Tim Keller Sermon Notes — Series: Living in Hope — Sermon # 7: Christian Hope and Money

Sermon preached on May 2, 2004.

The teaching is based on 2 Corinthians 8-9.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.


We use money to hide from ourselves our fear that our life isn’t a story, that it’s just a series of incoherent sensations.

Paul says there’s a way to use your money to make your life an exciting story that you know it’s not just a series of sensations, but to do that you’ve got to see 3 things:


I. The Problem with Money

II. The Key to the Problem

III. The Power to Use the Key

I. There’s a problem: Greed

The Bible warns against greed at least 20 times more than it warns against lust, and yet no one has ever come to me concerned about a problem with greed.

Greed versus generosity is a matter of your heart, says Paul.

–a small gift might be a might act of generosity, but a huge gift might just be an attempt to hide the condition of one’s heart

II. There’s a key to the problem: Community

Manna: If you hoarded it, it rotted

Paul: You’ve got to look at your money that you earn as the manna given to the Israelites; the money you earn is a gift—you may say you’ve earned it with hard work, but who made you in a place where such a thing as merit-based pay is possible?

If the money you spend on yourself is much beyond your spiritual needs, it will rot your heart like maggots.

One of the reason none of us thinks we’re greedy is because of who we hang out with. There’s no abstract way to find out whether you’re generous or greedy outside of community. To know people personally who don’t make as much or more than you is going to have an impact on the way you use your money. Who you hang out with has an enormous impact on the way you view your heart and your generosity.

III. There’s a power to use the key: our hope in the future

Paul’s saying we should think of our money as seed—the more we’re able to give, the more we’ll be able to “reap”… but what is the harvest?

–“your righteousness”; in English, this word is used negatively

–using your money to reweave creation; things fall apart, but using money to strengthen the bonds; using money to fill the hungry; the way he uses his money and his power to reweave creation, “and this righteousness endures forever”

–2 Peter 3:13—a new world filled with righteousness, a world in which everything broken has become whole, everything sad has become untrue, everything unwoven has been knit together, nation and nation knit together, no more war, no more poverty, psychologically, who you most long to be and who you actually are will be knit together; your molecules will stop falling apart, stop decaying, our molecules knit together; no unsightliness, you’ll finally be beautiful

—-this is what Jesus did with his power, his miracles—he was always showing us what he came to do—restore creation, toward the new heavens and new earth; his miracles point forward, they’re a sign of the coming kingdom and hope

-Just as Jesus used his power, so we should use ours; suddenly our money isn’t about fidgeting, it makes us part of Jesus’ story; the more we give it away, the more we put it into reweaving the fabric of creation, the more it’s a sign and our whole life is a sign of the new heavens and new earth where indwelleth righteousness

-Jesus is the ultimate treasure and this is why he’s ultimate: he’s the only treasure that you didn’t have to purchase, but that purchased you

-Your money will no longer be your hope, it will be a sign of your hope.


About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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