Biblical Reasons for Giving to the Church
Jesus Died for the Church.
Yes – Jesus died for you and me as individuals. But He never intended the Christian life to be a solitary journey. Ephesians 5:25-27 tells us that Jesus died for the Church – to sanctify it, cleanse it, and present it holy and blameless to God. Acts 2 begins with the disciples waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit and ends with the amazing growth of the church. In Acts 2:41-47 there is no hint of the individuality of the believer, except for the faith leading to salvation. Otherwise, believers were together, working, learning, praying, eating, and giving.
God Has Given to Us
We should desire to give – freely, generously, and cheerfully – because that is how God has given to us. Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” As Jesus said in Matthew 10:8, we are to give as we have received: “Freely you received, freely give.” God has generously given us, His children, all we need to live godly lives, as Peter states in 2 Peter 1:3, “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” We are to give as He gave.
God Blesses Those Who Give
God has divinely conditioned His blessings to us on our generosity. Luke 6:38 states this plainly, “Give, and it will be given to you.” However, probably the most well-known passage regarding this truth is in Malachi 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” We should not ‘give to get’ but the truth God has shared is that it matters to Him that we do give. He opens His hands when we open ours.
Believers Support the Church
All believers are expected to support the work of the Lord done through the Church. Paul states in 1 Timothy 5:17-18, “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,’ and ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages.’” Paul also commended believers in Philippi who gave to his ministry. “You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs” (Philippians 4:15-16).
A thoughtful reading of 2 Corinthians 8 should lead you to the same conclusion: God is pleased with believers who give to the work of the Church. While I do not want to quote the entire chapter here, I urge you to read it for yourself. However, for now, consider verses 3 and 4. “For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.” God has placed the Church in the world to impact the world with the message of grace and forgiveness through Jesus. That can only happen when believers open their wallets and purses and support the eternal work of the church. BTW – giving your time to this endeavor is equally important!