Date written: July 4th, 2004
Scripture ref: Galatians 6:10
TITLE: The Church's Work of Benevolence
PROPOSITION: To discuss the work that the church must do in rendering benevolent deeds to be saints and non-saints.
OBJECTIVE: Each listener should be aware of the need for the church to do benevolent work as well as the problems that some have created in opposition to aiding non-saints.
AIM: To show that the church must do benevolent work both to saints and non-saints.
1. Read: Galatians 6:10
2. About the Text:
1) The book was written to the churches of Galatia.
2) These churches were experiencing problems with false teachers.
3) These false teachers were undermining the work of the church.
4) In Galatians 6, Paul begins addressing the solution to the problems in these churches.
5) They were to…
a. Restore the wayward.
b. Bear each other's burdens.
c. Financially support the one who is laboring in the word.
d. Not grow weary in well doing.
e. Do good to all men, especially the church.
6) It is out of this last command that Paul gives to the churches of Galatia, that we take our initiative to practice benevolence to all men.
3. Those who believe otherwise.
1) There are those who do not believe that the church may give out of her treasury to non-saints.
2) These brethren today have accepted the description "non-institutional."
3) They do not give to orphan homes, hospitals, foreign children's funds, colleges, and any other "institutionalized" organizations.
4) While these brethren have been quiet in the past dozen or so years, they continue to teach their doctrine on the Internet, radio, television, and other places.
5) We need to be aware of this teaching so that we do not fall victim to this teaching.
4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: The church is to do good to all men because . . .
I. She is directly commanded to do so.
1. Galatians 6:10. "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
2. The phrase "do good" in the New Testament can refer to contributing to others financially (1 Timothy 6:17, 18 " Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;").
3. It is also clear that the phrase "all men" in this passage is referring to those who are outside of the body of Christ.
4. To what then to these brethren object in this passage?
1) They state that this is a command for the individual and not for the church as a whole.
2) They overlook, however, the following facts.
a. That Paul was addressing the churches of Galatia in these epistles (Gal.1:2).
b. That Paul was instructing the churches on how to deal with those who have been lead astray by the Judaizing teachers in chapter 6, and that chapter 6 is mainly instruction to the church and NOT to the individual.
c. That the context of Galatians 6 is littered with the first person plural pronouns, we and us and that in the context, the we and the us of these verses would be the church, not the individual.
3) Those who say this passage does not authorize the church to give to non-saints simply miss the whole point of this passage.
5. There is another passage, however, that authorizes the church to do good to non-saints—James 1:27.
1) Again in this passage they claim that it is only the individual that is being discussed, not the church as whole.
2) This would imply, however, that the church does not have the authority to practice "pure religion."
3) It would also imply that the church does not have authority from this passage to keep herself "unspotted from the world."
4) The passage simply cannot be limited to individuals only.
II. The Head of the Church Practiced Benevolence
1. Jesus is the head of the church (Eph.1:22, Eph.5:23, Col.1:18).
2. Jesus made it a point to practice benevolence both to saints and non-saints.
1) Acts 10:28 says, "even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
2) In Matthew 15:21-28, Jesus helped a woman who was not a Jew. He even did good to those who were not of the "household of faith."
3) The death of Jesus on the cross was for all men.
a. 1 Timothy 2:3-6 "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
b. 2 Cor.5:15 "And he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again."
c. God's greatest gift was given to all men.
3. The church followed the example of Jesus in benevolence.
1) We know that the church was concerned about following Jesus example of doing good (Acts 20:35 "I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.").
2) The early church followed the example of Jesus and practiced benevolence to all (2 Corinthians 9:12, 13).
III. To not do so would be for the church to fail to love the world as God loved the world.
1. How much did God love the world? John 3:16
2. If God can give His Son as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, something on which no monetary value can be placed, then surely the house of God can give a dime from her treasury to an orphan.
3. If the church cannot give from her treasury to support the non-saint, then the church cannot give ANYTHING from her treasury to support a non-saint.
4. The treasury of the church is more than merely bills and coins. The treasury of the church includes all of the church's property.
7) And anything else upon which one could place monetary value.
8) The implication is that the church could not give any of these things to the non-saint.
5. The church could not even give to a member to help feed a member's child, who is not a Christian.
6. The church could not take one penny out of the plate and give it to someone who is not a Christian.
7. Now, when God gave the most valuable thing that He had for his enemies (Romans 5:8) how can we, God's house, say that we could not even give a penny?
8. It is indeed a ridiculous doctrine to say that it is sinful for the church to give to non-saints.
9. To follow such a doctrine would mean that we simply do not have the love of God in our hearts.
1. The church has a responsibility to practice benevolence.
1) Many state that if the church does everything, then the individual will stop practicing benevolence.
2) That ought not to be the case.
3) We ought not to be a people who give to the church and then turn around and proclaim that we have fulfilled our obligations to the poor and others.
4) We each have an individual responsibility to practice benevolence, but that does not take away from the responsibility of the church to do the same.
1) Because God so loved this sinful world, He gave His Son Jesus for all mankind.
2) If you are a Christian, but have spurned God's great love for you.
a. Perhaps you have not reflected God's love in your life as you should.
b. Perhaps you have not practiced benevolence as your should.
c. Repent of such behavior today; failure in benevolence will result in failure to be saved according to Matthew 25:34-39.
3) If you are not a Christian today. . .
a. Accept God's great gift of salvation to you.
b. Please become one this hour.
a) Hear the word; Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing . . .”
b) Believe with all your heart; Hebrews 11:6 “For without faith it is impossible . . . .”
c) Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30).
d) Confess Jesus as the Son of God (Matt.16:16).
e) Be Baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15,16).