Paul

A Word on Giving

Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia.. On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.. When I come, I will write letters of recommendation for the messengers you choose to deliver your gift to Jerusalem. And if it seems appropriate for me to go along, they can travel with me.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4

If we understand this and other scriptures on the subject of giving, there are 6 essential components to Scriptural giving.

  • Thoughtful, and therefore intentional Paul instructed the churches to plan their giving. This prevented hastiness and the ensuing lack of order that poor planning creates, so that giving was orderly, and the funds were ready to be used appropriately. We ought to consider what our intention is in giving. What prayers, hopes, and motives accompany it? What needs are we addressing? Do we see it as an act of worship toward God as we support the work of His ministry?
  • Accountable We should also note that Paul also thought it best for the funds to be delivered by people from that church., which ensured that a full accounting could be made for the funds and how they were used. As a very wise man once said, a clean conscience has no fear of accountability.
  • Proportionate Paul tells the church to set aside a portion of the money they have earned, not all of it. While there may be times people can make a sacrifice, Biblical examples of such are always voluntary (Luke 21-1-4, e.g.). Therefore, we should comprehend that giving should be in proportion to our ability (Deut. 2:7, 2 Cor. 8:11, e.g.).
  • Prayerful If giving is part of our worship, then it ought to be approached prayerfully, that the Holy Spirit wold guide us, and that we remain mindful of needs we may be able to help meet. This is also to safeguard our motives in giving, that it be done with a pure heart. Remember, the sacrifice of the wicked is abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 15:8).
  • Cheerful Each person should do as he has decided in his heart — not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work . (2 Cor. 9:7-8, CSB) This doesn’t mean we should try to be happy about our giving, but rather that we should give as we are able so that we can be cheerful about it. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. In this Scripture we can see God’s graciousness to us even in our responsibility to give, that He doesn’t desire to lay heavy burdens upon us, but intends for us to have joy in giving as we grow in grace and ability.
  • Responsible Givers should be informed about the characteristics, motivations, capacity, aspirations and needs of the organisations they are giving to. They should consider the impact that their giving will have and the outcome it is meant to achieve, and pray that grace is given for the funds to be used wisely and well.

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Moved by the Holy Ghost

“Because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21)

Romans 7 – The MYTH of the Dual Nature

For so long, many of us in the church have been taught that we have a dual nature, and that we just can’t stop sinning. Usually, Romans 7 is cited as the ‘proof’ of this, when, in fact, Romans 7 describes live WITHOUT JESUS CHRIST. How do we know this? Romans 8 goes on to tell us that we’ve been freed from the law of sin and death described in Romans 7. Let’s talk!

Leadership, giving and Christian Community


As Paul wraps up his letter to the Corinthians, he leaves some instructions through which God tells us a great deal about how we are to lead, give, and relate to one another.

1 Corinthians 6 – Practical Sanctification: You’re free to be HIS!


When the saints try to say áll things are lawful,’and thereby try to give themselves permission to do as they please, I know they don’t understand the Bible. However, I blame the preachers for this, because as a group we’ve done a really bad job of explaining liberty in Christ.  Let’s talk.

1 Corinthians 5 – Practical Sanctification: Dealing with Immorality IN the Church


Whenever I hear a Christian say ‘Only God can judge me,’ I’m pretty sure they didn’t read 1 Corinthians 5 closely or even at all. Why? Because in this chapter Paul addresses the fact that the church MUST judge those who claim to be brethren but who refuse to depart from sin. Let’s talk.

1 Corinthians 3 – Practical Sanctification


Paul continues to address issues of spiritual immaturity and his desire for them to move on from the basic principles of the faith. Let’s talk about spiritual maturity!

Prophecy is for Edification, Exhortation and Comfort…


So what does this REALLY mean? So many prophets today teach that this means prophecy must ALWAYS be comforting and encouraging. Are they right? What does the BIBLE say about this?
Did New Testament prophets in the Bible always prophesy encouraging and comforting things, including Jesus, Paul and John the Revelator?
Let’s find out.

 

How is YOUR Life marked?

From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. (Galatians 6:17)

In the culture of Paul’s day, there was a way for a mistreated permanent slave to be freed from his master. The slave would escape, and flee to the temple. Once there, he would wake the priest. The priest then gave him a choice. He could wait for his master to catch him (and beat or mutilate him for escaping), or he could choose a god and be branded with that God’s mark.

Slave's hands were brandedThe priest would then brand the man’s hand, instep and nape of the neck. Now the man became the property of the god whose mark he bore, and his old master could NEVER take possession of him again. The former master now had no power, no authority, because the slave was now the slave of his god.

Who do YOU belong to? Does Christ REALLY own ALL of you, or just part of you? Does he own your thoughts, your habits, your aspirations, your dreams, your spare time? Christ did not die just to ave you from sin, but also to save you for HIMSELF.

Slaves branded to the service of a god were OBVIOUSLY the possession of that god, because they were marked. How is YOUR life marked?