Tithing in the New Testament Age - Age of Grace
Talk Notes - Lloyd Edwards, Sunday 26 June
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Psalm 50:12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof (everything in it).
In verse 7 God was speaking to his people.
Acts 17:24-25 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.
We are to give to Almighty God because he needs the money?! NO!
Galatians 2 (verses 1-2)
We read about a conference in Jerusalem between Paul, Barnabas, Titus and other leaders of the church - there was wonderful agreement about the things of the Lord - an additional suggestion was that they must keep on helping the poor just as Paul had always been eager to do.
Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
Jesus said For ye have the poor with you always, .."
Just one good reason why we should give to the church.
2 Corinthians 8:1 (NLT) Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters,[a] what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia (in cities such as Philippi and Thessalonica). They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.
3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more.
And they did it of their own free will. Key to giving in the NT age.
One of the reasons they were so poor was because the Romans took most of their wealth when they conquered Alexander the Great's former homeland - I suspect too that many were jobless because, as Christians, they refused to having anything to do with the Romans' idolatry.
2 Corinthians 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
These Christians were begging Paul to take their gifts - we know from Scripture that Paul was seeking monies to help the work of the Lord in Jerusalem.
Notice that they put the Lord first - prayed first - then approached the oversight.
Not simply a matter of providing material assistance to those less well off -
1) strengthens our unity with our overseas brethren;
2) we lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven;
3) we promote the spread of the Gospel (Good News); and
4) most importantly of all, gives glory to our Lord and Saviour!
Another good reason why we should give to the church.
2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
(Verse 8 is saying that not only will God provide you with everything you need (rather than want) but he will also give you plenty left over to share with others).
Abound - to have a superabundance - ever increasing supply.
9(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; 11Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
Giving according to grace does not give credit to us - it brings thanksgiving to God.
12For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God.
How much should we give?
Luke 11:42 (NLT) "What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens,[a] but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
Matthew 23:23 (KJV) 23Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Jesus here is not condemning the practice of tithing - rather the scribes and Pharisees' wrong heart attitude - somehow doing God a favour by strictly complying to the letter of the law rather than the spirit of it. Note that this was prior to Pentecost.
Malachi 1 7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. We need to take God seriously. The deformed animals used by the Israelites speak about our attitudes to serving God now - our prayer, fellowship, reading the Word, witnessing etc., should not be from the dregs of our time/commitments - need to be our priorities and part of our healthy dedication to the Lord. Don't offer the Lord our leftovers.
Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
The Lord considered that ten percent of all the increase of the land was His property and was to be offered to the priesthood. That is where their living was to come from. This part of God's plan is just as valid as any part. If you can't trust God for your natural welfare, there is no way you are going to be able to trust him with your life.
Malachi 3:9-10 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
It is our responsibility to make sure that the church is able to function .this takes money. If we rob God then we rob the body of Christ - our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Church halls, repairs, maintenance, electricity, water etc all has to be paid for:
Many Christians strongly object to using Malachi as a rationale for tithing - in the New Testament Age of Grace we are not bound to the OT laws - sacrificing animals, circumcision etc.
Also, nowhere in the New Testament can we find a reference to a specific percentage that Christians should give to the church.
We know however that tithing is a Godly principle. I would suggest therefore that it is a good benchmark. Might I suggest that 10% is a sound starting point but could, depending on your circumstances, be even more! Example of an inheritance cheque - may give 100%!
If it was reasonable for the Children of Israel to give 10% to their/our God then surely, we who are Spirit Filled, should do at least as much if not more.
Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Heartily means "with all your heart - all your strength, all that is within you".
Should we be stingy as Christians?
Proverbs 11:24 (NLT) 24
Give freely and become more wealthy;
be stingy and lose everything. This verse says, "One person gives freely, yet gains even more - and another withholds more than necessary, yet becomes poverty stricken.
Not just about money: Time, energy and work for God, prayer, etc
Mentioned 2 Corinthians 9:7
before - the Lord loves a cheerful giver.
The curses for the Children in Israel - Why?
Deuteronomy 28:47 Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;
2 Corinthians 8:11-14 (NLT) 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving.Give in proportion to what you have.
12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don't have.
13 Of course, I don't mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.
Notice that no percentages are mentioned - always comes back to our heart attitude.
Matthew 6 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Our giving to the church is a private matter - purely between you and the Lord.
Don't want to see your name in the next monthly newsletter stating Brother X was so generous in providing our stain glass windows.
1 John 3:17-18 17But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Matthew 6:19-21 19Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The Pharisees were covetous - Luke 16:14
- used religion to make money for themselves - Many Priests today are covetous - TV evangelists - live in million dollar mansions, luxury yachts etc.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
People are going to search out all the 'spectacular' or 'spiritual' experiences and doctrines, because a love of the truth and a love of God's people is not their first priority.
They are feeding their own bellies rather than serving the weak and needy. They serve for their own glory - not for humility.
Jesus reminded the Pharisees that a right attitude towards wealth was a mark of true spirituality.
If our Pastors ever ask why you are not paying your 10% then we have a real problem
Only you and the Lord should know what you give and it must be from a grateful and thanksgiving heart - if not, then better to give NOTHING!
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