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  The Divine Character of Christian GivingFriday, October 20th, 2017  
by James A. Fowler

Christian giving is allowing the character of God to be expressed in the behavior of a person in whom God dwells. As the summation of God's character is Love, Christian giving expresses God's Love for others. God is Love (I John 4:8,16). Divine love seeks the highest good of another, with no thought of what I get out of it. God's love is unconditional and unselfish. He wants to express His character through His people.

Paul tells the Corinthians that by giving they can "prove...the sincerity of their love." (II Cor. 8:8). Later he encourages them to "openly before the churches demonstrate the proof of your love..." (II Cor 8:24).

The manifestation of Christian love is only an expression of God's love functioning in and through us.
"The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:5)
We love, we give, because the loving, giving God is living and operative in us. Christian love is an expression of God's loving character. Christian giving is an expression of God's giving character which has been given to us by the presence of the Spirit of Christ, the presence of Jesus indwelling the Christian.

There are forms of giving and contributing that are not expressions of God's love. In I Corinthians 13:3 Paul writes, "if I give all my possessions to feed the poor...but do not have love, it profits me nothing." Loveless giving is not Christian giving.

On the other hand, some have been challenged to "prove their love" by giving. This challenge is usually made by those who want to be the recipients of those gifts. People then give to meet someone else's expectations, and their love is evaluated and rated by the external criteria of the amount of the gift. We cannot prove our love by giving to such a challenge. It is not "our" love anyway; it is the Love of God expressed in us, prompting us to give. God's love is demonstrated in active expressions of Christian giving.

The loving and giving character of God operative in the Christian is also an expression of His righteousness. The righteousness of God is expressed in the givingness of God. Paul writes in II Corinthians 9:9,10 quoting from Psalm 112:9:
"'HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ABIDES FOREVER.' Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;..."
Notice that Paul does not say, "..increase the harvest of your bank account," but rather, "...increase the harvest of your righteousness." When God gives through us and loves through us, He expresses His divine character of righteousness through us, because the Righteous One, Jesus Christ (I John 2:1), is functioning in us. We are not made righteous because we give. The giving of contributions does not, in itself, constitute righteousness. Rather, the righteous and just character of God is expressed in us as we are the conduits of His givingness.

©1999 by James A. Fowler

This is a sequence of articles. Though they were intended to be read in order, each article also stands alone. We've numbered them below so that you may choose to read them in sequential order.


1. The Grace of God in Christian Giving
2. The Divine Character of Christian Giving
3. The Will of God in Christian Giving
4. The Means of Christian Giving
5. The Overflow of Christian Giving
6. The Pre-requisite of Christian Giving
7.The Choice of Christian Giving
8. The Follow-through of Christian Giving
9.   The Attitude of Christian Giving
10. The Privilege of Christian Giving
11. The Ministry of Christian Giving
12. The Equalizing-factor in Christian Giving
13. The Return of Christian Giving
14. The Supply of Christian Giving
15. The Purpose of Christian Giving
16. The Integrity of Christian Giving




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The Divine Character Of Giving
The Will of God
The Means Of Giving
The Overflow Of Giving
The Pre-requisite Of Giving
The Choice Of Giving
The Follow-through Of Giving
The Attitude Of Giving
The Privilege Of Giving
The Ministry Of Giving
The Equalizing Factor Of Giving
The Return Of Giving



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