christian who is
oriented to doctrine. A lot of blessing
that could be ours is missed because we just aren’t oriented
through the Word
to His thinking. Grace carries the
believer through suffering and through the pressures of life. Those problems you meet: God
has a provision for them. Grace is
God’s perfect plan. He has provided
this for you and me as our
way of life. Grace orientation is the
source of all of our genuine bonafide giving.
Pride is the source of human giving.
So it says, “Ye know the
grace…” and all that his connotes
of God’s plan and provision, “… of our Lord Jesus
Christ…,” His full name, the
full title of the God man, “… that though He was
rich…” How was He rich? It literally says, “He being
indicating His absolute status. We have
a Greek work here, the verb “eimi,” and this is a word of
absolute status. “Eimi” tells
you something that is absolutely
true—the status about Jesus Christ in eternity past.
We’re told as in John 17:5 that He shared
with the Father the glory of God. There
was never a time when Jesus Christ as God was not rich.
This word “rich” is the Greek word
from which we get our word “plutocrat.”
“Plousios” means “wealthy”
Jesus Christ was very rich. He
was the second person of the Trinity, and all that that connoted. He is the first begotten before every
creature. He was the Creator of all that
is visible and invisible. He is the
sustainer of the universe, both by position and by what He did. He is very very rich.
Now this phrase clearly indicates that
Jesus Christ existed
before He came in His human body. Out
there in eternity past, the Son of God was very rich.
This person who was so very rich yet “for
your sakes,” which means “on account of you all”
(this connotes substitution),
He took on himself a poverty in the form of the cross.
This word is placed first in this particular
clause, for emphasis. “For your
with you personally in mind, he took upon Himself a poverty in spite of
spiritual wealth. He became poor. The Greek word for “poor” is
“ptocheuo.” This word means
not only to be poor. It means to be
downright destitute. It’s an abject
poverty. Jesus Christ in eternity past,
when He left
heaven’s glory, came in human form in the incarnation, and
reduced Himself to
poverty by setting aside His glory and coming as a man.
The ultimate point of poverty was that three
hours that He hung on the cross when the sins of the world were poured
Him, and He died spiritually. This
impoverishment is what Philippians 2:6-8 is describing, when Paul says,
being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God,
Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant and
in the likeness of men. And being found
in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death,
the death of the cross.”
This describes the poverty, the
downright abject poverty, to
which Jesus Christ came. This is in the
active voice which means that He did it voluntarily.
He took this upon Himself. The
impeccable person gave Himself on the
cross for the sins of the world. Now
this is an illustration of grace giving.
That’s what He’s doing here. He’s
saying that Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of grace giving. The reality of this one who, with all of His
divine attributes, took the position where He was despised, persecuted,
crucified as a man.
So Paul says, “Now you know,
from the experience of study,
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that because of you all He became
being wealthy.” Now what was the
of this? “That ye through His
poverty…” That you all (the
Corinthians), through His
poverty (and again it uses a noun from this same Greek verb)—by
means of His
poverty (and the word “His” is emphasized—that
One’s poverty—that particular
person of whom you’ve been speaking, contrasting with us), that
we might be
rich (“plouteo”). “Plouteo”
the spiritual wealth that was Christ’s and now it’s ours
(John 17:22). The whole plan of God is the
riches of His
grace to us in salvation and the Christian life. Since
grace is God’s riches to us through
Christ, His plan is to deal with us in grace, and our giving must be in
grace. We must be motivated by the things
motivate God. His love expresses itself
in sacrificial giving. That’s why
is the example in giving. There are no
pressures in giving. It’s a free
expression of love.
Now that makes sense.
Obviously you can’t command somebody’s
love. You can’t put pressures in
love. If you and I are going to walk up to
offering boxes and say, “Now I’m going up here to express
my love,” we can’t
walk up to that offering box and see somebody put up a sign that says,
Berean a tither.” Immediately
has put pressure and demand upon us and has frustrated our being able
love. This is like some woman going to
her husband or her boyfriend and saying, “Now I want you to
understand that I
want you really to love me today—really deep affection,” as
if she could
command that kind of a response. There
is no pressure in giving if it is to be a free expression of love.
So doctrine in our minds is going to
enable us to love God
and to respond with grace giving. Grace
giving is giving freely, but this does not mean that because Christ
made Himself poor so that we could become rich spiritually, that we
ourselves poor materially. That
what He is saying. You don’t have to
give away all of your money and then wait upon the Lord to take care of
you. What He is asking you is to
recognize that everything you have belongs to the Lord, and
you’re using it
accordingly. In other words, you’re
operating on God’s credit card.
When somebody takes you out to the
restaurant to eat and
they hand you the menu, the normal reaction of most people is,
“I’m a guest
here. Somebody else is paying for this,
and even if they say, ‘anything you want,’” you
don’t order the lobster. You kind of
stay over toward the hamburger
side. Now if they want to grab the menu
and say, “You must have lobster,” that’s something
else. That’s acting in freewill and
love. It’s the same thing with God. You’re operating on His credit card.
Once in a while I see somebody go up
to someone and say, “Now
I want you to do this, and here’s my credit card.
Just charge it.” I
never had anybody do that to me, but I have
seen other people have this experience, and I’ve always envied
them. But if you had somebody’s
credit card, you
could have a blast. Oh you might
exercise certain restraints and say, “Well, wait a minute. He’s going to have to pay for this so I
act accordingly.” That’s what
expects of us. We’re operating on
credit card. It’s His money. He doesn’t expect you to give it all
away. He doesn’t expect you to do
without the necessities of life, or the reasonable comforts.
Don’t come up after the service
and say, “Well what if I
have this bill to pay, and after I pay it I don’t have any
offering to give?” Well, pay your
bill. Now you might want to ask yourself,
have incurred that much expense that I can’t give?” But once you’ve incurred, the answer is
you pay your bill. Don’t sit around
saying, “Well, I’m going to give it to the Lord and let
other people wait.” Grace giving
doesn’t mean you give it all
away. It doesn’t mean you deprive
yourself of the things that are right and necessary.
It just means you remember whose money you’re
So if grace giving is love giving, it
has to be done the way
love sometimes has to be done—in private.
There are private aspects of love, and our giving,
if it’s to be a love
gift has to have that privacy aspect.
This word “plouteo” here is in the
aorist tense—all the grace provision
of God to us. He has made us rich from
salvation to eternity. The believer is
active voice. He’s the recipient of
these grace riches at the point of his deciding to believe in Jesus
Christ. However, it is in what is called
the subjunctive mood means “potential.”
It may be or it may not be. Now
it’s up to you as to whether you are going to be made rich. Jesus Christ has made the provision. He has handed you the credit card. All of the riches and spiritual blessings of
heaven have been laid at your disposal.
It’s yours. You’ve
got it, but
the question is whether you will receive it.
It’s like the Jews who were given the land. Because they were doctrinally disoriented in
their souls, because they had no spiritual maturity structures, they
able to rise up and take the land, so it was lost to them.
The point is:
are you able to enter into what God has provided? The thing that determines that is how much
you know about Him—how much doctrine there is in the directive
side of your
mind so that you may be led into responding to what He has provided.
Do you see why it is important to read
the Bible, to study
the Word, to be here where somebody can explain a few things to you? We learn so little. We
really ought to be doing this every night
of the week, not just on weekends. You
ought to be doing it some way, with tapes or some other way every day
as you progress in this Word, and I don’t care how long
you’ve been a
Christian, you haven’t gone far enough.
Every step you take will lead you more deeply into
the riches that Jesus
Christ came to give you.
Paul says, “Now you know from
the experience of study, the
grace system of perception, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He
wealthy in his pre-incarnate state, because of you all became poor, at
incarnation and the cross, that you all, by means of His poverty, might
rich in His grace provisions.
So here’s the principle which is
taught in verse 9: Grace giving is
supremely illustrated by the
Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 8:9).
His giving was sacrificial to enrich others. His giving was motivated by love.
His giving was in grace with no strings
attached. His giving was voluntary, and
His giving has a personal intimate private aspect that is just between
We’ve seen two principles here. Grace giving is a test of the genuineness of
your love for God. Grace giving is
supremely illustrated by the Lord Jesus Christ.
May we follow His example.
Dr. John E. Danish, 1971
to the Basic Bible Doctrine index
the Bible Questions index