GG – Branden and Ashley Stathes
Images remind us of cultural divide:
Black/ white fountain pic in 1960’s
MLK – cross burned in yard
BACKGROUND – CULTURAL DIVIDE
– Jewish / Gentile church controversy.
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
BACKGROUND – EVENTS
Jerusalem church going thru drought and famine.
Paul hears of this and passes the word to gentile churches (Macedonia and Corinth)
QUESTIONS THAT ARENT BEING ASKED….
How much is enough?
Tithe off of gross or net?
Do I give above or below national average?
“Typical” giving attitude…..
Giving last leaves us dependent on us ( and in control ) – rather that giving first and extravagantly and God in control for the rest of our life needs / daily bread.
TWO CHURCHES :
1) MACEDONIAN CHURCH attitude in giving?
2nd Cor 8:1-5
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
Macedonian ( “barbaric north”), political rivals w/ Greece (Corinth)
2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.
Severe trial = affliction , severe harassment , testing to prove genuine
Extreme poverty – “ down-to-the-depth poverty “ , rock bottom poverty
AN OBVIOUS NEED + CELEBRATED RESPONSE.
2) Corinthian church attitude toward giving?
2 Cor 9:6-11
Cheerful giver – “hilarious “ = cheerful
GG – Branden and Ashley Stathes pt 2
How to start??
Starts with knowing Him who saved you!
Devoted fully to Jesus Christ and His will. (2 Cor 8:5)
Accomplish far more than can be imagined….