Monthly Archives: January 2008

What the Bible says about the Poor

The Bible contains more than 300 verses on the poor, social justice, and God’s deep concern for both. This page contains a wide sample of them, and some reflections will very likely feel a good deal of resistance (possibly at first manifesting itself as indifference). Churches in the west have departed strongly from Biblical values in these areas, and even created a rationalization– “prosperity theology”– for rejecting them. It takes time and reflection to get past this misteaching.
But try to get past the resistance. Spiritual growth doesn’t come from what goes down easily, or what we like to hear and read. It comes from what’s different, and even difficult.
It’s not a topic you hear preached on in any depth – well not in my experience. concern for the plight of the poor and social justice is very close to God’s heart and something as Christians we need to take very seriously – as there are grave consequences if we don’t.

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 A study of 2 Corinthians 8:

When Paul met with the original apostles, they agreed to divide the mission field—Paul would focus on the gentiles, and they would focus on the Jews (Gal. 2:9). But they did make one request of Paul: that he remember that many believers in Jerusalem needed financial help (2:10).

Paul was happy to remember these needs, for it gave gentile believers an opportunity to have some involvement with Jewish believers. Since the gospel began among the Jews, it was appropriate for gentile Christians to acknowledge and be thankful for the Jewish people. They could do this by sharing some of their material blessings.

Therefore, as part of his work with the gentile churches, Paul coordinated an offering for the saints in Jerusalem (Rom. 15:25-28; 1 Cor. 16:1 etc.). He described the importance of this offering in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. Continue reading