After over 65 years of ministry, we have developed the top 27 questions people ask us so we would like to share these questions each week for our weekly blog and share the answers as a resource for you all to use in your ministry, churches, and family.
Top ? #17 What Does the Bible Say About Wealth?
Answer: Money and possessions are a tool which God gives us to help us serve Him.
It has been noted by many Bible teachers that the Scriptures speak more about money and wealth than any other topic besides sin and salvation. Obviously, God understands that it is a matter which is very important to everyone and one that needs to be approached from a spiritual viewpoint.
The Bible, both Old, and New Testaments, says that material blessings are a gift of God (Deuteronomy 8:18; 1 Timothy 6:17; James 1:17). However, in the Old Testament under the Law of Moses material blessing was directly associated with obedience. Prosperity was a sign of the Lord’s favor on a faithful Jew (Deuteronomy 11:13-15).
In the gospels and the first chapters of the book of Acts, there is a shift in attitude about riches. Jesus commanded his followers to sell all of their possessions and give them to the poor (Matthew 19:21; Acts 4:32). The reason for this is that the Lord was preparing his disciples to go through the great tribulation when they could not buy or sell if they refused to accept the mark of the beast. During that time the believers in Christ will need to trust God fully for their daily provision. By making this command he was testing the sincerity of their desire to follow him.
The Apostle Paul in his writings expresses an attitude different from that of the Old Testament and the gospels toward material wealth. He agrees that money and wealth are a gift from God. However, he does not link material wealth with the direct blessing of God as a reward for obedience. He himself suffered from extreme poverty on several occasions, however, God was always faithful to provide for his physical needs.
Paul teaches that love for money is a form of idolatry and can cause many problems.
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry.” – Colossians 3:5
“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – 1 Timothy 6:10
Paul does not forbid a person from making money or being rich, but he emphasizes that it should not be the first priority in a person’s life. Likewise, those with financial resources should use their wealth to help the poor and to support the Lord’s work. Paul encourages those with more money than they need to be generous in sharing with others in need.
Money and wealth are neutral in and of themselves. We are to view them as tools that the Lord has entrusted to us to use for His glory. God is the owner of everything, including our personal fortunes, and we are merely stewards of the resources He has placed in our care.
Please read the following verses: 1 Timothy 6:3-10; Ecclesiastes 5:10; 1 Timothy 5:8; Philippians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15;
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
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