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The Principle of Pledging and Giving unto God

Sermon by Rev Dr Malcolm Tan

19 July 2020

1 Corinthians 16: 1-2

Notes by Anita Fam

When we make a pledge, it is simply a promise of payment.

Three important biblical principles in life governing the giving of offerings to God.

⁃ First, see 2 Thessalonians 3:10b. The importance of making an honest living in life.

⁃ Secondly, see Matthew 10:8. In as much as God has blessed us, we should give back to God as an act of gratitude and thanksgiving.

⁃ Thirdly, see Genesis 28: 19-22. The promise of being faithful and making a promise of payment unto the Lord.

What was the practice of the early Christian church?

⁃ See 1 Corinthians 16:1. It was a practice of not only the church of Corinth but also Galatia. So a common practice amongst the early Christian church can be imputed.

⁃ This was the practice of making congregational offerings and collections.

How did the church practice such congregational collection?

⁃ See 1 Corinthians 16:2.

First, it should be consistently periodic, ie, on the first day of every week, on the Lord’s Day. See Revelations 1:10A.

⁃ It was also the day of worship, teaching and receiving holy communion. See Acts 20:7.

⁃ This practice was confirmed in the writings of Justin Martyr in his early work of the First Apology (written in AD 155-157, Chapter 1, sections 67-68) where in his time, offerings were brought to the church on Sundays. This is clear evidence in church history.

⁃ So Sundays are for worship, teaching, holy communion and bringing offerings unto the Lord.

Secondly, the giving of offerings is specifically personal.

⁃ Offerings should come from our hearts personally and individually.

⁃ We should not be forced to give.

⁃ See 1 Corinthians 16:2A

Thirdly, the giving of offerings should also be reflectively proportionate according to our ability and how God leads us.

⁃ See 1 Corinthians 16:2A

⁃ We should set aside whatever He has prospered. This means that we should prayerfully consider what to give and not so recklessly.

⁃ It implies careful and prayerful thought before the act of giving.

⁃ See 2 Corinthians 9:7. We see the practice of giving a pledge unto the Lord. It is a spiritual exercise in the presence of God as to how much we should give in good conscience. This is the pledge/act of proportionate giving.

⁃ There is joy in giving when we give according to the way God wants us to give.

Fourthly, the giving should be appropriately preventive.

⁃ See 1 Corinthians 16:2.

⁃ Paul did not want fundraising to be the main thing on the Lord’s Day. He wanted to focus on worship and teaching.

⁃ The collection of offerings therefore should not be the main focus when we gather together on the Lord’s Day.

⁃ We should not give in such a way that it does not glorify God. We should not collect offerings in such a way that it distracts from worship.

God’s promise is in 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

⁃ God’s promise to those who give to the Lord in a way which is appropriate and scriptural. We are to give proportionately as the Lord leads us.

⁃ The Lord promises to provide if we give in an appropriate and scriptural way ie, prayerfully and wisely unto the Lord.

⁃ See 2 Corinthians 9:8

May God rule over our lives and our finances so that His name may be glorified.


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