Remember the Poor

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Remember the Poor

Galatians 2:10 (Acts 15)

  1. "Remember the poor" -- Gal. 2:7-10 (Background -- Acts 15)

    1. The apostles were concerned about the poor -- Gal. 2:10a.

    2. But Paul was too - Gal. 2:10b.; Acts 24:17

  2. Evidence of the early church's concern for poor, the famines, the hardships.

    1. Acts 11:27-30 -- severe famine during the reign of Claudius.

      1. Josephus mentions this same famine in his history.

    2. A later famine -- churches in Galatia, Macedonia, and Achaia sent relief.

      1. 1 Cor. 16:1-2
      2. Rom. 15:25-27
      3. 2 Cor. 8, 9; 9:1-3
      4. Acts 24:17

  3. Evidence the apostles and early church were benevolent. Why? How did they come by this attitude?

    1. From Jesus and the Judeao ethic (the Christian-Judeao ethic)

    2. Our government today is based on this ethic. This is why there has been this kind of concern.

    3. This is why we have many welfare programs -- both federal and state and local.

    4. The churches today are not basically the "benevolent" organization like it was in the early centuries.

  4. Even today we generally classify the work of the Church into three categories--

    1. Evangelism
    2. Edification
    3. Benevolence

  5. It is very evident that the apostles remembered Jesus was concerned about the poor and unfortunate.

    1. On the night of his betrayal.
    2. Judas kept the purse for the group. -- John 12:3-8; 13:28-29
    3. Some apostles thought Judas' departure was to give out alms to the poor.

  6. Peter and John -- went into the temple -- Acts 3

    1. Lame man asking for alms
    2. Had no silver or gold-- but gave what they could.
      i. Indication is if they had had it would have been ready to share it.
    3. There were many beggars in the land (no government funded program, but individually funded)
      i. Bartimaus sat by the highway in Jericho begging. Mark 10:46-52.

    7. Old Testament Insights

    1. The law laid down certain provisions for the poor -- Exodus 22:25-27
    2. xxx How to provide for the poor, the widows & orphans-- Deut. 24:19-21 xxx NIV
    3. Good men like Boaz, in Ruth 2 gave this kind of treatment to the poor
    4. xxx Job 31:16-17, v, 19
      i. IF ... v.28 that would be iniquity!

  7. The Canaanites --were NOT concerned about the poor.

    1. xxx What contributed to the fall of the Canaanites -- and why Judah would fall into the Babylonian Captivity -- Ezek. 16:46-50 (xxx v.49)
      i. Ezekiel 18:7, 9.

  8. Jesus's attitude.

    1. Matt. 5:43-48
    2. Matt. 11:5 (Luke 4:18) the gospel was preached to the poor
    3. Even in his death-- Jesus resulted in a blessing for the poor --
      1. With the "blood money" Potters' field was purchased -- Matt. 27:7, 10
      2. The poor now had a burial place.


    1. Let us "remember the poor" also. Those suffering:
      i. floods, earthquakes, burn-outs, and other disasters.

    2. Remember the three-fold work of the church:
      i. Evangelism
      ii. Edification
      iii. Benevolence

    3. While we have a benevolence program in our budget-- it is not much.
      1. We realize not the desperate situation in our day and in our country.

      2. We always have the poor with us -- (John 12)

        (1) But many fall into the category described in 2 Thess. 3:10--
        (2) Others have families that should provide -- 1 Tim. 5:8; 5:4

      3. Illustration: I remember that a cotton farmer let the boys in a large poor family that lived near-by pick the "second picking" to buy themselves shoes and overalls for school.


Windell Gann --

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