SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: Is Your Checkbook Converted?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 4:14-23

MESSAGE SUMMARY
It’s a strange title for a sermon, I know. Yet it seems many of us try to separate what we believe in our hearts from how we behave with our finances. In these closing verses of this letter to the Philippians, Paul thanks the church that supported his ministry for putting their money where their faith is. This paragraph is one of the clearest theological statements about how money can become a tool for God’s glory and a gauge of spiritual maturity.

STUDY GUIDE

Connect Recap Notes: January 7, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Is Your Checkbook Converted?"
Text: Philippians 4:14-23

Path

Martin Luther noted that three conversions are necessary for each person: heart, mind, and purse (wallet). It seems many of us try to separate what we believe in our hearts from how we behave with our finances. In the closing verses of Philippians, Paul thanked the church that supported his ministry for putting their money where their faith was. Pastor Skip unpacked one of the clearest theological statements about how money can become a tool for God’s glory and a gauge of spiritual maturity:

  1. Generosity Is Commended (vv. 14-16, 18)
  2. Interest Is Compounded (v. 17)
  3. Giving Is Rewarded (v. 19)
  4. Family Is Extended (vv. 20-23)

Points

Generosity Is Commended

Interest Is Compounded

Giving Is Rewarded

Family Is Extended

Practice

Connect Up: Since God doesn’t need our money (He created and owns all good things), why do you think He commands Christians to give? Discuss these responses:2

  • Our giving changes us.
  • Our giving brings God glory.
  • Our giving blesses us and others

    Connect In: How does generous giving strengthen and support the family of God? Talk about this quote by J. Paul Getty: “Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells.” How can the support of productive ministries be likened to the spread of manure, the fuel for things to grow?

    Connect Out: Why should the heart of giving be the salvation of people and the consummation of God’s kingdom (peace, justice, etc.)? Can you think of any other reasons to give?

  • 1 Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart: And 1,501 Other Stories, Nashville, Word Publishing, Inc., 1998.
    2 Cortni Marrazzo, “Why Does God Want Me to Give?” November 15, 2013, https://www.crosswalk.com/family/finances/why-does-god-want-me-to-give.html, accessed 1/7/18.

    DETAILED NOTES

    1. Introduction
      1. Money is a driving issue for most people
      2. The Bible speaks about money frequently
        1. About one out of every six verses in Matthew, Mark, and Luke deals with money in some way
        2. Of the twenty-nine parables Jesus told, sixteen of them deal with money
        3. More than 2,000 verses in the entire Bible about money
      3. You can tell a lot about a person's spirituality by what they do with their money (see Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34)
      4. The church at Philippi was a model of sacrificial, generous giving
        1. They had supported Paul on several occasions
        2. They heard Paul was in prison in Rome and sent Epaphroditus with a very lavish gift for him
    2. Generosity Is Commended (vv. 14-16, 18)
      1. Money is not evil; it depends on how it is used (see 1 Timothy 6:10)
        1. There were many people in the Bible who were very wealthy but also very godly
          1. Abraham had 318 servants (see Genesis 14:14)
            1. His wealth was on par with that of the kings of Canaan
            2. He often interacted with those kings
          2. Though Job lost all his wealth, God blessed his later years with more than in the beginning (see Job 1:3; 42:12)
          3. Joseph ended up being the prime minister of Egypt (see Genesis 37-46)
        2. Money has no moral value attached to it; it all depends on how one uses it (see Proverbs 24:3)
      2. Giving for God's work is good
        1. Examples
          1. God called David's amassing of wealth and property to build the temple a good work (see 1 Kings 8:18)
          2. John commended Gaius for taking care of traveling strangers (see 3 John 1:5)
          3. It is more blessed to give than to receive (see Acts 20:35)
        2. Very few things get done in ministry without the support of generous people
        3. Generosity is good because it turns people into partners (see Philippians 1:2-5)
          1. Sugkoinóneó= to have fellowship with
          2. Paul valued the partnership more than the present
          3. In God's work, some are goers, some are senders, but all are partners (see 3 John 1:8)
        4. Generosity is good because it pleases God
          1. This is our highest motivation to do anything
          2. "Sweet-smelling aroma" (v. 18)
            1. Language of the temple
            2. That is what giving is like to God
      3. Giving is a sacrifice (see 2 Samuel 24:24)
        1. Tithing is an Old Testament concept
          1. Israel had two annual tithes plus a third one every third year
          2. They also paid a temple tax
          3. They gave around 25-30 percent of their annual income
        2. God owns 100 percent of all your money (see Haggai 2:8)
          1. He gives us the power to amass wealth (see Deuteronomy 8:18)
          2. Don't complain about tithing 10 percent; God lets you keep 90 percent
          3. We should not give grudgingly (see 2 Corinthians 9:7)
          4. The only thing the New Testament says about how much we should give is that we should give in proportion to our income
    3. Interest Is Compounded (v. 17)
      1. When the church gave generously to fund Paul's mission, they would receive the eternal credit of the fruit of his labor
      2. We need to be careful where we invest our finances
        1. Is the ministry producing fruit?
        2. Matthew 6:20
    4. Giving Is Rewarded (v. 19)
      1. Though the Philippian church gave generously, it was not wealthy (see 2 Corinthians 8:2; 11:8)
      2. "Full" (v. 18) and "supply" (v. 19)
        1. The word pléroó is used for both these words
        2. It means to make full, to complete
        3. God generously treats those who generously treat others (see Proverbs 3:9-10; 11:25; 22:9; Luke 6:38)
    5. Family Is Extended (vv. 20-23)
      1. The Philippians' generosity enabled Paul to reach unreachable people
        1. Members of Caesar's household were coming to Christ
        2. The Philippians had probably been praying for these people, not completely believing any of them would ever come to Christ
        3. The unreachable people were reached because of their generosity and Paul's preaching
      2. Luke 16:1-13
        1. Use your financial possessions for eternal dividends
        2. Souls won to Christ
        3. Be shrewd to use what you have to bring others to the kingdom
    Figures referenced: Jim Elliot, J. Paul Getty, Martin Luther, Peter Marshall, Charles Spurgeon, George Truett, Mark Twain

    Greek words: pléroó, sugkoinóneó

    Cross references: Genesis 14:14; 37-46; Deuteronomy 8:18; 2 Samuel 24:24; 1 Kings 8:18; Job 1:3; 42:12; Proverbs 3:9-10; 11:25; 22:9; 24:3; Haggai 2:8; Matthew 6:20, 21; Luke 6:38; 12:34; 16:1-13; Acts 20:35; 2 Corinthians 8:2; 9:7; 11:8; Philippians 1:2-5; 1 Timothy 6:10; 3 John 1:5, 8

    Topic: Giving

    Keywords: tithing, giving, generosity, money, wealth, sacrifice, fruit, possessions


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