True Worship Includes Giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)
1. In John 4:23 Jesus said that God seeks "true worshippers" to worship Him. 2. Jesus identified true worshippers as those who worship the Father "in spirit and in truth." 3. Jesus continued in vs.24 by emphasizing this requirement for worship. 4. Because God only accepts true worship, we are studying a series of lessons designed to help us be true worshippers. 5. In this lesson we are concentrating on passages which show that "true worship includes giving." 6. The first step we need to take is to determine whether . . .
I. THE NEW TESTAMENT AUTHORIZES CHRISTIANS TO GIVE IN WORSHIP
A. This is where we need to begin because we are to only say and do those things that Christ has authorized in His Word (Colossians 3:17, 16a). B. As we examine the Bible in general we see that: 1. people have offered gifts to God for many centuries a. (Genesis 4:3-4a) Cain and Abel presented offerings to God. b. (Leviticus 27:30) The Israelites were required to tithe. c. The early Christians were generous givers (Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-35). 2. those who offered gifts to God had to comply with His requirements. a. God accepted Abel's offering but not Cain's (Genesis 4:4b-5a; Hebrews 11:4). b. The Israelites who withheld their tithes were guilty of robbing God (Malachi 3:8-10). c. God did not approve of the gift presented by Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). C. According to the Scriptures, the church is to participate in a number of activities that require financial support, including: 1. helping the needy (Acts 20:35) 2. supporting those who preach (1 Corinthians 9:14) 3. sending preachers to other areas (Romans 10:14-15a). D. In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, God has given a plan for collecting funds so these activities can be supported. E. The New Testament clearly teaches Christians to give in worship. F. Since this is the case, we must give "in spirit and in truth."
II. GIVING "IN TRUTH" [according to God's revealed will in the New Testament]
A. When: We are to give "upon the first day of the week" (1 Corinthians 16:2). B. Who: "Every [each] one of you" is to give (1 Corinthians 16:2). 1. Everyone who prospers is to give. 2. When everyone gives, there is equality -- no one is burdened (2 Corinthians 8:12-15). C. How: Each Christian is to give: 1. "as God hath prospered him" (1 Corinthians 16:2) 2. "bountifully" (2 Corinthians 9:6). a. Our giving is a reflection of our appreciation for God's blessings. b. Presenting a gift to the Lord involves a sacrifice (2 Samuel 24:24).
III. GIVING "IN SPIRIT" [from the heart, sincerely, having the proper disposition]
A. Each Christian is to give "as he purposeth in his heart" (2 Corinthians 9:7a). 1. This involves forethought and planning in our budgets. 2. We are to purpose in our hearts and give accordingly. B. To give in spirit, we must avoid: 1. giving "grudgingly or of necessity" (2 Corinthians 9:7b) 2. making a show before men (Matthew 6:1-4). C. Giving in spirit involves: 1. giving cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7c) 2. giving with love (1 Corinthians 13:3).
1. When we give as the Bible teaches,: a. God is well pleased (Hebrews 13:16 -- "But to go good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased") b. God will bless us in return (2 Corinthians 9:6-8). 2. The key to sacrificial giving is giving yourself to the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:5). 3. If you have not given yourself to the Lord, do so today. 4. If the Lord does not have first place in your life, including your "giving," put Him back in first place today.