Grace Giving

The Grace Way of Giving, No. 9

BD37-01

We continue with the study of the doctrine of grace giving.  This is the ninth in the series.  We read in the Word of God, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight of it, not by constraint but willingly, not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind.  Remember them who have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the Word of God whose faith follow considering the end of their manner of life.  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.  If any many speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.  If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.” 

Negative Volition

Negative volition toward the pastor teaching authority which God has placed in every local church relative to Bible doctrine instruction takes a variety of expressions.  The Scriptures which we have read this morning declare that that authority exists, that that authority is to be listened to, that that authority is to be respected, and that when it is rejected, you are not dealing with a human being, but you are dealing with God Himself. 

This negative response toward the teaching authority which has been placed in the local church takes a variety of expressions.  It may have been expressed by you in the phrase, “I don’t have to believe what the pastor-teacher says.”  Or it may have been in the phrase, “Oh, I don’t believe that.  Do you?”  Then there is an appeal to some authority, hopefully to counter what you don’t want to believe.  Or you may have said, “You make it sound like that’s what the Bible teaches.”  A man recently said this:  “The thing I don’t like Berean is that they make it sound like what’s what the Bible teaches” on this certain subject that he didn’t like.  Or you may have said, “Other good men hold different interpretations of that.”  Another favorite is, “Who does he think he is, God?”  Or as one lady said, “You make us feel that that’s the way it has to be.” 

All of these are a variety of expressions and we all have our various and own kind.  All of them sum up and add up to saying, “I’m negative toward the pastor-teacher authority and what it’s saying in that local assembly.  So I must remind you as you are confronted with people who say this to you that immediately that anybody ever opens his mouth to you in negative resistance toward what has been taught from the Word of God, that you remind the person who is giving you the negative reaction that it is necessary for him in the very next breath, and I mean before he says another word, as soon as he has uttered a negative expression, in the very next breath, he must utter the explanation of his negative response:  “I don’t think that means that because the Bible says this, because this is what the Word of God says over here.”  Unless you can say that, you can never open yourself to a person (without sinning in doing it) and say, “Oh, I don’t believe that,” unless immediately you follow with, “Because the Bible says this.”  Keep your mouth closed until you have checked out to be sure that the teaching is wrong and that you are right. 

Sometimes we take a contrary view simply because we haven’t been around in church often enough to hear that teaching.  I’m amazed how often people are resisting a line of thought, and I get this from various directions—people say, “Here somebody sat in this group, resisting this line of teaching just as big as life,” and everybody who sat in the group happened to be in church and they heard the instruction, so they knew what the answer was, and they knew why this person was sitting there resisting.  So your resistance may be simply because you haven’t been around to get the instruction, or you haven’t taken the instruction, or your frame of reference is too small.  If you’re a beginner in the Christian life or if you’re a beginner as a student of the Word of God, your frame of reference is way too small for you to be able to make very many judgments as to what is really what God is teaching and what He is not.  So be careful about listening to people who give negative expressions without giving an immediate explanation to demonstrate that they know what they’re talking about. 

The single greatest fact that draws people together, even in churches which do teach the Bible, here’s something you may not have noticed.  There is something that draws people together in churches which teach the Bible, and yet the effectiveness of the Word is not there.  It is God’s desire that people be drawn together in local assemblies, but it is His desire that they be drawn together for the very specific purpose of going on to spiritual maturity.  In Philippians 3:14, the apostle Paul says, “I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Let us therefore as many as be perfect be thus minded.  If anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.” 

So what God says is that here is single-mindedness.  Here you have a church.  Here you have a leadership which is single-minded.  Now who is going to be drawn?  Well, here’s the believer.  He’s single-minded.  He’s drawn there.  Here’s another single-minded believer and he’s drawn there, and so on.  All around are believers who attach themselves to this work because they’re all single-minded.  They are devoted to pressing for the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus—to fulfilling God’s plan for their particular life.  Because they are single-minded in purpose, they are response and positive to that single-minded purpose. 

However, suppose you get somebody who is double-minded.  For a while he may have been single-minded and attached here.  When he becomes double-minded, he is going to flake off down here to the double-minded assembly.  A double-minded assembly is characterized by preaching that has certain qualifying words.  As you listen, you will begin to pick these up and they should be red flags thrown up in your mind.  They will be words where the pastor-teacher gets up and says, “Now it seems to me that what this is saying…”  Or, “I think that surely what this means is…”  This means he’s not sure, or at least if he is sure, he is giving the congregation an opportunity to be double-minded, for this reason.  He knows that he’s got double-minded people out there.  If he says this is what the Word of God teaches, it’s going to strike this double-minded person, and this person is going to flake off someplace else. 

So he speaks in such a way that the double-minded can sit out there and say, “Well, you just think that’s that way.  I think it’s this way, and I’m still happy to be here because you left me a loophole.  But when you say this is what God says, and this is what God expects, and this is what God thinks, you make it seem like that’s the way it has to be.  You slam the door shut on my negative response and on my resistance.”  Now this is the explanation within personal relationships.  You’ll have people who are single-minded, and they will gravitate, as single-minded people, toward one another.  They’ll have a close-knit comradery, and a hard-hitting thrust.  There’s nothing that hits as hard as single-minded people in a group.  They make great advancements, not numerically, but spiritually they shake up the foundations of hell itself as people are advanced into a knowledge and into a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

But when a single-minded person decides that he doesn’t want to be single-minded toward God, and that’s it, but he wants to do other things in life too, then he becomes double-minded, and he leaves and finds himself someplace where there are qualifying statements as the truth is presented.  The doctrine is right and the Bible is taught, but openings are left for you to be able to sit there and say “no” to it and still be comfortable. 

Now this is what we are talking about when we come to the subject of instruction concerning grace giving.  There’s a lot of resistance to certain traditional favorite concepts like tithing and appealing to people’s emotions.  I am frankly amazed at how much resistance I am getting to the idea that God does not work by kicking your emotions around, and how many people want to resist truth just because they can see the doors closing on them—how many people who are trying to go into Christian service, and whose characteristic is to be emotionally oriented.  When they hear preaching that says that you’re not going to go anywhere people and you do them a disservice when you play them on their emotions.  They go into a panic and they slam the door and they find themselves someplace that gives them an opening so they can play on people’s emotions because they hate to think of themselves in Christian service operating on the Word of God, instructing people’s minds, and not able to manipulate them into action the easy way—through their emotions.  No Christian can express resistance toward the doctrine of grace giving unless with the very next breath he says, “Because here’s what the Bible says about giving,” and he demonstrates to you a ground for his resistance. 

Now we have been looking at 2 Corinthians 9.  We are completing the second of the great chapters that deal with instruction in grace giving.  This chapter has given us thus far several additional principles.  We have found in 2 Corinthians 9:1-2 that the strong financial support of the Lord’s work by a group of Christians motivated by sound doctrine is an encouragement that other believers will follow.  In verse 4 and 5 we found that giving cannot be associated with the pressure of embarrassment or the invasion of privacy if it is to be a blessing to the giver and the gift is to be a blessing to the recipient.  We found that what is given in legalism reaps legalism, and what is given in grace reaps grace (2 Corinthians 9:6).  Then in verse 7 we found that the decision for grace giving is made in the mind in a way free of resentment or a sense of compulsion, and that’s the only kind of giving that God approves and which God accepts. 

As we go through these principles, you should seal them in your thinking.  This is what should guide you every time you walk up to an offering box.  This is what God has said concerning how He wants you to give your money.  It is not enough to give your money, even if it’s a large sum.  If God is going to accept it, and it’s going to be giving on the blessing basis that giving must be, and should be to you, and the gift itself is going to be a blessing after you’ve given it, then you have to give it on the right grace principles of giving.  Otherwise, God will not accept it and God will not bless it, even if it makes the organization run along smoothly by being financed adequately. 

2 Corinthians 9:8-11

So we pick the exposition up in 2 Corinthians 9:8:  “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work.”  Verse 8 tells us about the ability of God.  God is able.  The word “and” at the very first of verse 8 indicates that He’s adding another fact.  He’s continuing a line of thinking here from verse 7.  In verse 7 He said that giving is to be by personal choice without resentment and without compulsion, and that God loves this kind of a grace giving Christian.  This is the kind of a Christian that God favors and that He will not absolutely not give up seeking this kind of a believer. 

So, He says, “Moreover,” and H is now going to add some information.  “God,” and this is “the God” in the Greek, so it is God the Father who is in view.  “Moreover, God the Father is able.”  “Is able” is the Greek word “dunateo.”  This speaks of capacity, and in this case the omnipotence of God.  This word in the Greek is the first word of the sentence.  You remember that in the Greek when God the Holy Spirit says, “I want to emphasize what is most important in what I’m saying,” He puts it first in the sentence.  This is the word that comes first in the sentence because He is stressing the fact that God has an omnipotent ability.  This is comparable to what we read, for example, in Ephesians 3:20:  “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us.” 

Jude 24 says, “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.  This stress is laid upon the ability of God and it is particularly laid there when we’re called upon to believe something that may be contrary to what is the natural course of things.  This verse says that God is capable of supplying ample funds to carry on His work.  This may be a little hard for us to believe because most churches are pressed to pay the bills.  Yet what this verse is beginning to say to us is that “God is fully capable without any question whatsoever, and I’m trying to make it clear,” Paul says.  I want to make it very clear that there is no problem, no incapacity on God’s part to give all the money in the world that you need to conduct His work. 

And yet people are often in doubt because our experience does not confirm this many times, seemingly.  People are in doubt of God’s ability.  Yet it is ridiculous for us to doubt His ability in view that all that each of us personally possesses.  In spite of all the bills we have to pay, we forget how full the glass of blessing really because we’re looking at the little portion that’s empty.  This is in the present tense which means that God is always able to provide.  It’s in the active voice which means that He has the power to do it and He controls it.  It’s not something He receives from someone else.  It’s in the indicative which means that it’s a statement of fact. 

What is it that God here in this verse is able to do?  He says, “God has full capacity to make all grace abound toward you.”  The word “abound” is again the word “perisseuo.”  This means to “super abound.”  The ability of God can make something for these Corinthians, not only in abundance, but in super abundance.  He calls this “all grace.”  This refers to both material and spiritual favors which God gives the Christian.  God is able in superabundance to supply the money to give and the spiritual condition necessary to give.  It takes two things to carry on grace giving:  You have to have a right condition in your soul, and that comes from the learning of the Word of God.  That comes from letting God teach your human spirit His principles of operation relative to the handling of material things.  First of all you have to have that.  Then you will have capacity to be able to give under grace.  Then you will be ready to give, and then God comes through with the second thing and He gives you the money to give.  Both of these things are an act of God’s grace. 

It is difficult sometimes for us to remember why we have the money that we have.  People who have accumulated some money in life are tempted to think that they did it because of their hard work.  If you will think back, you will be surprised how often people have said, or you know they have thought, that they have come to a place of considerable material possessions in life.  If they were to explain it to themselves, they’ll come up with the expression, “I worked hard.”  Or if they are going to explain it to their kids, how did you come to that point of material provision, they would say, “You’ve got to get out and work hard.”  Now that’s included, that’s true, but that’s not the primary.  It’s starting in the wrong place to tell people that they may accumulate material things if they work hard.  

The same idea may be conveyed by the compliment to yourself that it’s your ability, that it’s your cleverness, or that it’s some capacity you have.  Well, if you are wise, you will recognize that it is God who has all ability.  He has it all the time, and at any point that He chooses, He can use that ability to provide you with material things, and that’s exactly what He does.  It is His wealthy, and He can do with it what He pleases. 

Have you ever noticed how often God gives some of the dumbest people the largest amount of money?  Some of the dumbest people you know are some of the richest, aren’t they?  Some of the dullest you know are some of the richest.  That’s grace too, for the dullest, the most unimaginative, the most unenterprising, the laziest, and no-account.  It is the grace of God for what he’s got, as well as those who are enterprising and who work hard and who plan and who think.  It is important to remember that it is God’s ability, it is God’s possession, and He is capable of making grace abound toward you in material things and in spiritual things. 

So as you have some money to do something with, the first thing to learn is that it is God who gave it to you, and therefore it will give you a perspective from which to deal with that money.  You’re dealing with what belongs to Him, with what He gave you.  Just remember that tomorrow all you clever people and all you physically capable people who have so energetically devoted yourselves and accumulated so many things in life, you may wake up tomorrow morning a raving idiot who can’t do another thing.  Or you may wake up a lingering vegetable who can’t even get out of bed again.  That will be the end of the line.  It is the grace of God that gives us capacities, and it is His grace for whatever we get through those capacities. 

So the purpose of God who is able to make all this grace abound toward us is that “ye having all sufficiency…”  The word “sufficiency” is the word “autarkeia.”  This is a philosophical term used by the philosopher called the cynics and by the stoics.  It was a word to designate the favorite virtue of these people—self-sufficiency.  There was nothing that a stoic was so proud of as the fact that he was self-sufficient.  He didn’t need friends.  He didn’t need sympathy.  He didn’t need comfort.  He didn’t need material things.  He just didn’t need anything.  He schooled himself and he trained himself so that within his own being he found everything that he needed.  He moved through life so that he was not dominated by anybody or anything—fully sufficient. 

Now the New Testament takes this same word and it uses it in the sense of a complete supply, but a supply which does not come from self but which comes from the grace of God.  God is able to give us a complete supply of all that we need—in all things, spiritual and material.  Again we have the word “may abound,” the same word as before “perisseuo,” that in all things we may super abound.  We may super abound particularly in what?  To every good work.  Now this does not mean that we would super abound in doing good works.  What this verse is saying is that God is going to provide you and me with the money that we need in ample amounts to perform the good works that he has designed for us to perform.  He is not calling on us to perform.  That’s the idea, but what this verse is saying is that God is perfectly capable of giving you everything you need financially to do His work. 

This is a very precious principle.  There are times when we may feel that we do not have the funds to do what we think we should be doing.  It should signal to us that perhaps God is saying, “I am not supplying the funds that I am perfectly capable of giving you because it is not my plan, at least at this point, for you to be doing this thing.  What I plan for you to do is this.  And when you start doing this, I’ll start flowing the money in to pay for doing that.  But I will not supply you with the funds to do this.  This is the way God works.  He has ability and He will provide, but He will do it on the basis of our fitting into His plan, not fitting Him into our plan. 

So, there is a sufficiency, spiritual and material, by grace, so that we are capable for every good work.  So he says in this verse, “Moreover God has the ability to make every grace to super abound to you that always having all sufficiency in all things, spiritual and material, you may super about to every good work.  You have the provision to serve.” 

The principle is this, in verse 8:  God is constantly able to supply the believer with the superabundance of both spiritual and material capacity in order that he may produce divine good.  Grace provides the motivation in the soul through doctrine, and money gives us the means to do it.  Spiritual and material blessings—they’re both necessary, and God by grace provides them both.  This is one of the greatest challenges of the Christian life, to be able to give by grace because you have to overcome all the natural greed of our old sin nature.  It is not easy to give by grace.  This is not a natural function.  This is an alien function to the believer.  It is something that only through the Word of God he gradually develops the character of soul and then the capacity thereby to perform the act of grace giving.  So every time a believer priest walks to an offering box to worship God with a gift, it’s an expression of God’s grace in both spiritual and material realms. 

Psalm 112

Now verses 9 through 11 tell us that God will do something else very wonderful with what we give Him.  He has not only given us a provision that we use for our necessities of life.  What we take of what He has given us and invest it into His work, He creates a multiplication effect upon it.  Things begin to pile upon us.  Verse 9 is actually a quotation from Psalm 112:9.  “As it is written, he hath dispersed abroad.  He hath given to the poor.  His righteousness remaineth forever.”  “It is written” is the Greek word “grapho.”  This word is in the perfect tense.  The perfect in the Greek means it happens in the past and then the effects continue to the present.  It continues, but it began in the past.  What this is a reference to is the inspiration of Scripture.  It is passive voice which means that the men who wrote the Scriptures weren’t making it up, but God the Holy Spirit was moving them to record these things. 

So here is a declaration of divine viewpoint—a statement from God in the Bible, the Word of God, and it is permanent.  The Word of God is living and powerful and it is eternal.  This is something that Satan cannot destroy.  The Bible tells us that man must live not by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.  This is why Satan would like to destroy the Bible, but the Lord Jesus Christ says His Word shall not pass away.  It is eternal.  It is permanent.  Now what Satan can do is to keep us in ignorance of it, and that’s exactly what he’s trying to do. 

“It is written” is a technical phrase which is a way of introducing a quotation from the Word of God.  Here it is Psalm 112:9 that is being quoted.  This Psalm is talking about a God-fearing man.  The first verse identifies what he’s talking about:  “Praise ye the Lord.  Blessed is the man who feareth the Lord, who delighteth greatly in His commandments.”  Here is a man who loves the Lord who is interested in the Word of God who is positive toward doctrine—responsive to its commandments.  He says, “He hath dispersed.”  The word “dispersed” is “skorpizo.”  This word actually means “to scatter.”  This is a godly man who is scattering, and in this context meaning his money, at a certain point of his own free volition.  This man is willingly and generously giving to God because God’s grace has supplied him with his money, and this godly man is oriented to grace.  Psalm 112:3 says, “Wealth and riches shall be in his house (in the house of this godly grace-oriented man).  His righteousness endureth forever.”  God is going to financially prosper the Christian who is oriented to handling money in the right way.  He is going to prosper this grace-oriented man. 

So it says that this man who is oriented to handling God’s money has scattered abroad, and he has given to the poor.  In Psalm 112:4, the latter part says, “He is gracious and full of compassion and righteous.  A good man showeth favor and lendeth.  He will guide his affairs with discretion.”  Here is a man who is giving to somebody called “the poor.”  The word for “poor” here is … poor not in the sense of abject poverty—the person who is abjectly poverty struck.  But “poor” here is a laboring man, somebody who works for a living, somebody who has something.  But in spite of what he can secure, he still has a need.  He still has a lack.  As there are plenty of people around us who have material things, but they still have a lack.  Their material things don’t mean anything to them.  They’re just keeping him alive as if they were animals, because they have a spiritual need that somebody has to meet. 

So what he is saying here is that this godly man has invested what God has given him in such a way to those who have a need though they are not in privation, but God’s grace still needs to meet something for them.  We have a believer priest who is giving his money to God to distribute to these spiritual and physical needs of people about him.  Now this was even in the civic code of the Old Testament, of the Jewish people.  They were commanded to take care of people who were in need.  Deuteronomy 15:7-11 and Leviticus 25:35 have stringent orders that you are not to ignore people who are in poverty, who are in need.  

He says that he has given to these poor, and consequently his righteousness remaineth forever.  The word “righteousness” here means his general virtue of practicing grace giving.  The grace orientation expresses his righteousness—these acts of kindness toward the needy.  This is the same thing that Matthew 6:1 speaks of where the word “alms” actually stands for righteousness.  “Let your righteousness be performed.”  This is the admonition we have in Ephesians 4:28 where Christians are told how to go about securing funds:  “Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor, working with his hands, the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” 

So the Christian is able to do the right thing with his money because God has made him righteous.  What he does results in righteous acts, divine good, which remains forever—for an unlimited duration.  His goodness influences generations unborn, and God always remembers the merciful use of our money, and He rewards both now and in eternity. 

So verse 9 is saying, “Even as it stands written, he has given generously (this godly man).  He gave to the poor and his virtue, the good things which he has accomplished, abide forever.”  Verse 10 speaks about multiplying of grace.  “Now he that ministers seed to the sower.”  The word “now” indicates another continuation of a line of thought.  The word “ministers” is the word “epichoregeo.”  This word means “to supply.”  It doesn’t mean “minister.”  It isn’t “he that ministers,” but “he who supplies seed to the sower.”  This is used in the Greek language of a wealthy man who would pay to have a chorus sing at a Greek drama, at a Greek tragedy.  The Greeks believed that if they gathered together at a certain time of the year to view their dramas, their tragedies, that the tragedies would stir certain emotions in them.  As these emotions would be stirred up in them, it would cleanse their souls.  So the tragedies were written in order to enable the Greeks to cleanse their souls.  It was a religious exercise.  Part of it was having a chorus which sang.  It took a sponsor to pay for this, and this sponsor had to be a wealthy man, and he had to do it simply because he was going to honor the gods.  That was the idea—not something that was going to come back to him, but in honor of the god he made this provision. 

So this word has this as its background—somebody who is providing funds in order to honor the gods—a religious exercise.  Here the New Testament takes this word and refers this to the true and living God who makes provision of money for Christians to use in grace giving.  The word “seed” is the word “sperma.”  This word means the material necessary for sowing, for investing in order to secure a harvest.  In other words, this is the money.  The sower is the believer priest who is in Christ. 

So God supplies seed (money) to the believer priest, “both minister bread.”  “Minister bread” … means supply, and the word “bread” stands for the necessities of life.  God is going to supply funds for the necessities of life.  It says, “for food,” and this is the word “brosis.”  This word means something that you eat, for the eating—not food, but for the eating.  God supplies seed for the eating. 

Now what is he saying?  Well, what He’s telling us here is that God supplies money to you as a believer priest for you to use for your needs.  What are your needs?  Well, before God you decide.  I need to eat this much.  I need to have this much in the way of clothing.  I need to have this much shelter for my family.  I need to have this much and this kind of transportation.  I need this kind and this much entertainment, and so on down the line.  You decide what your necessities are—not something that you just muddle into.  You can muddle into a whole lot of eating.  You can muddle into a whole lot of clothing.  You can muddle into a whole lot of everything.  But as one who recognizes that God’s capacities is providing you with your money, you decide what you need for your livelihood, what you need for the eating.  It is not the purpose that you should suffer privation, that you should suffer lack in order that the Lord’s work may be done. 

However, after you have taken for what you need for your living, there is something left over.  Now out of the leftover, God says that He will take it and multiply that as you invest it in His work.  In other words, you take God’s money beyond what you need for your living, and you invest it in His work and the result will be that God will give you more money.  He will give you the blessing of divine good accomplishment.  God’s supply to you will not run out just because you give to His work.  He is not telling you to give to His work and then you do without food.  He’s not telling you to give to His work and send your kids to school through the wet weather and the snow with holes in their shoes.  He’s telling you to take care of the kids’ shoes, to take care of your needs right down the line.  But then He is telling you that “what you give to Me, I will continue to resupply for your investment.”  That’s what he means in verse 10 when He says, “… and multiply your seed sown.”  This word “multiply” simply means to increase what we have given, and this is in the future tense, meaning in the future, as you give it, God will multiply it. 

Now you have the word “seed sown,” and instead of “sperma,” we have a different word, “sporos.”  This means “seed sown.”  Now here you have a comparison between “sperma” and “sporos.”  “Sperma” is seed that you have in our hand as you walk through the field.  “Sporos” is seed that you have thrown out and you have planted in the ground.  “Sperma” is seed that you have piled up in your barn, that you have stockpiled which God has given you and you keep adding to it.  That seed isn’t going to do anything.  “Sporos” is what you’ve taken out of the barn and you have planted, and that’s what’s going to multiply, and that’s where you’re going to get an increase. 

Now God says that there is a certain amount of seed that is just going to be “sperma.”  You’re going to use it for food, for shelter, for clothing, and for the necessities of life.  You’re not going to be prospered and blessed for that.  There’s not going to be any multiplication of divine good from the money that you used on yourself and your needs and your family.  But what you use in “sporos,” what you have invested in the Lord’s work, He says there you will receive multiplication of great blessings, great divine good accomplishments, and resupply of the funds to give.  Only what is sown, obviously, can increase.  So God will take the money that you give, and if you give it under the grace principle, He’ll multiply it.  He does not multiply what we use for the necessities of life though it is right for us to use it in that way. 

The result will be, He says, “the increase of the fruits of your righteousness.  Again this is future tense--the increase from seed sown.  “Fruits” means to produce a harvest.  Righteousness is that which comes from grace giving.  Now notice what it says.  It will increase the fruits (the produce) of your righteousness (of your capacity to produce divine good). 

Now here’s another factor.  God is saying, “As you invest in My work, it will expand your ability for living.”  This is capacity for life, your capacity for service, and your capacity for responding to God is expanded as you give to His work.  That’s the idea of your righteousness—your divine good production.  This is one of the keys to spiritual development.  If you want to grow as a Christian you have to learn Bible doctrine.  If you want to grow as a Christian, you have to give under grace.  And the more you give under grace, the more you sow in the Lord’s work, the more money God is going to supply to you because you have greater capacity to use what He will give you.  The Christian to whom God gives His money is the Christian who has developed a capacity for using it to produce divine good blessing.  When you take that money and invest it beyond your needs in the Lord’s work, your whole soul begins to expand.  You become one of those magnificent people that can give without strings, that is never able to give to the point where it hurts because it never hurts.  Giving is a total delight—a giving completely voluntary with no compulsion and no pressure.  You find yourself giving and you turn right around and you say, “Well, I thought I already gave this.”  And you give it and you turn around and say, “Well, I didn’t know I had this.  I thought I gave this.”  And you give it, and pretty soon you wake up to the fact that God is resupplying what you’re giving.  When God’s people do this, all the bills get paid.  He is capable.  We are not.  That’s where the problem comes. 

Verse 11 says, “Being enriched in everything, to all bountifulness.”  “Being enriched” means “becoming very rich.”  “In everything” is in the sphere of all things; in the sphere of our necessities for which God gives us money; and, in the sphere of carrying on His work for which He also give us His money.  “which causeth through us thanksgiving to God, being enriched in everything unto all bountifulness.  The word here is being enriched to all liberality.  “… causeth through us (through the grace-oriented believer) thanksgiving to God.  No Christian can ever function under grace giving without someone somewhere giving thanks to God.  You may never hear it.  You probably won’t.  You’ll never meet him, but money given in God’s way always brings thanksgiving.  The result someday will be that when you walk into heaven, the test will be on the line because they’re going to show you up there how much of your money was grace given, and how much of it was waste given—how much of it was love given and how much of it was law given. 

So verse 11 says, “Being enriched in all things unto all liberality which causes through us thanksgiving to God somewhere by someone. 

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971

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