Why Give for the Work of the Gospel?
The Scriptures provide several reasons why God’s people should learn to give…
- It is a grateful response to the generosity of God, shown most clearly in the death of his Son (2 Corinthians 8-9)
- It appropriately recognises that our wealth and possessions belong to God, and are given to us as a gift (1 Chronicles 29:10-16)
- We are partners in God’s Gospel (Philippians 1:3-7).
To Whom Should We Give?
- Christians have a responsibility to provide for both themselves and their families (e.g., 1 Thessalonians 4:11- 12; 1 Timothy 5:3-8)
- God also commands that Christians support those whose work amongst them is preaching and teaching the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:7-14; 1 Timothy 5:17-18)
- We are to provide for poor Christians (Romans 15:25-29; 2 Corinthians 8-9)
- We are to do good for those in need generally (Galatians 6:10).
How Much Should We Give?
God’s command to the Israelites in the Old Testament to provide a tithe (a tenth) is a useful guide, but since the coming of Jesus there has been no hard & fast rule about how much to give.
Instead, the New Testament suggests a number of principles for giving:
- generosity, according to what we have | Luke 21:1-4 & 2 Corinthians 8:1-4
- cheerfulness | 2 Corinthians 9:7
- regularity | 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
- sacrifice | 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
With these principles in mind, the Christian person ought to prayerfully decide how much to give, with 10% being a suggested starting point for overall giving. The amount will be different from person to person and family to family.
Christians should consider their giving carefully and seriously. Since our incomes change and because we all move through different stages of life, our giving is something that needs regular review.