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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Various Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Part Two)

Don Stewart :: What Is the Gift of Giving?

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What Is the Gift of Giving?

The Various Gifts of the Holy Spirit Part Two – Question 8

Giving is listed as a spiritual gift in the New Testament. Indeed, the Apostle. Paul wrote to the church at Rome about this gift.

We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness (Romans 12:6–8 NRSV).

From Scripture, there are a number of things that we can learn about the spiritual gift of giving. They can be summed up as follows.

All Believers Are Encouraged to Give

All believers are encouraged to be generous with their belongings. Paul made this point when he wrote to the Corinthians. He said.

Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7 NRSV).

Each of us is to support the Christian ministry by giving part of what we have.

Paul wrote to the Romans about the need to reach out to others. In this instance, it is helping fellow believers who are in need.

When God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night (Romans 12:13 NLT).

The Bible encourages believers to give to the work of the Christian ministry.

We Are to Give Freely

Jesus said to His disciples to give freely; we are to expect nothing in return. Matthew records Him saying the following.

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give (Matthew 10:8 NASB).

The Contemporary English Version puts it this way.

Heal the sick, raise the dead to life, heal people who have leprosy, and force out demons. You received without paying, now give without being paid (Matthew 10:8 CEV).

These disciples received God’s blessings without paying for them. Now, in the same manner, they are to give without expecting money in return.

Jesus also said that believers are to give generously. Luke records Him saying the following about giving.

Give, and you will receive. A large quantity, pressed together, shaken down, and running over will be put into your pocket. The standards you use for others will be applied to you (Luke 6:38 God’s Word).

We should give generously out of the things which the Lord has given to us.

There Is a Gift of Sacrificial Giving

While all believers are to give, there is also a spiritual gift of sacrificial giving. It involves the giving of one’s own possessions, to others. This also includes giving money. Doing so actually brings satisfaction to that person. Indeed, the Apostle Paul, in quoting Jesus, emphasized the spiritual blessing which comes along with giving. He wrote.

I have given you an example that by working hard like this we should help the weak. We should remember the words that the Lord Jesus said, ‘Giving gifts is more satisfying than receiving them’ (Acts 20:35 God’s Word).

This is not a spiritual gift reserved for the wealthy. Anyone, no matter what his financial resources may be, can have the gift of giving.

The Philippian Church Helped Paul

The church at Philippi helped the Apostle Paul when he was in need. He recognized them when he wrote his letter to this church. We read.

And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again (Philippians 4:15, 16 ESV).

They were helpful to the Apostle Paul. Indeed, they partnered with him when other churches did not.

The New Testament Example of Dorcas: She Gave Sacrificially

Dorcas was a New Testament example of a person who gave sacrificially. We read about this in the Book of Acts. It says.

Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity (Acts 9:36 NRSV).

This is an indication that she had the spiritual gift of giving.

We Should Give Privately, Expecting Nothing in Return

Again it must be emphasized that giving is not to be done with the idea of gaining anything back. There is to be no thought of a return on an investment. Jesus taught the way that all believers should give.

When you give a gift to someone in need, don’t shout about it as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone, don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you (Matthew 6:2-4 NLT).

It also is done in a private way. People with this gift give anonymously and expect God to be the one to reward them. Indeed, He does.

Summary – Question 8
What Is the Gift of Giving?

All Christians should freely and happily give of their possessions for the work of the Lord. In fact, this is something which we all should do.

However there are some individuals who have a special gift of giving to meet the material needs of others. This is spiritual gift of giving. This gift is not reserved for the wealthy. Anybody, no matter what their financial status, can have this gift.

When Jesus sent out His disciples to minister to others, He told them to freely give. The idea is that they received God’s blessings without having to pay. Consequently, they themselves should give without expecting anything in return. This is the proper way to give.

Scripture provides a number of examples of Christians giving to the cause of Christ. We learn that the Philippian church helped the Apostle Paul with his needs. They partnered with him when others would not. He acknowledged their gracious act of giving.

There was also the example of a believer named Dorcas who gave of herself to others. She was so valuable to the early church that Simon Peter prayed to bring her back from the dead! Her gift of giving was extremely valuable.

We learn from Jesus that giving should be done in private. Indeed, there is to be no public demonstration or reward for our giving to the ministry. God is the One who rewards us for our faithfulness. We should not be looking for accolades or praise from others.

This brings up another important point about giving. We should give without any expectation of a financial return. Again, it is the Lord will be the One who gives a return on the investment.

In summary, we note that every believer should be giving of their possessions to the Christian ministry. There are some, however, who have a special gift in doing this; the gift of giving.

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