The following is excerpted from a series of lessons that I accumulated somewhere along the way in my Christian life. The lessons were not signed or identified by the author in any way, but contained some great truths about the subject of giving. I have edited them and taught these lessons in every church and ministry that I have been involved in for over 36 years. Everything that I have learned in my Christian life about the LORD and His word, I have learned from the Bible, the Holy Spirit, books and articles about the Bible, and from messages upon the Bible by preachers of the word. I profess to little originality in my teaching and preaching. If I could identify the human author of this study, I would do so. Please accept my apology for not being able to give him the credit which he so richly deserves.
In the Christian's life, perhaps nothing is more important than learning how to be a giver. The essence of Christianity is giving. John 3:16.
God says that "charity" is the greatest of all spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 13:13. My personal definition of the word "charity" is, "God's divine love characterized or epitomized by sacrificial giving." Many verses could be offered to prove that giving is the surest proof that one really has Biblical love in their life. Perhaps the information in this short little tract will guide you into one of the greatest joys of the Christian life - sacrificial giving.
Tithes, Offerings, And Giving
2 Corinthians 9:1-11
- Definitions: From Websters
- Tithe = 1/10th, to levy a tenth part. Deuteronomy 14:21-29, Leviticus 27:30-34
- Offerings = "that which is presented to God as an atonement for sin, as a return of thanks for His favors, a sacrifice."
The Bible talks about many different kinds of offerings:
There are other offerings mentioned such as, meat, trespass, etc., but one significant fact to remember about offerings is that they were above and beyond the tithe.
- Burnt Offerings - Genesis 22:2-13 (Complete consecration)
- Heave Offerings and Wave Offerings Numbers 15:19-20; - Exodus 29:24-27 - (Thanksgiving) and Peace offerings)
- Freewill Offerings - Leviticus 22:21 (Spontaneous)
- Peace Offerings - Leviticus 3:1-9
- Sin Offerings - Exodus 29:14, 36
- Drink Offerings - Numbers 29
- Vows - a solemn promise made, a verbal offering.
- Gift - "A present, anything, the property of which is voluntarily transferred from one to another without compensation."
- Tithes = 1/10th, (notice. that it is levied - owed).
- Genesis 14:20 - First mentioned before the law. cf. also Genesis 28:22 (tenth)
- Deuteronomy 12 - Became a very important part of the law.
- Leviticus 27:30-32 - Belongs to God.
- Numbers 18:20-32 - People and the priests were to tithe.
- Deuteronomy 12:6, 11, 17. - Note distinctions.
- Deuteronomy 14:22-29 - To be used for the need of others. (See also Deuteronomy 26:12)
- 2 Chronicles 31 - Revival resulted in the giving of tithes and offerings. Nehemiah 10:28-39; 11:1-2
- Malachi 3:7-12 - One of the sins of the nation was covetousness.
- Illustration: 2 Kings 5 - The blessing given to Naaman and The sin of Gehazi.
- During the Life of Jesus on Earth. The word "tithe" is mentioned seven times in the New Testament.
- Matthew 23:23 - All were to tithe.
- Luke 11:42; 18.12
- After Jesus Ascended into Heaven. Hebrews 7:5-9
Tithing was commenced before the law, commanded on through the time of the law and was commended by Jesus after the law. Tithing was the minimum, then offerings were expected. In the New Testament giving became the standard, a step up from the OT principles.
- New Testament Giving.
- Philippians 4:11-19 - Note the context is giving.
- Romans 12:8 - With simplicity.
- 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 - Giving through the churches. 1 Corinthians 16:1-5
Giving is a fundamental principle of the Christian life. It is a matter of the heart. God creates within the Christian's heart a desire to give, and we derive great joy by fulfilling that desire. When our attitude is right with God, we will have no problem giving. However, giving and the joy it brings is not something that Satan wishes you to know and experience. Therefore, he will do everything in his power to keep you from giving. Whatever it takes he will put in your path. It is the same way he works to keep you out of church. He will try many things and if one of them works to keep you from serving God, he will make sure that that very thing occurs in your life.
Illustration: You say, "I'll do this certain thing if God does this." Therefore, you are not living by faith but by sight. Just make up your mind that you're going to do right no matter what. The Bible teaches that we are to live by faith not by sight. It is exciting to see God bless you as you dwell in obedience. Obedience always blessing and joy in the life of the Believer. In 2 Kings 5 we read the story of Naaman being healed from his leprosy. His joy over his healing was predicated upon his obedience to God's directions as given to him through God's prophet Elisha. The principle taught in this and many other episodes throughout the word of God is that obedience brings blessings and joy. Learn to obey God in this matter of giving and experience the blessings and the joy that it brings to your life.
In the Old Testament the minimum was the tithe. God also expected them to give offerings above the tithe. In the New Testament the law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It was not done away with. The Old Testament law was external obedience. In the New Testament, the law was added to by the intent of the heart. Not that we keep the law to be saved. We are saved by grace through faith and seek to obey the Lord because we are saved. Matthew 5:21,27,33,38,43.
- Here are some New Testament giving principles taught in God's word:
- We are to give according to prosperity. 1 Corinthians 16:1-5; Deuteronomy 16:17; Matthew 5:42 Giving is according to what God impresses you to do.
- Without horn blowing.-Matthew 6:3
- Firmly without constraints. - Matthew 10:8b; Luke 6:38; 12:33.
- Simply - Just to be obedient and glorify God. - Romans 12:8
- Regularly - I Corinthians 16:2
- Cheerfully - 2 Corinthians 9:7
- What if you don't give to God?
- It is evidence of a covetous, selfish spirit. - Luke 12:15; Colossians 3:5
- Financial Problems may occur - Proverbs 21:13; 28:27
- Family problems may occur- Proverbs 15:27
- Stinginess and disobedience will hinder your prayers and prevent God's blessings - Proverbs 28:9-12
- Tithing is the minimum - Owed to God. Taught before the law, during the law, and after the law.
- Offerings are sacrificial - because of what God has done for you, you are willing to offer sacrifices to Him. Offerings are always above the tithe.
- Giving is the third and higher step and is done because of LOVE for Him. Give "cheerfully"' and as God directs.
- Refusal to obey in the matter of tithes, offerings, and giving always brings problems.
- Obey in the matter of giving and God brings joy to you heart.
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