The Biblical Riches of Giving for Gospel Ministry

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:39
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This morning I want to preach a timely and I think providential message on the subject of giving. I don’t go out of my way to preach about giving. In fact I normally only talk about it as I am naturally preaching expository through a book. This year God worked so that we could address this subject right as I am also encouraging everyone to give to our grace giving fund for 2022. So I pray that God would use this text to stir each one of us up to love and good works in the area of giving.
Followers of Christ ought to love to give towards gospel ministry.
What are the Biblical reasons for giving towards missions?

I. Giving for gospel ministry produces a loving concern for others.

Philippians 4:10 ESV
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.
10Ἐχάρην δὲ ἐν κυρίῳ μεγάλως
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly
ὅτι ἤδη ποτὲ ἀνεθάλετε τὸ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ φρονεῖν[1],
because now at last you have revived your concern for me,
ἐφʼ ᾧ καὶ ἐφρονεῖτε, ἠκαιρεῖσθε δέ.
(Now I know you were concerned about me before but had no opportunity to do anything).
Concern- to have an opinion with regard to someth., think, form/hold an opinion, judge. To think of someone in the sense be concerned about him.
Read missionary prayer letter.
What are the Biblical reasons for giving towards missions?

II. Giving for gospel ministry creates a spiritual partnership with others.

In. vv 11-13 Paul takes a brief aside to qualify his rejoicing over the Philippians. In v. 10 he exclaims “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly.” The reason for Paul’s rejoicing was the revival of the Philippians’ concern for his ministry. Their concern took the form of a large gift of money. Paul does not want them to get the wrong idea. He wants them to know that he is not rejoicing because of the cash. So he explains that God has taught him how to be content in any and ever circumstance. He was content before their generous gift, and he remains content now that he has an abundance.
After this clarification he returns to expressing his joy and thankfulness for their generous gift to his ministry.
Philippians 4:14 ESV
14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
Paul rejoices over the kindness of the Philippians.
14Πλὴν καλῶς ἐποιήσατε
Nevertheless, you did well (good, kind)
In what way were the Philippians kind to Paul in their giving?
συγκοινωνήσαντές μου τῇ θλίψει.
Sharing with me my hardship/trouble
συγκοινωνέω- to participate together, to be connected/share, to be in partnership with or to associate with someone.
Paul is pointing out the biblical truth that when we participate in giving towards gospel ministry we actually form a spiritual fellowship or partnership with that individual. We share something with them, we have something in common. In some way there is a spiritual connection or association with them.
In Paul’s case the Philippians were partnering together with Paul’s troubles or hardships.
Paul is in Roman prison- he did not get three hot meals a day and cable TV. He was dependent upon the generosity of others for his well-being. The Philippians not only gave Paul a gift of money, but they also sent Epaproditus to minister to Paul’s needs for a time.
Philippians 2:25 ESV
25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need,
In this way the Philippians were sharing Paul’s troubles.
Philippians 4:15–16 ESV
15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.
15οἴδατε δὲ καὶ ὑμεῖς, Φιλιππήσιοι,
You yourselves also know, Philippians,
ὅτι ἐν ἀρχῇ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου,
that in the beginning of (my) gospel ministry
ὅτε ἐξῆλθον ἀπὸ Μακεδονίας,
when I departed from Macedonia
οὐδεμία μοι ἐκκλησία ἐκοινώνησεν
no church fellowshipped/shared/partnered with me
εἰς λόγον δόσεως καὶ λήμψεως
in the matter of giving and receiving
εἰ μὴ ὑμεῖς μόνοι,
except you alone,
16ὅτι καὶ ἐν Θεσσαλονίκῃ
For even in Thessalonica
καὶ ἅπαξ καὶ δὶς
even once and again
εἰς τὴν χρείαν μοι
unto my needs
You sent something.
The theological truth in relation to your giving that you need to understand is that giving is a form of fellowship or partnership that causes you to take part in some aspect of that ministry.
This can be negative!
Ephesians 5:11 ESV
11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
Revelation 18:4 ESV
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;
Or it can be positive!
1 Corinthians 9:23 ESV
23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
Philippians 1:5 ESV
5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
Philippians 1:7 ESV
7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
So you need to be careful who you fellowship with in terms of giving for gospel ministry. But, you should be giving for gospel ministry. You should be entering into partnerships with people who love Christ like you do, who have a passion to see souls come to faith in Christ like you do. When you give for gospel ministry you enter into a spiritual partnership with those people!
I am thankful to be able to partner with our missionaries! Tim Smith, Moore Family, the Kim family! And all of our other missionary families. And I would encourage you to give generously to our grace giving fund in 2022 so that we can enter into more spiritual partnerships for the sake of gospel ministry. That should be something followers of Christ love to do!
What are the Biblical reasons for giving towards missions?
It produces a loving concern for others
It creates a spiritual partnership with others

III. Giving for gospel ministry increases eternal reward.

This is Paul’s second clarification in regards to the Philippians gift of money. First, his clarification in vv. 11-13 was that he did not need an excess of money to be content. Christ was all Paul needed for contentment.
Now Paul adds a second clarification that his rejoicing over the Philippians’ gift of money was not due to money itself. He was not primarily interested in the gift of money itself, but in the spiritual fruit that would be added to the Philippians’ account.
Philippians 4:17 ESV
17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.
17οὐχ ὅτι ἐπιζητῶ τὸ δόμα,
Not that I am seeking the gift,
ἀλλʼ ἐπιζητῶ τὸν καρπὸν
BUT, I am seeking the fruit
τὸν πλεονάζοντα εἰς λόγον ὑμῶν.
that which is increasing into your account
This follows from Paul’s teaching that giving for gospel ministry enters one into fellowship or spiritual partnership with another person. So not only did the Philippians share in Paul’s troubles, but here Paul tells them that they in some way also share in the spiritual fruit of Paul’s ministry as well.
2 Corinthians 9:6 ESV
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
This verse is in the context of giving!
2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV
7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
When you give for gospel ministry, when you sow bountifully, when you sow willingly- even joyfully or cheerfully, that kind of giving results in eternal fruit that increases to your credit.
What are the Biblical reasons for giving towards missions?
It produces a loving concern for others
It creates a spiritual partnership with others
It increases eternal reward.

IV. Giving for gospel ministry accomplishes spiritual worship.

Philippians 4:18 (ESV)
18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
I have received full payment and more. I am well supplied,
18ἀπέχω δὲ πάντα καὶ περισσεύω·
But I have received all and I am oversupplied;
having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent,
Notice the descriptive words Paul uses to describe the gifts from Epaphroditus!
A Fragrant Offering
The quality of something that affects the mind with an odor.
Negative Example: i.e leaves a bad taste in the mouth
Positive Example: there are some odors that are so strong and significant that they have become etched in your mind. In fact, all I need to do is mention some of them and it will be as if in your mind you can smell them right now.
Example: freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (can you smell them?), opening a bag a gourmet coffee grounds, freshly mown grass, the smell right after a spring rain, warm sheets right after them come out of the dryer…
These are pleasant things that affect the mind with a sweet fragrant odor.
The point is when you graciously give for gospel ministry it is like the fragrance of freshly baked chocolate chips cookies to the Lord. It is very pleasing to God! God loves when you give this way!
Ephesians 5:2 ESV
2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
The same word is used for the sacrifice of Christ for our sins! Both Christ’s sacrifice and a believer’s giving for gospel ministry are like a fragrant offering to God!
A sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
θυσίαν δεκτήν, εὐάρεστον[2]τῷ θεῷ.
an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.
Giving for gospel ministry is one of the ways we can offer spiritual sacrifices of worship to God!
This comes right out of the Biblical teaching that every believer is a spiritual priest before God- we call this the priesthood of the believer.
Hebrews 10:19–23 ESV
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
We are all believer priests. Every Christian has the privilege, because of the forgiveness of our sins through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, to enter into the very presence of God. We can all draw near to God because of Christ’s work on our behalf. And as we draw near to God as believer priests one of the things we ought to do is offer God spiritual sacrifices of worship!
Present our bodies for God’s service
Romans 12:1 ESV
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Spend ourselves on behalf of others
Philippians 2:17 ESV
17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
Sharing the Gospel
Romans 15:16 ESV
16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Good Deeds
Hebrews 13:16 ESV
16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Sacrifice of Praise
Hebrews 13:15 ESV
15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
We must think about our giving as another opportunity as believer priests to offer up to God spiritual worship!
Philippians 4:18 ESV
18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
When believer-priests give sacrificially to God’s servants and God’s work, their offerings are a delight to God!
What are the Biblical reasons for giving towards missions?
It produces a loving concern for others
It creates a spiritual partnership with others
It increases eternal reward.
It accomplishes spiritual worship.

V. Giving for gospel ministry abounds in you because of the glorious riches of God’s grace.

Sacrificial giving is not something that comes naturally to anyone. Every person enters this world corrupted by the sin-nature. Every person is born a sinner and eventually chooses to sin. A large part of being corrupted by sin works itself out in selfishness. We are self-centered people by nature!
James 4:1–2 ESV
1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
Selfishness is such a part of our nature as people corrupted by sin that when Paul commands us to have the mind of Christ list to how Paul defines such a mindset:
Philippians 2:3–4 ESV
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
This is the antithesis of natural corrupted sin-nature. Genuine giving for gospel ministry is not something that comes naturally. It is actually something that God must work in us and enable in us so that we can give- sacrificially, cheerfully, willingly! So when we give, our giving is made possible because of the glorious riches of God’s grace working in us changing us from selfish to selfless!
I think that is what Paul is getting at in v. 19.
Philippians 4:19 ESV
19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Supply every need of yours-
Certainly Paul is speaking about physical needs in this verse. Paul is marveling over how God has supplied his needs even in Roman prison, and he is certain that God will do the same for the Philippians.
This is not health and wealth prosperity gospel. This is not the teaching of “you can’t out give God.” Paul is suffering in a prison cell as he writes this. If you give to gospel ministry that does not mean you will never face suffering. It does not mean that if you give to gospel ministry God will make you healthy, wealthy, and wise. It does mean that God will wisely supply your every need in Christ Jesus.
And I think Paul has in mind not only physical needs, but spiritual needs as well.
2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
God will not necessarily make you rich or give you an easy life so you can give more. But, what God will do is abound his grace to you and cause you to have all sufficiency in all things at all times! God will graciously change you so that your sufficiency will be less and less on earthly things, and more and more on Christ- in order that you might abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:10–11 ESV
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
Example: I used to want to amass enough money to buy land far out in the country so that I could isolate myself from the rest of the world and its problems. I don’t want to do that anymore. I am fine with a smaller house, I want to be near people, I want to be in the community that I pastor- because I want to reach people with the gospel. Who did that work in me? God’s grace did!

VI. Giving for gospel ministry is glorifying to God.

Philippians 4:20 ESV
20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
20τῷ δὲ θεῷ καὶ πατρὶ ἡμῶν
Now to our God and Father
ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, ἀμήν.
(be) THE GLORY forever and ever, AMEN.
End of the letter:
Philippians 4:21–23 ESV
21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Followers of Christ ought to love to give towards gospel ministry.
What are the Biblical reasons for giving towards missions?
It produces a loving concern for others.
It creates a spiritual partnership with others.
It increases eternal reward.
It accomplishes spiritual worship.
It abounds in you because of the glorious riches of God’s grace.
It is glorifying to God.
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