These notes accompany the sermon found here.
- The urge to give is a reminder of our situation.
- That there is scarcity reminds us that we live in a fallen world, cursed by sin.
- That we desire to do something about it reminds us that the law of God is written on our hearts.
- That we struggle whenever we try to do something about it reminds us that each of us is corrupted by sin.
The sharing was:
- A free sharing of personal property with others in need.
- Voluntary, not compelled by a governing authority.
- Not an abolition of private property.
- Limited to the context of the believers.
This sharing fulfilled:
- The biblical ideal of a people without poor among them. Deuteronomy 15:4-11.
- Jesus’ command to love one another. John 13:34-35.
- Jesus’ promise to provide for the needs of His people. Matthew 6:25-34; Mark 10:29-30.
- Jesus’ redefinition of the family as the people of God. Matthew 12:46-50.
But what about tithing? (Giving our first 10%)
- Tithing precedes the law. Genesis 14:20.
- The New Testament never tells us to stop tithing as it does with circumcision. Luke 11:42.
- Tithing is still an exercise of faith. Malachi 3:6-12.
- Tithing should be a starting point for a Christian.
- Christians should give generously and cheerfully toward the needs of others and the work of the ministry. 2 Corinthians 9.
- Their crime seemed to be …
- Lying to God (the Holy Spirit), thus putting him to the test.
- An act of insincere worship. See Matthew 6:1-24.
- God often makes examples of “first-offenders” to show His holiness. See Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10:1-2; Achan in Joshua 7:1-26; and Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6:1-11. Each was an act of worship.
- Observe Christ’s provision and love for His body, the church.
- Examine your own motives in your service to the Body of Christ.
- Make your needs known to the church.
- Pray for cheerful generosity.