Alms: What Are They?

S.R. Acts 3:1-10


  1. Commend the generosity of many of you.
  2. The lesson will primarily focus on individual responsibility, last section on church


  1. What are Alms?
    1. Look at examples of alms.
      1. Acts 3-4 a poor lame beggar
      2. Acts 10:1-4
        1. Cornelius was a generous man NIV “gave generously to those in need”
        2. God took note of his generosity (Acts 10:31) “'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.”
    2. Giving of alms and benevolence is about:
  2. Sharing Alms is not about Me
    1. The English word “alms” is an abridged form of the Greek word eleemosune
    2. Jews of Jesus time viewed almsgiving as one of the great works of righteousness
      1. Deut. 15:11 Rabbi Assi “Almsgiving is a powerful paraclete between the Israelite and their Father in heaven, it brings the time of redemption nigh” (Talmud 10a)
      2. Jesus took the Jewish standard of alms and elevated its purpose
        1. Matthew 5:20
        2. Matthew 6:1-18
    3. Almsgiving is about Stewardship
      1. Matthew 25:14-30
      2. God did not give us what we have to spend it on ourselves: Eph. 4:28
      3. Disciples only do this after “they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.” (2 Cor. 8:5) Macedonian Christians – recognized grace
      4. We trust God when we learn to give (Luke 6:38)
  3. What constitutes Alms?
    1. Time, work, energy, financial resources, taking a loss for someone else’s gain.
    2. Alms are good deeds done on behalf of God to others at our expense.
    3. Paul gave an example and quoted Jesus: “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” (Acts 20:35)
    4. Be careful regarding our thoughts and actions
  4. Conclusion:
    1. God’s people want to help lame people get on their feet and learn to feed themselves.
    2. The greatest gift we can share is one that was given to us (Acts 3,10,11)
    3. The greatest gift we can share is one that was given to us.
      1. The lame man learned about Jesus (Acts 3:11-26)
      2. The lame man learned who Jesus is (Acts 4:10-12)
        1. 10 “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.”
        2. 11 “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’
        3. 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
      3. Are you more apt to share money with the poor or share Jesus? Why not both?
    4. Cornelius was a very generous Gentile and God remembered and shared with him what was of eternally greater value.
      1. Acts 10:33 “Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.”
      2. Acts 11:13-14 13 “…‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’”
      3. When Cornelius and those in his house that day heard the words of salvation what did they do? (Acts 10:48)
        1. “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.”
    5. Matthew 11:5 “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”
    6. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” (Eph.1:3)