The Kingdom Life: Possessions and Principles

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  16 : 2-14
Subject: Stewardship
INTRODUCTION

 

2 Corinthians 9:11, “while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.”

 

2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

 

One translation says, “You will be made rich in every way so you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”

 

“Gratitude to God is a natural overflow of generosity. Gratitude explodes from our hearts when we are reminded of His generous gifts. They are incomparable and incomprehensible.

 

The gift of His salvation through Christ is indescribable. He gave when we did not deserve. He still gives, even though we are undeserving. His gift of liberty is freeing. His gift of health is healing. His gift of relationships is rich. His gift of peace is calming. His gift of wisdom is confidence. His gift of the Holy Spirit is comforting. His gift of finances is security. His gift of Himself is reassuring and humbling.

 

This is why your heart feels pregnant with thanksgiving. It will explode without the regular birthing of generosity to others. This expression of gratitude results in action.

The opportunities abound that invite your generous expression of gratitude.”

Boyd Bailey, Infusion

 

Philippians 4:17, “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.”

 

I. MINISTRY POSSESSIONS. 16:2-3

 

“as he may prosper” – speaks of giving proportionately; suggests that believers who have more should give more. “Prosper” – to have a good journey; literal translation is well and way or journey.

To have done well on your journey.

 

2 Corinthians 8:12-13, “For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened”

 

1. Give Generously.

 

Proverbs 3:9-10

“Honor the Lord with your possessions,

And with the firstfruits of all your increase;

So your barns will be filled with plenty,

And your vats will overflow with new wine.”

 

Proverbs 11:24-25

“There is one who scatters, yet increases more;

And there is one who withholds more than is right,

But it leads to poverty.

The generous soul will be made rich,

And he who waters will also be watered himself.”

 

3,564 Georgia Baptist Churches, average giving 2.33%

(15.88 per week)

 

In Roswell, Ga., 4.9%, (33.43 per week) – Double

 

2. Give Cheerfully

 

2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

 

Paul used several terms to describe the offering:

 

1. I Cor 16:1 COLLECTION

(LOGIA) – an extra collection

 

“A man never satisfies his Christian duty by disobeying the obligations which he can legally be

compelled to fulfill.”

 

Matthew 5:47, “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?

 

2. I Cor 16:3 GIFT (LIBERALITY)

(CHARIS) – describes a free gift freely given; not something extracted from a person. Something given out of the overflowing love of a person’s

heart. A man’s heart must tell him what to give.

 

3. II Cor 8:4 FELLOWSHIP

(KOINONIA) – sharing;

“Christian fellowship is based on the spirit which cannot keep to itself that which it has, but which regards all its possessions as things to be shared

with others. Its dominating question is not what can I keep, but what can I give?”

William Barclay

 

4. II Cor 9:1 MINISTERING

(DIAKONIA) – word for deacon; it may sometimes happen that the limitations of life prevent us from rendering personal service, and it may often happen that our money can go where we cannot go.

 

5. II Cor 8:20 LAVISH GIFT

(ABUNDANCE)

(HADROTES) – an abundance; what they were hoping for in the collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem

 

6. II Cor 9:5 BOUNTY (GENEROUS GIFT)

(EUGLOGIA) – means bounty; all true giving is a bounty which we are supremely glad to give. Word also translates “a good communication.”

 

7. II Cor 9:12 SERVICE

(LEITOURGIA) – speaks of someone who volunteers out of their pocket to shoulder the expenses of some ministry. Key word is volunteered; should be accepted as a privilege to help in some way. Word translates liturgy, referring to an act of worship.

 

8. Acts 24:17 ALMS

(ELEEMOSUNE) – merciful expression; mercy

experienced – mercy expressed.

 

9. Acts 24:17 OFFERING

(PROSPHORA) - word used for sacrifice

 

To Paul, the “collection” for the poor in Jerusalem meant that they were not members of a congregation only, but members of a church, each part of which had obligations to the rest.

 

LOCALLY - NATIONALLY - GLOBALLY

All of these varied expressions are designed to describe the generosity of those who would give such an offering.

 

“Out of the merciful expression of hearts bound together in common commitment, motivated by the grace of Christ, a good communication is provided in abundance as an act of worship and service brought forward in a public expression of participation. Perfunctory giving out of mere habit or demand of law, therefore, is excluded in favor of a consecrated act of willing participation in the works of the Kingdom of God.”

Paige Patterson

 

II. MINISTRY PRINCIPLES. 16:13-14

 

Five imperatives – these are seen as the positive side of what in earlier chapters the Apostle had told the Corinthians not to be. All these words have a military background and are like orders to soldiers. We are under attack.

 

1. Watch

Be alert; be awake, be vigilant

 

- Against Satan

 

1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

 

- Against Temptation.

 

Mark 14:38, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

 

- Against Apathy and Indifference.

 

Revelation 3:1-3 - Sardis

 

"And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,

'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.’”

 

- Against False Teachers

 

2 Peter 2:1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

 

 

2 Timothy 4:3-5, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

 

 

Negatives also Positives

 

Things to strengthen us and help us

 

Mark 14:38. “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

 

- Prayer: strengthens us in God’s ways just as it

protects us against Satan’s ways

 

Ephesians 6:18, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”

 

- Watching:

 

Matthew 24:42, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”

 

Great motive for living faithfully.

 

 

 

2. Stand Fast in the Faith.

 

Speaks of doctrine; wrong belief, wrong thinking, wrong living.

 

Ephesians 4:14, “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting”

 

What Satan can’t take from you (your faith), he will sure attempt to obscure; don’t yield an inch.

 

3. Be Brave.

 

Be mature; “act like men” – grow up.

It’s a mark of love

1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

 

Ephesians 4:13, “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”

 

Ephesians 4:15, “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ”

 

4. Be Strong.

 

Denotes inner, spiritual growth; passive voice means be strengthened. Our part is to submit, be available, in order that He can strengthen us. This comes from self-sacrifice, self-denial, and self-discipline.

 

Colossians 1:10-11, “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy”

 

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

 

Ephesians 3:16, “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man”

 

5. Be Loving.

 

Most comprehensive, love compliments everything else. It keeps our firmness from being hardness, strength from becoming domineering. It keeps our maturity gentle and considerate.

 

1 Peter 4:8, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’"

 

It’s a softening principle.