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Is Benevolence Limited?. recalling doctrinal issues from the past and not reliving them in the present. Questions to Consider. is there any difference between individual rights and the rights of a local church?

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Is benevolence limited

Is Benevolence Limited?

recalling doctrinal issues from the past

and not reliving them in the present

Questions to consider
Questions to Consider

is there any difference between individual rights and the rights of a local church?

are there those who are unworthy of being helped, regardless of the means being used?

does God limit the work of benevolence as it pertains to the work of the local church?

The basis of authority
The Basis of Authority

  • for any meaningful discussion, the necessity of biblical authority must be established

    • (Col. 3:17)(2 Tim. 3:16-17)

    • else even worship not accepted (Lev. 10:1-3)

  • authority established in three primary ways

    • command or precept (Acts. 2:38)(Mk. 16:16)

    • approved example (Acts 20:7)

    • necessary inference (Lk. 7:18-23)

  • silence cannot authorize

    • (Heb. 7:11-14)

Who may be helped generally
Who May Be Helped Generally?

  • the call for the Christian to be benevolent is an important and general command

    • it is part of being neighborly (Lk. 10:33, 36-37)

    • it is part of being an imitator of God (Mt. 5:43-48)

    • it is an individual’s responsibility (James 1:27)(Gal. 6:4-5, 10)

    • we will be judged for it (Mt. 25:41-46)

  • however, not everyone is worthy of such help!

    • God condemns the lazy (2 Thess. 3:10-12)

    • not to become entangled with false doctrine (2 Jn. 9-11)

Who may the local church help
Who May the Local Church Help?

  • the pattern of authority is only for aid of needy saints

    • from the birth of the church (Acts 2:44-45)(Acts 4:32-35)

    • care for the widows among disciples (Acts 6:1-4)

    • in response to famine in Judea (Acts 11:27-30)

    • to the poor saints in Jerusalem (Rom. 15:25-26)

    • collection on first day of week (1 Cor. 16:1-2)

    • gave for ministering to saints (2 Cor. 8:3-4; 9:1, 12-13)

    • support only “true widows” (1 Tim. 5:3-16)

  • remember, other verses represent individual action

    • (Gal. 6:10)(James 1:27)

Can the church do what the individual does
Can the Church Do What the Individual Does?

  • distinction made between individual rights and rights of local church

    • defies common sense (marriage, business, etc.)

    • biblical distinction as well (1 Tim. 5:3-16)

      • if Christian widow met qualifications and had no family, then she could be supported by the local church

      • yet if an INDIVIDUAL family member existed, then the CHURCH DID NOT have the right to support her

      • therefore, the individual’s rights were different from the church’s


  • while the Christian should have a mind to help, we must recognize God forbade us from helping some

  • likewise, the church must look to the pattern to see its Scriptural limitations for benevolence, and that pattern is only extended to needy brethren

    • the church was never intended to be a financial institution

    • the work of benevolence is primarily an individual Christian responsibility, even among saints