Giving under Grace Part 1 -- By: Ray Charles Stedman

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 107:427 (Jul 1950)
Article: Giving under Grace Part 1
Author: Ray Charles Stedman

Giving under Grace
Part 1

Ray Charles Stedman

The Problem of Giving

Though the subject of Christian giving is not a doctrinal issue it has practical values that make its study both important and profitable. In almost any conceivable type of Christian activity, the matter of money is almost certain ultimately to be considered. At no other point than in the realm of giving do the ideals of Christian living so closely touch the mundane world in which we live. Whatever, therefore, the study of this doctrine may lack in theological content is more abundantly made up in the practical benefits received.

I. The Importance in Scripture of Giving

A general survey. It is clear from the abundance of references that the writers of Scripture were well aware of the importance of giving in a godly life. They certainly shared none of the mistaken ideas of many moderns who, under the guise of a superficial piety, would place money matters on a far lower spiritual plane than other doctrines and accord it little, if any, recognition as a form of true worship. Paul illustrates the proper importance to be accorded giving in his first epistle to the Corinthians. The incomparable treatise on the resurrection found in the fifteenth chapter is unquestionably one of the most elevated and penetrating discussions of spiritual truth to be found in all the Bible. Yet, without a break or any semblance of an apology, the apostle concludes his discussion of the resurrection and goes on to say, “And now concerning the collection….” Clearly he saw no incongruity in bringing the two doctrines together.

But when further it is considered that the Bible abounds

with commands, practical suggestions, warnings, and examples, all concerned with the matter of giving, the subject takes on vastly increased importance. Everywhere miserliness, greed, and avarice are denounced, and generosity, hospitality, and charity extolled. Especial note should be taken of the repeated warnings against covetousness such as Colossians 3:5, that speaks of “covetousness which is idolatry,” and reveals the horror of God at the root-sin of the nongiving believer, comparing it, even, to frightful idolatry.

Giving, a fellowship. It may be noted, also, that the Greek word, κοινωνία, used to denote the closest relationship between the Lord and the believer, is also employed to designate the collection for the poor (cf. 2 Cor 8:4). Both are truly a “fellowship” of highest spiritual character.

Redemption money. As a final...

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