3. BENEVOLENCE, OR CARING FOR NEEDY SAINTS.
A. Benevolence, is a general term and can be carried out by many methods: money, food, clothing, housing, medicine, etc. these constitute the means or the HOW of benevolence. Let us remember from the start, that we are talking about the work of the CHURCH and not the INDIVIDUAL (there is a difference you know).
B. But those qualified for help from the church treasury, in the field of benevolence, are strictly specified in the New Testament.
1) It is the New Testament that gives us the authority for using the Lord's money and not the emotions and whims and fancies of men. Read the following scriptures: Acts 2:44; 4:32-34; 6:1; 11:27-30; Rom. 15: 26; 1 Cor. 16:1; 2 Cor. 8:4; 9:1; 1 Tim. 5:3,9-11,16.
2) This excludes all others as qualified for help from the church treasury. This is the WHO that can be helped from the treasury.
C. Churches can co-operate in the field of benevolence, but only in a concurrent manner and not in a joint pooling of resources under a central head.
1) Such is borne out in the following examples: Acts 11:27-30; Rom. 15:25-28; 1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. chs. 8 and 9. These are approved apostolic examples and we are limited by these specifics.
D. The church's responsibility in the field of benevolence, cannot be delegated to another congregation nor another organization.
1) If it is not able to care for its own, then it can receive help directly from sister congregations until such time as it is able to meet the emergency of its own needs.
2) These needs are not to be assumed and acquired needs brought on by the congregation's overstepping its ability by reaching out and assuming the benevolent oversight of a benevolent work not its own.
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