“Provision Principle: Save or Slave?”

2Cor.9:6-15 Nov.11, 2006  Play AUDIO (mp3)  Play VIDEO (wmv)

Appreciation Seeks Expression

 ○     memorial tributes show gratitude
 ○     woman outdid Pharisee in showing much love because forgiven (Lk 7:47)

God’s Gracious, Giving Nature...

 ○      grace seen in gift of Christ and supplying physical needs (8,10,14; Php 4:19)
 ○     Jesus became poor to make us rich; blessing in giving (2Cor 8:9; Ac 20:35)

...Enriches Us to Share with Those in Need...

 ○     grace abounding in all things; increase, enlarge, surpassing, indescribable (8, 10f, 14f; Lk 6:38)
 ○     blessed to be a blessing / generous to others (5f,8,11; Ps 112:5,9)
 ○     generosity convincing proof of Christian profession, obedience (13)

End Result: God is Glorified & His People Unified

 ○     others will thank & praise God; ‘service’ = ‘liturgy’ (11ff; Mt 25:40)
 ○     Gentile offering warmed Jewish hearts for kin in Christ (Ac 11:28ff; 2Cor 9:14)

Priority vs.Poverty

 ○     church’s priority to love one another, lay down lives, wash feet, make disciples (Jn 13:14,34; 15:13)
 ○     early church gave priority to spending on relief for the poor
 ○     rare for church to day to budget >3% for local outreach: 25-55% on building instead

Growth & Generosity

 ○     close correlation between church members tithing & church growth
 ○     examples of churches ‘scattering’ funds in valuable local ministry

Saving vs.Slavery

 ○     believers are God’s building, not to operate by world’s ways (1Cor 3:16,18f)
 ○     borrowing enslaves to the lender; implies discontent, impatience (Prov 22:7; Heb 13:5; 1Tim 6:6-8)
 ○     examples of souring economy resulting in financial bondage for years
 ○     10 years at 1200/month: if mortgage, bank earns 45,560; if save up, 57,600+ for ministry or next building
 ○     billions of dollars could be redirected if churches moved from debt to provision financing
 ○     Christ sets us free when we hold to His teaching - not to be burdened again (Jn 8:31f, 36; Gal 5:1)