The Collection (Part 2)
1 Cor. 16:3-4
The Gentile believers at Corinth had the privilege and responsibility of giving to their Jewish brethren
in need. This Jewish church was the instrument through which they heard the gospel and were
saved. They received a spiritual blessing from the Jerusalem saints, and they could respond in
gratitude with a material gift (Romans 15:27). Here in our text today, Paul lays down some more
important instruction for the proper handling of finances within the local church which we at
present should follow and practice. But, before that, let me give you some truth and facts about
money and wealth.
I. Facts about Money or Wealth
A. Money is not the most important thing; in fact, it is a very little thing (Luke 16:10).
But how we handle money as a stewardship determines how much responsibility we
will be given in the really important things (Luke 16:11-12).
B. Money or our wealth belongs to God. (Ps. 104:24, Hag. 2:8, 1 Chr. 29:11-12). All
wealth belongs to God, and therefore any wealth or money we have originates from
C. Wealth is a gift from God. (Deut. 8:18, Eccl. 5:19)
D. Being wealthy is not sinful. (2 Chr. 9:22, 2 Chr. 17:5, 2 Chr. 32:27). Joseph of
Arimathea who buried the Lord was a man of means (Jn. 19:38-42). Barnabas was a
wealthy land owner who sold his possessions to provide for the needs of other
Christians (Acts 4:36,37). Philemon was a wealthy man whose house was large
enough for the Church at Colosse to meet (Phil. 1:7). Being wealthy is not sinful.
E. Being poor is not sinful. Many Godly people in the Bible is not rich. Most of the
prophets are poor. John the Baptist was poor, Joseph was only a carpenter. The Lord
Jesus Christ was not rich when He was here on earth.
Illustration 1: 465. Money Defined
A London newspaper offered a prize for the best definition of money. It was awarded to a young
man whose definition was, “Money is an article which may be used as a universal passport to
everywhere except heaven and as a universal provider of everything except happiness.”
(from Illustrations of Bible Truths)
Illustration 2: 471. Quest for Happiness
The Persians tell a story about an unhappy king. In an attempt to find the answer to his
dissatisfaction, he consulted his astrologers who told him he could find happiness by wearing the
coat of a perfectly happy man. Immediately the king set out on his quest. He knocked at the doors of
the very rich, for it seemed logical to find happiness there, but in vain. He visited the institutions of
higher learning, thinking the erudite must be happy in their wisdom. That, too, proved a dead end.
Finally he stumbled across a common laborer singing at his work who confessed he was perfectly
happy. “Sell me your coat,” cried the king. “I’ll give you a bag of gold for it.” But the laborer only
laughed and said, “I’d gladly give it to you, Sir, but I have no coat.” This is only a legend of course, but
it illustrates a profound truth. Achieving riches is not synonymous with achieving happiness. That
doesn’t mean the rich have to become poor in order to be happy. The ranks of the happy include
both poor and rich as well as those in between. King Solomon had the right idea when he prayed,
“Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny
thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain”
(Prov. 30:8,9). Paul said it even more succinctly when he wrote to Timothy, “Godliness with
contentment is great gain” (1 Tim 6:6). (from Illustrations of Bible Truths).
II. With regards to Salvation
A. There is nothing you can do to earn God ‘s favor or to contribute to your salvation.
Spiritually speaking, we are bankrupt and have nothing to offer God but our debts.
Jesus Christ paid our debt on the cross of Calvary. If we acknowledge our debt (our
sins), and receive God ‘s gift of salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection
of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven our debts and given eternal life. Our sins are forgiven
by His death and resurrection. His righteousness is transferred to us. We are born
Illustration 3: That Which Makes a Deathbed Terrible
A minister once visited a notable rich man. He was shown all the gardens, the beautiful estate, the
statutes, pictures, etc. The rich man was very anxious to see what ideas all these things would
arouse in the mind of the minister. He confidently expected a faltering compliment. Instead the
preacher said, “Ah, David, David, these are the things which make a deathbed terrible.”
(from Illustrations of Bible Truths)
III. Handling the Finances
A. Paul was always careful about the handling of money. He wanted church-appointed
representatives to assist him, lest anyone accuse him of stealing money for himself.
It is right for a church to have a financial system that includes receipts and records.
The church’s financial status should always be the best possible as a testimony to
the lost, and it will be, if the members are faithful to give and if the funds are
carefully, prayerfully dispersed.
B. Preachers should not handle the funds themselves. Paul instructed the churches to
appoint other men for this task (1 Cor. 16:3; 2 Cor. 8:19).
C. Those who handle the finances must have an excellent reputation (2 Cor. 8:18).
D. Everything must be done to the glory of God (2 Cor. 8:19). Everything must be done
in such a way that God is pleased and that His character is praised in this world.
E. Everything must be transparent so that no one can successfully bring an accusation
about the mishandling of the finances. At least two reputable men should count the
offerings and a system should be established so that the money is properly
deposited into the bank. Regular and detailed reports should be given to the
congregation. If anyone has a question about the finances, it should be answered
and nothing should be hidden.
Because of money Pastors and faithful servants of the Lord who have been called preach
the gospel committed sin and lost their ministry. The church should have a weekly or
monthly financial report as a form of transparency and honesty regarding money. The
Lord doesn’t need our money but money is still needed by people who have to go full
time in spreading the gospel and for the operation and maintenance of the church. Will
you support them? Remember what you have is a gift from the Lord and it is your
responsibility to use it wisely.