Philippians 4:10-18 - A Great Model of Church Giviving

Steve Viars May 4, 1996 Philippians 10:18

- verses 10-19 begin the formal "thank-you" part of this letter.
- William Hendricksen said of this portion:
   "This message of thanks is a rare blending of affection, of dignity,
    of delicacy, with a certain undertone of gentle pleasantry.  It is an
    embodiment of ideal Christian courtesy."

- you may recall that last week we said that there are at least two
   distinct issues being addressed in these verses...

     1) Paul's reaction to the financial gift the church had sent
         (and what that reaction teaches us about the subject of
            contentment)

     2) The church's faithfulness in sending that gift.

- we decided to look exclusively at the first issue last week---and
   center our discussion on what the Scripture teaches us about
   contentment.
- let me remind you of what those verses said ... READ 11-13

- now, those verses are very important...but we need to understand the
   way they fit into this text.
- its actually a parenthetical statement...its something that Paul added
   (as he often does) that momentarily takes him away from his main
   point.

- this morning, we want to study verse 10, coupled with verses 14-18
   (leaving 11-13 out) to try to understand his main thrust about how the
   church had been faithful in the way they had supported his ministry.

- we're titling these verses:
                     "A Great Model of Church Giving"

- let's read the passage without verses 11-13
- READ 10, 14-18

- this morning we want to study four truths this passage teaches us about
   NT Grace Giving.

I. Grace Giving Is A Matter of Concern

    - please notice that one of the key words that comes up in verse 10
       is the word "concern."
    - in fact, Paul uses that word twice in connection with the financial
       gift that the church had recently sent to him, and the ones they
       had sent before.


    - this wasn't a matter of coercion...
    - it wasn't a matter of legalistic thinking...
    - it wasn't because they had been browbeat into it...

- THEIR GENEROSITY GREW OUT OF A CONCERNED HEART.

- the issue here is not physically what takes place between one's hand
   and one's checkbook...
     - the issue is -- Is the person's heart filled with concern that the
         ministries of God move forward.

- we're talking about the matter of concern.

- let me ask you this morning --- are you concerned about the work of God
   that is occurring here in Lafayette and around the world?
     - and what evidence is there of that concern?

  1) For example, are you concerned about our three Stilwell families
      ministering in Peru, SA, this morning on our behalf?
        - parents - Steve and Evelyn
        - sons David and Jonathan, along with their wives Kandie and
           Julie, and their children?

        - are you concerned that their needs are met financially?
        - are you concerned that they be freed up from financial
           pressure so that they may minister freely and wholeheartedly
           for Christ?
        - are you concerned that they have the right amount of work funds
           so they might minister effectively where they are?

        - are you concerned for these families?

  2) Are you concerned for Jack Sorg, who will soon be returning to the
       Amazon Jungle as a missionary doctor?
       - are you glad that we recently raised his support to try to
          lighten the burden there?

  3) Are you concerned for Sam and Ellen Hornbrook, veteran missionaries
      who have given their lives to minister to men and women in Mexico?

  4) What about for Sam and Jamie Hornbrook who will soon be returning to
      Mexico City, one of, if not the largest cities in the world?

  5) Are you concerned for Ruth Wood, who woke up this morning in Gambia,
      West Africa to help carry the gospel to that needy land?

- we could go through all of our foreign missionaries----and ask
   ourselves...
     - are we concerned for them the way the Phillipians were concerned
        for Paul?

- What about some of our Home Missions projects?

   1) Are you concerned about Baptist Children's Home?

       - I spoke to a pastor in Minnesota this week who told me of a
         family in their church that was having trouble with a
         teenager...and needed to get some help...

           - and they received that help through Baptist Children's
               Home...and now that teenager is back with his natural
               family and doing well...

- that happened because faithful people over the years have had a heart
   of CONCERN.

   2) what about our ministry to other churches through NANC, and the
       counseling center.

       - this church historically has tried to minister outside of
          itself...
            - through our counseling training program
            - through the pastors raveling to key places where pastors
               want to be trained in Biblical counseling and a biblical
               philosophy of ministry

        - we are wanting to have a major emphasis on the development of
           NANC this year...

      - but do you have a HEART of CONCERN to minister to other churches?

    3) What about the ministries here in Lafayette?
        - are you glad we're going to spend money to have a VBS?
        - are you glad we're building buildings so we can minister the
           Word more effectively?

        - are you glad that our church tries to treat its staff
            generously?

           - cf. pastor in Minn.
               - sharp guy
               - church has grown four-fold in 10 years
               - winning and discipling people
               - six children

               - been down for our Missionary conference

           - current salary (total package including housing and
               professional expenses) -- $24,000

           - he's not bitter---trying to faithfully serve...

           - but what's wrong there?  (some folks lacking CONCERNED
               HEARTS?)
                 - plenty of boats and vacation homes around...

- the point is -- Paul says that the Philippian's giving revealed HEARTS
    OF CONCERN----that the ministries of God be moved forward

- What does your giving reveal about your heart?

- praise the Lord for people sitting in this class this morning...
    - who would never boast about it...
    - would never want it to be publicly revealed...

       - but who have HEARTS like we're talking about this morning...and
          could back that up with facts if necessary.

- if I'm speaking to someone this morning of whom that's not true...I
    have to ask you ---- what's wrong with your heart?

- another key word in this passage tells us that:


II. Giving Is A Matter of Sharing


    - of course this goes along with what we've already studied but it's
       important to note that Paul uses the word "share" several times in
         this passage.

         - v. 14 - you have done well to share with me
         - v. 15 no church shared with me in the matter of giving and
              receiving but you alone.

     - the word "share" is a beautiful word in the Scriptures...
         - cf. Hebrews 10:33 - READ and develop

         - cf. also Rev. 1:9 - READ and develop

- Paul is saying that the Philippians were people who shared

    - William Hendricksen ties this back with Phil. 1:5 (read) and then
        says:
          "Truly, the fellowship was working beautifully."

- let me get some input from you at this point:

    - INPUT - What verses or biblical concepts come to mind that
        reinforce the idea that --- as believers in Jesus Christ --- we
        should be characterized as people who share?

        1) oneness in Christ

        2) we are a body

        3) we are a family

        4) Gal. 6:1

        5) Rom. 12:15

        6) Gal. 6:6

        7) Parable of the good Samaritan

- INPUT - Opposites of this characteristic?  people who do not SHARE what
           they have with others are _________?


- some other observations we could make about this matter of sharing:

    1) The Philippians did this as an INFANT church.

        - What Paul is talking about in verse 15 would have happened very
            early in this church's history.
              - cf. College Park


    2) They shared regularly (verse 16)

         - Sometimes people and churches want to make the "big splash."
         - Speaking from the perspective of working with organizations
            like the IFRBC, NANC, and our Camp---believe me---its the
            faithful regular gifts that keep ministries going, not the
            occasional splashes.

    3) Another thing to notice about the way Paul uses this word "SHARE"
        is that he "Bathes" it in accounting terminology.

        - v. 15 - giving and receiving
        - v. 17 - profit which increases to your account
        - v. 18 - received everything in full...ETC.

        - the implication is -- while this is a matter of the heart, its
           also a matter of something that can be counted.
        - the difference here compared to the average accounting
          transaction is that, in the final analysis, its the God of
          Heaven who keeps the books.

            - the matter of whether we're developing a concerned heart,
               and a sharing heart...is an issue that He is tracking.

III. Grace Giving Comes With A Reward

   - you understand, of course, that we never do something for the Lord
     in order to get something in return, but there is no question that
     God rewards faithfulness.
   - Paul makes that very clear in verse 17 (READ)

   - Proverbs 11:25 - the liberal soul shall be made fat.
       (NASB - The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters
          will himself be watered).

   - an important balancing point here is that God does not always repay
      in kind.

        - develop - Wayne Ericksen -- given faithfully to God, now
            rewarded by having children who give faithfully from their
            earnings.


IV. Grace Giving Is Pleasing To God

    - verse 18

    A. A fragrant aroma and acceptable sacrifice

        - going back again to the OT sacrificial system (just like he did
            in 2:17)

        - cf. Gen. 4:4, 8:21, Lev. 1:9, 13, 17)

        - Christians by their generosity are offering praise and worship
            to God.
              (cf. the trend to stop taking the offering in the public
                services)

       - A good question to ask this morning might be --
       - What aroma do your giving habits bring to the nostrils of God?
          - for some, it's a sweet smelling aroma....for others, its a
             sickening stench.

    B. It can be well pleasing to God.

         II Cor. 5:9

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video