Is it Scriptural that we can come out of poverty and prosper by giving?
One of the questions that has been on my mind for a long time is why so many Christians, who believe in financial prosperity through giving and give faithfully, still remain poor? Take me seriously; this is not fiction. Many Christians are poor in spite of their many years of paying tithe and giving.
If you are a Christian, you have heard it preached Sunday after Sunday, in the church, that the only way a person can come out of poverty is by giving. It has been taught emphatically that your level of giving determines your level of prosperity.
But is it really a scriptural truth that it is our giving that takes us out of poverty? If it is true that it is our giving that takes us out of poverty, what was the purpose of Jesus becoming poor with our poverty, and what did He accomplish by becoming our substitute?
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. 2Corinthians 8:9
If paying tithe and giving are the means through which we can emerge from poverty and prosper, as many prosperity preachers emphatically teach, then prosperity should not be considered to be a provision of grace as stated in the above scripture. According to the Bible, anything that God has provided for us by grace should be received by faith and not by works.
The Bible clearly states that Jesus redeemed us from poverty by becoming poor with our poverty. In other words, we came out of poverty through the substitutionary work of Jesus on the cross and not by giving. If we could come out of poverty and prosper by giving, that would mean that our prosperity is not of grace but of works.
Let me compare the way we receive salvation, by grace through faith, with the way we should receive prosperity. The Bible in the book of Ephesians states:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
This scripture tells us that salvation is provided to us by grace, therefore, we can only receive it by faith and not by works. In other words, we cannot receive salvation by good works. If we try to earn salvation by good works, we will actually lose it.
The Apostle, Paul, in the book of Romans goes a step further and explains how we practically receive salvation by faith. This is what he writes:
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10: 9-10
What Paul writes in this scripture indicates that it takes confession for someone to be saved. Even though we tell people that if they confess the Lordship of Christ in their life they will be saved, the reality is that no person is saved by mere confession. We are saved by faith, and we express our faith, in the Lordship of Christ, through confession. In other words, confession is a means of expressing our faith in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let’s apply this same principle and process to financial prosperity by grace. Just as we are saved by grace through faith, we receive the blessing of prosperity by grace through faith. However, we express our faith in Christ or God as our source of prosperity by giving. I would say, as confession is an expression of faith in the saving grace of Christ, so is giving the expression of faith in Christ’s redemptive grace that took us out of poverty.
Does this mean we can access prosperity by grace without giving? No, we cannot. We cannot because failure to give is an expression of unbelief in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who become poor on our behalf so that through His poverty we might become rich.
Here is another scripture we need to consider, to get a clear understanding of the point I am putting across.
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2Corinthians 9:6-8
If we read this scripture without putting it in the context of the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross, it would look like what causes God to make His grace abound towards us is the quality and quantity of our giving.
It would also look like sowing sparingly will cause us to access a little bit of grace and sowing bountifully will cause us to access the abundance of grace. If this is the case, it would also mean that we are able to access grace by works.
The scriptural truth is that grace was made available to man by God’s giving and can only be received by faith. Let me put it this way; everything that proceeds from God to man, through grace, was made available by God’s giving. He gave His only begotten Son. In other words, man’s giving cannot by any means cause him to access any grace.
If this is true, then it should also be true that we cannot cause God to make His grace abound towards us, by our giving. God makes His grace abound towards us when we give because by giving, bountifully, we expresses our faith in His grace to provide for us. Therefore, it is the faith behind bountiful giving that causes God to make His grace abound towards us, not the giving by itself.
Here is an important truth you should know when it comes to financial prosperity. God does not necessarily need any offering from us to prosper us. He has already prospered us in Christ. What He requires from us is faith in His grace. And the means through which He requires us to express our faith is through giving. Because we have to express faith in God as our source of prosperity through giving, it looks like it is giving the causes God to prosper us.
God has chosen giving to be the means through which we express our faith in Him, as our source, because it is easy for us to put our faith in what we have and make those things our source. We can make our jobs, businesses and any other means that bring income in our lives to be our source.
If you believe that God will prosper you because of your giving, you are mistaken. Settle it in your mind that God does not need any offering from you to prosper you. He already prospered you through His offering, Jesus Christ. All He needs from you is your faith, which you must express through giving.
This article is an extract from my book; “How to Benefit from Your Giving”. It is available on Amazon.