The Poor

Steve Viars June 15, 2002

- 2 things right off the bat about this topic…
1.  There are a lot of verses in the book of Proverbs, and in the Bible on this topic.
- those of you who know me know that I believe many of these verses and themes have been conveniently ignored by conservative evangelicals, and I think we need to face up to that.
2.  There are many different ways to "slice this pie".  In other words, the verses could be organized in a number of different ways.
- I've tried to lay this out in a way that is most helpful for the average person in our class.

I.  The Right Attitude Toward the Poor

A.  Do not look down upon them

Proverbs 14:21

INPUT - What are some ways a person might "despise" his poor neighbor?

INPUT - Who is your neighbor, biblically speaking?

B.  Be concerned because God is concerned

Proverbs 22:22-23

INPUT - What are some of the "legal" ways to rob the poor today?
[develop the issue of paying fair and generous wages]
[if time discuss paying laborers in the pool business]

C.  Seek laws that are fair and just for all

Proverbs 28:3 [cf. NIV], 29:7, 29:14, 31:9
INPUT - How would you summarize these four verses?  How can we act on these verses today?


[develop --- we all need to evaluate our hearts in light of these verses.  Some of us have become cynical and hardened toward those less fortunate than us---if time discuss the issue of being "duped" as a pastor.]

- I realize that someone might be thinking, but PV, you're discussing the "poor" as if it is a homogenous category, when it is not.  I agree, which is why we also need to have:

II.  The Right Understanding of the Poor

- The Bible gives different reasons people might be poor.

A.  Some are poor for reasons outside their control.

Proverbs 13:23, cf. Isa. 3:13-15, 10:1-4, Amos 2:6-7, 5:11-12, 8:4-10

INPUT - Reasons a person may be poor that are outside his control?


B.  Some are poor because of their own poor choices.

1.  They won't work.

Prov. 10:4, 20:13

2.  They love pleasure

Prov. 21:17

3.  They will not control their appetites

Prov. 23:21

4.  They did not respond to their parent's teaching and discipline.

Prov. 13:18

5.  They talk but they don't act.

Prov. 14:23

 

6.  They make hasty and unwise financial decisions.

Prov. 21:5


- so there's no question that sometimes [perhaps many times] people are poor because of bad choices they have made.  But what should our attitude be toward people who have made bad choices?


III.  The Right Ministry

- How should this affect us as a church?

A.  Be sure the family is involved if possible.

I Timothy 5:4, 8


B.  Try to determine why the person in the position, and whether he is willing to do his share.

- cf. Gal. 6:1-6  [help with burdens too heavy to bear without removing the whole load]


C.  Remember that our view of the poor reflects our view of God.

Prov. 19:17

 

Adult Bible Fellowship
The Poor
Proverbs Series #36


I.  The Right ______________ Toward the Poor
A.  Do not look ________ upon them.
Proverbs 14:21
INPUT - What are some ways a person might "despise" his poor neighbor?
INPUT - Who is your neighbor, biblically speaking?
B.  Be ________________ because God is _________________.
Proverbs 22:22-23
INPUT - What are some of the "legal" ways to rob the poor today?
C.  Seek laws that are _________ and ________ for all
INPUT - How would you summarize these four verses?  How can we act on these verses today?

II.  The Right ___________________ of the Poor
– The Bible gives different reasons people might be poor.
A.  Some are poor for reasons ______________ their control.
Proverbs 13:23, cf. Isaiah 3:13-15, 10:1-4, Amos 2:6-7, 5:11-12, 8:4-10
INPUT - Reasons a person may be poor that are outside his control?
B.  Some are poor because of their _______ _________ choices.
1.  They _________ work.
Proverbs 10:4, 20:13
2.  They _______ pleasure.
Proverbs 21:17
3.  They will not control their ________________.
Proverbs 23:21
4.  They did not ______________ to their parent's teaching and discipline.
Proverbs 13:18
5.  They ________ but they don't ________.
Proverbs 14:23
6.  They make hasty and unwise ________________ decisions.
Proverbs 21:5

III.  The Right ______________
– How should this affect us as a church?
A.  Be sure the ____________ is involved if possible.
I Timothy 5:4, 8
B.  Try to determine _______ the person is in this position, and whether he is willing to do his ___________.
cf. Galatians 6:1-6  [help with burdens too heavy to bear without removing the whole load]
C.  Remember that our view of the _________ reflects our view of ________.
Proverbs 19:17

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