Don’t let this title confuse you nor enrage you. The word used here to describe our Lord has it’s beginnings in Latin and Greek referring to one born a “free man” (liberated) and, “free form restraint, generous” (liberally). Both uses of the above title accurately represent the ministry of Jesus and therefore our work in His Kingdom. The meaning of the word ‘liberal’ is varied and has changed dramatically over the years, especially recently. It is a good word, Biblically speaking. For example, Romans 12:8 , “…he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” NASB 1955. Most other versions use the word “….with generosity”. The context here is that as christians, we are the body of Christ. We are the individual parts which make up the entire body. This concept is also taught in 1 Corinthians 12. Each part of the body has its own function, purpose or as stated here in Romans, a “gift”. Each gift is to be used for the glory of God, and the one gifted with the ability to “give” should do so liberally or generously. I can cite many examples of brethren who have this gift and who are generous in their giving, for the good of the Kingdom of God. God has blessed the church with people who have this gift and are willing to employ it. If you attend the assembly regularly, you certainly have been made aware of the needs of hurting saints. When asked for help, hopefully you will consider giving, with liberality. Proverbs 22:9 “….He who is generous will be blessed…”. The word ‘liberal’ or ‘generous’ used in Romans12:8 (haplotes) can also mean “singleness or simplicity”, ie; singleness of mind. One who has this gift has a one track mind toward giving, as in helping supply the needs of others. He is open handed, ready and willing to give it all in order to minister to the needs of others, as his work in building the church. Proverbs 11:25, “the generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.” Being liberal in our giving, having a sincere heart toward helping others, giving our all in the work of His church will not only supply the “needs of the saints” but will result in many “…glorifying God”. Read all of 2 Corinthians 9. You will conclude that giving with liberality is an act of the grace of God, and this grace is a great gift, an “indescribable gift”. Jesus was a giver. He gave generously. He gave all of Himself, His very life, so that we could become children of God. He poured out His Spirit upon us when we were converted, with liberality. Because of His reckless and extravagant love, we were born again to be “free” men, men of Liberty. Let us follow His example and give with liberality.
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