Giving and Going

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What is the primary objective of the church? According to a 2014 survey by Barna, some of the leading reasons people give regarding the “purpose” of the church are: community, fellowship, drawing people closer to God, and to tell people about God. While these are certainly important things that the church does, none of them constitute the primary objective or purpose of the church. The primary objective is not centered on man, but rather God. The primary purpose of the church is to glorify God. The church does that through a variety of ways, two of the primary ways is by building up believers in the Word and by evangelizing the lost. Both of these things require two key actions: Giving and Going. Sadly, these two things are either being forgotten in the local church or people are not doing them in the hopes that someone else will.
The Bible is clear: Christians are commanded to both give and go. These are not optional requests or things left for “super-Christians” - they are imperative commands, they are essentials for Christians. Tonight we will be continuing our doctrinal study by looking at what Scripture has to say about Giving and Going.
2 Corinthians 8:1–7 NASB95
1 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. 3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well. 7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also.


Paul talks about giving in . In these opening 7 verses we see several key principles regarding Christian giving.
I. Giving should not be determined by our outside circumstances (1-4)
In the opening 4 verses of , Paul shows that giving is not out of abundance but rather something that Christians naturally do - in abundance or poverty. There is a growing idea in the American church that people give to God out of their excess. If that is the approach that we have to giving then we will rarely if ever give because it seems as though we are always just making it by or living paycheck to paycheck. We can’t imagine giving to the church because we barely make it by without giving. While there are certainly extenuating circumstances, the apostle Paul notes in these opening verses that the people Christians in Macedonia were poor but they gave out of the abundance of their joy. Not the abundance of their wealth, because they were poor, but they gave beyond their ability. They did not give because they had to give because they had to give or because they were under compulsion to give, they gave because they genuinely wanted to!
These believers gave with this willing attitude because they had received grace from God. Paul’s approach and the theology for giving stems from the fact that God has given to us. He has not just given us some things but He has given us all things! Because of that, we must give not under compulsion or view giving as an obligation but rather a privilege. The evidence that God had given grace to the Macedonian believers was that they gave freely and abundantly to others. Where is the evidence that the grace of God has been given to us? Do we give because we feel obligated to or because we “get” to give? Do we give out of our abundance or out of our poverty?
On the flip side of giving: Do we give in order to receive riches from God? There are some preachers out there who say that if you give them money then God will bless you with even more money or earthly riches. Does Paul advocate that view here? These Macedonian Christians gave out of their poverty and they did not magically become millionaires the next day. They were poor. They gave out of their poverty and they gave well beyond their means. They did not do so in order to receive wealth but because of the joy that overflowed from their hearts. These people were persecuted, friends. Back in this day, when Christians were considered cultural misfits, these people would have likely experienced rock-bottom poverty. They would have been made fun of and persecuted both socially and economically. People would have likely avoided purchasing their goods and avoided going to their tents in the marketplace. Yet, even though they were rejected, persecuted, and poor, they gave with a wealth of generosity. In the Greek the meaning is “the abundance of their joy abounded”.
In our world we often view our joy based upon our circumstances. It makes sense, and we all do it. If life is going good then we are more likely to show grace and joy to those around us. However, when life is going rough then we are less likely to show these attributes. This is natural for humans. With that said, the New Testament shows a completely different story. The New Testament shows how Christians can experience joy in the midst of suffering and persecution. Poverty overflowing into wealth might not make sense to us in our modern mind, but that is the story of the Gospel - we are dead but we are called to life. We are poor but we are called to give.
Murphy O’Connor notes that, “Despite all their own difficulties they did not turn inwards; their concern was for others, the one proof of “authentic love” (). It was this that released the divine power into the world. What a contrast to the church at Corinth, whose internal divisions risked putting a stumbling-block in the way of the conversion of both Jews and Greeks, and even endangered other Christians ()!”
Despite all their own difficulties they did not turn inwards; their concern was for others, the one proof of “authentic love” (). It was this that released the divine power into the world. What a contrast to the church at Corinth, whose internal divisions risked putting a stumbling-block in the way of the conversion of both Jews and Greeks, and even endangered other Christians ()!
We know the church of Laodicea was rich yet the Lord considered them as “poor, pitiful, blind and naked” in . We must be faithful to give regardless of our outside circumstances, just as Paul commends of the Macedonian believers and as we see from the Church of Smyrna in .
Garland, D. E. (1999). 2 Corinthians (Vol. 29, p. 367). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
II. Self-Giving comes before Financial-Giving (5)
Whenever you are saved you are a new creation. Your life is no longer about yourself, instead it is 100% about the kingdom of God! Because of that, you operate completely differently. Isn’t it interesting that God ultimately doesn’t need us. He could snap His fingers and time would come to a conclusion, if He chose to do so. Yet, He doesn’t. He is all-powerful, so He doesn’t require or need our power or help. Yet, He allows us to participate in the expansion of the Kingdom. He doesn’t need our money, He is all-powerful and He is the giver of everything we have! But He commands us to give. How does this make sense?
He desires full obedience from the heart. Not donations or actions that are done out of obligation or from a sense of tradition! He wants your all! Therefore you must give yourself first. You should serve with your Spiritual Gifts and give yourself first to the Lord before giving your resources or any other thing. First, you give your entire self to the Lord. If you give $1 million to the local church, that’s fantastic. But Jesus Himself taught that giving is a matter of the heart in as He talked about the widow’s gift and how it was far greater a gift than the gift from the rich people. Monetarily this makes zero sense because surely the rich people gave more than 2 copper coins. But again, God doesn’t need our money! His will will be accomplished regardless. With that said, He demands our entire self. Whenever you surrender to Christ, you surrender fully. Because of this, what happens, eventually, is that you give financially but first you give your self.
III. Believers not only give money, but also grace (6-7)
Verse 6 serves as a reminder to the Corinthian Church to not stop what has been started. Paul and the Corinthian church had an interesting relationship. This church was diverse and immature, yet they thought that they knew best. Because of this, Paul encourages the people to continue working. Rather than saying, “you’re slacking off”, Paul instead uses the Greek word “epitelein” which means “complete successfully something already begun.” Paul praises them for their initial enthusiasm and gives Titus the responsibility for helping them advance beyond the beginning stage and continue to grow.
Can you remember whenever you first became a Christian and how you saw things and lived a radically different life? You had this passion for Christ that consumed your life! This passion is an incredible thing that I wish we had every second since this initial conversion, but sadly that passion can waver. It’s not that you’re not a Christian, it’s just that you lose that initial fervor. This is the situation these Christians were in and not only had they lost this initial passion but they were still in the beginning stage. As we’ve talked about, church, we’re not called to just stay as baby Christians. We are called to grow and mature in holiness. To be crucified to Christ and to die to self each and every day!
Paul tells this church to abound in everything. Not just to be good stewards of their resources as the Macedonian believers had been but to abound in gracious works in everything! These people have have matured in some things: faith, speech, and knowledge. Paul shows that they’re doing some things really well, but these things are personal things. They fall short in giving grace to others. The second set of things: earnestness, love and grace) involve putting the first set of things into action. You can have knowledge and faith, but unless you put it into action and love others, it does no one a lick of good - as James shows in . Paul is calling these believers to show grace and love to others!
This is just as important, putting faith into action, as giving. It’s not one or the other but rather both and. We are to give with cheerful hearts, understanding full and well that we do so not under obligation but knowing that we “get” to give because everything we have is from God. We give our time and we give love and grace to others because we have been given love and grace from God as well!


Psalm 96:3 NASB95
3 Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
Luke 10:2 NASB95
2 And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
Matthew 28:19–20 NASB95
19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Luke 10:2 NASB95
2 And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
Jesus said to go. Therefore, we must go! Missions, according to the Bible, are quite literally that simple. If we believe that heaven and hell are real places, we must go because we know that there is a consequence for anyone who does not place their faith in Christ as Savior.
Spurgeon once said, “It is very grievous to see how some professedly Christian parents are satisfied so long as their children display cleverness in learning, or sharpness in business, although they show no signs of a renewed nature …. When a man’s heart is really right with God, and he himself has been saved from the wrath to come, and is living in the light of his heavenly Father’s countenance, it is certain that he is anxious about his children’s souls, prizes their immortal nature … If you are professing Christians, but cannot say that you have no greater joy than the conversion of your children, you have reason to question whether you ought to have made such a profession at all.”
What better place for evangelism to begin than in the home? Parents, grandparents, the number 1 thing that you can do this side of eternity for your family is to tell them about Jesus Christ. There are lots of things that we will be able to do for eternity. Many of you like to sing, some of you enjoy hymns and others prefer contemporary songs, in heaven we will get to sing both and more! God’s Word says that we will sing a “new song” in heaven! We will get to sing in glory. We will get to worship in heaven. We will get to ask God all of those “why” questions and we will be able to see and understand things that we can never understand this side of heaven. There are a lot of things we’ll get to do in heaven, but one thing you cannot do in heaven is tell others about Jesus Christ. There are many things that we can do to give God glory in this life and in heaven, but the only thing that you can do to bring God glory this side of heaven that you cannot do in heaven is evangelize the lost.
You can do this at home. You can do this in your community. You can do this through associational events and you can do this by going on mission trips in our own country and to the ends of the earth - and don’t you dare say that you can’t go. We are commanded to go. Even though this might be a foreign concept for us, the idea of leaving Conway/Morgan and going on a mission trip, it would be easy to say “I can’t do that” - but often whenever we say “I can’t do something” we really mean “I don’t want to do that” and friends, that’s a dangerous position to be in. Even though our tradition might not be to physically go or to do something different, if the Lord commands it, we must do it - even if it is something different than our tradition. Does this mean that we all have to go to Vietnam? No. Does this mean that we all have to go overseas? Of course not. Does it mean that you share wherever you go? Yes. Do you think that some of the great Christian missionaries wanted to go out and lose their lives in the jungle? Do you think that this is something that comes naturally? No! It is by the grace of God that we go and share this great news. God calls and we go. Guess what? If you are a born-again believer tonight, you are called by God to go.
What better thing to do than to fulfill the Great Commission and go and make disciples? Our Lord demands exactly this.


Giving and Going are things that might seem outdated or irrelevant to some people. Some other person will go and share, some other person will give. Scripture shows us that these are not optional things, but they are commands. We get to give, we get to go. We must approach these things with that mentality instead of thinking, I have to give, or I have to go. It is a privilege to serve the King and praise God that He uses sinners like you and I to share the good news to others. Let us prayerfully consider how we can give and go today and in the days ahead and how we can pray for and partner with others who go overseas. I pray that in the days and years ahead, Morgan Baptist Church takes the Gospel to those who have never heard the name of Jesus before. The eternal destination of souls is at stake and there is no greater cost than one’s soul.
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