What Exactly is “Benevolence”?

What Exactly is BenevolenceBenevolence is the desire to do good to others; goodwill; an act of kindness; a charitable gift. What input can we find in God’s revelation concerning benevolence? What does God expect of us as individuals and as a congregation when it comes to the stewardship of our material blessings?

What Benevolence WASN’T in the Life of the Early Church

  • Benevolence wasn’t the means of propagating Christianity; it was the “fruit” of Christians (John 15:8).
  • Benevolence toward physical needs wasn’t the point of Jesus’ mission; “eternal life” was (and is) the point (John 6:26-27).

The Call for Every Disciple to be “of Christ” (Mark 10:45)

  • 1 Timothy 6:17-18 — “As for the rich in this present age…”
  • Hebrews 13:16 — “…such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
  • 1 John 3:16-18 — “Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
  • Matthew 25:31-46 — “As you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10 — “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ…”
  • Galatians 6:1-10 — “As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone…”
  • James 1:19-27 — “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this…”

The Call for Every Church to be “of Christ” (Eph 1:22-23)

  • 1 Timothy 5:16 — “Let the church not be burdened…”
  • Historical examples of benevolence under the guidance of Spirit-led apostles:
    • Romans 15:25-26 — “I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints.”
    • 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 — “Now concerning the collection for the saints…”
    • 2 Corinthians 8:1-4; 9:1 — “…the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints.”
    • Acts 2:44-45 — “All who believed were together and had all things in common…”
  • 1 Timothy 5:3-16 — “…care for those who are truly widows.”

God-Breathed Perspective for Those Who are “of Christ”

  • “The point is this…” (2 Cor 9:6-11).
  • The grace of God is glorified when we cheerfully submit to his will (2 Cor 9:12-14).
  • “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Cor 9:15)

This sermon was delivered on July 28, 2013.

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About Jason Hardin

Jason lives in southern Indiana with his wife Shelly and their three daughters. He works with the Charlestown Road church of Christ. Jason has written three books and a variety of workbooks. He's a fan of photography, baseball, mountains, wildlife, BBQ, banana pudding, and coffee. You can contact him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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