The Ekklesia of Christ Gave Generously

            Jesus said, "...upon this rock I will build my church (ekklesia) and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18, emp LS). The ekklesia (church) of Christ: 1) met on the first day of the every week (Sunday, Acts 20:7); 2) ate the Lord's supper on the first day of every week (Acts 20:7); 3) prayed together (Acts 2:42); 4) and sang "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).   The New Testament reveals that the ekklesia of Christ also gave of their prosperity to the Lord.

There were needs among the ekklesia of Christ the first day the Lord's people meet, "And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need" (Acts 2:44-45). The monies collected was put into a treasury that was overseen by the apostles, "Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need" (Acts 4:34-35).

As the gospel spread to other places, the ekklesia of Christ cared for the needy saints in other areas too, "Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul" (Acts 11:29-30). Paul worded it this way, "But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things" (Romans 15:25-27).

Paul wrote the ekklesia of Christ at Corinth and said, "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come" (I Corinthians 16:1-2). Paul instructed the ekklesia of Christ: 1) take up a collection; 2) for the saints; 3) on the first day of the week (Sunday); 4) from each member of the ekklesia.

Paul, in his second letter to Corinth, gave more instructions, "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver" (II Corinthians 9:6-7).

The first century ekklesia was generous and helped other needy saints.