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Simple Answers Troubling Questions to ? ? Is Benevolence Limited?

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Presentation on theme: "Simple Answers Troubling Questions to ? ? Is Benevolence Limited?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Simple Answers Troubling Questions to ? ? Is Benevolence Limited?

2 Actually, two Questions need answering: Are there individuals who are unworthy of being helped benevolently, no matter the means used? Does God limit the work of benevolence, as it pertains to the work of the local church?

3 Who May Be Helped? The call for the Christian to be benevolent is a general and important command –It is being neighborly (Luke 10:33, 36-37)

4 Luke 10:33, (33), But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. (36-37), “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

5 Who May Be Helped? The call for the Christian to be benevolent is a general and important command –It is being neighborly (Luke 10:33, 36-37) –It is a Christian’s individual responsibility (James 1:27; Galatians 6:4-5, 10)

6 James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

7 Galatians 6:4-5, 10 (4-5), But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load. (10), Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

8 Who May Be Helped? The call for the Christian to be benevolent is a general and important command –It is being neighborly (Luke 10:33, 36-37) –It is a Christian’s individual responsibility (James 1:27; Galatians 6:4-5, 10) However, not every man is worthy of such help! –God condemns the indolent (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)

9 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

10 Who May the Church Help? There is authority for a local congregation to offer relief to saints in hardship (indigent) –Famine in Judea (Acts 11:27-30)

11 Acts 11:27-30 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. 30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

12 Who May the Church Help? There is authority for a local congregation to offer relief to saints in hardship (indigent) –Famine in Judea (Acts 11:27-30) –First day of the week contribution (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)

13 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

14 Who May the Church Help? There is authority for a local congregation to offer relief to saints in hardship (indigent) –Famine in Judea (Acts 11:27-30) –First day of the week contribution (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) A distinction is made between individual responsibility and church responsibility (1 Timothy 5:3-4, 16) –Church only responsible for indigent saints –Not even all saints are to be helped by the church

15 1 Timothy 5:3-4, 16 (3-4), Honor widows who are really widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. (16), If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.

16 Conclusion While love demands that Christians be benevolent, we must recognize that some are not worthy of help. We must not enable any to sin. Further, the obligation of benevolence is primarily given to the individual. It was never God’s intention to use the resources of the local church in the practice of unlimited benevolence. The church’s benevolent scope is limited to indigent saints.


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