A Voice from the Past: The Grace Of Giving -- By: W. H. Griffith Thomas

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 04:1 (Spring 1991)
Article: A Voice from the Past: The Grace Of Giving
Author: W. H. Griffith Thomas

A Voice from the Past:
The Grace Of Givinga

W. H. Griffith Thomas1

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7).

I. Introduction

What a combination of doctrine and practice there should always be in the life of a Christian! Yet sometimes words and actions do not agree with professed principles. St. Paul soars aloft in his marvelous unfolding of the resurrection doctrine in the fifteenth chapter of his First Epistle to the Corinthians, and then stoops to “Now concerning the collection for the saints,” in the beginning of the sixteenth chapter. And in this ninth chapter of his Second Epistle we have an amplification of his exhortation to give, which ends with “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

II. Principles of Giving under Grace

Universal Giving

Paul says this giving should be Universal—“each one,” and so every Christian’s purse is involved, not by command of the Apostle but rather by his advice, that genuine love to Christ may be demonstrated and that abundant joy shall produce from the overflowing heart abundant benevolence, as was the case of the poor Macedonians.

Systematic Giving

Then, giving should be Systematic, not haphazardly, not impulsively, but according to principle. There is need of calculation and care in one’s giving that holiness of life may be expressed in practical conduct. A Scottish congregation whose members were poor, pledged itself to give one penny2 a day for missions on six days of the week, and on the remaining day to go without meat and give sixpence,3 thus contributing one shilling4 a week to missionary work.

Regular Giving

Giving should also be Regular. There must be no forgetting, because to give constantly adds to the value. A member of my congregation in London was in the habit of placing a sovereign5 on the offertory plate every Sunday. When unable to be at church through failing health, for she was past ninety years of age, an envelope containing a sovereign was always left in the vestry to be added to the collection. The dependability of the offering enhanced its worth. The Apostle advises—“On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper.” This is regularity.

Proportionate Giving

Then Proportionate giving is advocated. Let there be mathem...

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