The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

The MATTER of Giving – Part 2

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 14, 2008

Let me ask you this: From where should our giving stem?

FILL IN THE BLANK: “Your giving will start with your ___________”

The answer is your heart. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Cor 8:5 that the churches of Macedonia – churches with very little – took on the fellowship of the ministering to the saints, i.e. they took part in giving to other churches in need. “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.”

“…but first gave their own selves to the Lord…” That’s a heart-issue and not an economic one! SO: I believe it’s fair to say that your giving is a good indicator of your heart’s spiritual condition.

SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED OR CARE ABOUT YOUR GIVING, OR THE LACK THEREOF?

Mark 12:41-44, “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. [vs42] And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. [vs43] And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: [vs44] For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself cared about WHAT was being given [vs42-44]…BUT ALSO, the Lord Jesus cared about HOW people were giving their treasure [vs41]! It’s evident from this text that the Lord cares about HOW we give.

Q) Do YOU think the Lord Jesus observes YOUR GIVING? Do you think He CARES about your giving? And why would He care? It is because giving is a matter of the HEART! Again, your giving IS a good indicator of your heart’s spiritual condition.

IF THE LORD JESUS CARES ABOUT OUR GIVING, THEN WHAT IS GIVING? HOW IS THE GIVING OF OUR TREASURE ACTUALLY DEFINED?

Simply stated, the giving of our treasure that stems from our heart is defined in TITHES and OFFERINGS.

WHAT IS A TITHE? Well, the Bible defines this word for us when we compare the following Scripture texts:

Gen 14:18-20, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. [vs19] And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: [vs20] And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”

Heb 7:1-2a, “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; [vs2a] To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all

From comparing these verses we see that the tithe is a tenth part…and a tenth part of all…of your whole increase. So if you’re increased with $1,000 you’re tithe is a tenth part, or $100.

Oh“, but you might say, “tithing is Old Testament and not for today“…but that is a WRONG STATEMENT. Tithing is throughout the Bible! I got the following illustration from “The ABCs of Christian Growth“, Bible Baptist Church Publications, Pastor Robert J. Sargent. This is a list that shows tithing throughout the Word of God:

Abraham COMMENCED it – Gen 14:18-20

Jacob CONTINUED it – Gen 28:20-22

Moses CONFIRMED it – Lev 27:30

Malachi COMMANDED it – Mal 3:8-10

Jesus COMMENDED it – Matt 23:23

God COMMISSIONED it – 1 Cor 9:13-14

Paul CONFORMED it – 1 Cor 16:2

 

Tithing IS a SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLE! Abraham and Jacob tithed 500 years before the Law was instituted; Moses, Malachi, and the Lord Jesus spoke of tithing during the period of the Law; and Paul explained tithing after the Law in the New Testament. So should a Christian tithe? YES. Is tithing optional? NO. BTW: Too often, we get hung up on the tithe and forget that every penny we have is the Lord’s. All of our treasure, not just the tithe, is to be used as God leads and directs us. As stewards, it isn’t 10% that belongs to God, it is 100%!

 

WHAT IS AN OFFERING? An offering is something that is presented for acceptance; oblation; sacrifice; can also mean a treat or gift. To get an understanding of an offering, read these verses from the Book of Ezra:

 

1:4, “And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”

3:5, “And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.”

7:16, “And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem

8:28, “And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.”

What we get from these verses is the offering was a freewill gift given for the LORD’S acceptance. The offering IS DIFFERENT FROM the tithe. The tithe is a required amounta tenth part – given obediently. The offering is an unspecified amount given devotedly.

We ought to be concerned about this matter of our giving…God is. Our giving is a matter of the heart. The giving of our treasure consists of tithes and offerings, and God has ordained those tithes and offerings to be used to finance His work.

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10 Responses to “The MATTER of Giving – Part 2”

  1. Thank you for the clear explanations. I like the quote you gave from brother Sargent. Good way to remember what the Bible says about tithing.

  2. Everything you have written about tithing can be extremely easily refuted from God’s word in its original context. Proof-text theoloy is sin.

    Abraham and Jacob’s tithes were not holy tithes from God’s holy land and followed the example of pagan tradition.

    Moses’ teaching was that legitimate tithes were only food from farmers and herdsmen inside Israel. Tithes were not accepted from outside Israel or from pagans.

    Jesus’ tithe in Mt 23:23 was a discussion of “matters of the law.” He could not and did not teach his Gentile disciples to tithe.

    1 Cor 9:13-14 is self-destructive because your interpretation requires you to copy all OT giving practices.

    1 Cor 16:2 is a discussion of the “collectdion for poor saints in Judea” from verse 1.

    Do you teach that tithe-recipients are not allowed to own or inherit property? I doubt it.

    Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
    http://www.shouldthechurchteachtithing.com

  3. You’re welcome, Bro. Jerry!

    Thank you for your comments. Bro. Sargent’s got it right!

    Keep on fightin’ the good fight and Lord bless!

  4. Okay, “doc”…
    [which BTW – not impressed with the degree – no offense meant, but why attach ‘PhD’…to please God, or to promote you and ‘automatically’ give you some sort of credibility? I trow not.]

    You said:

    #1 – “Abraham and Jacob’s tithes were not holy tithes from God’s holy land and followed the example of pagan tradition.”

    What??? So when Abraham, for example, gave his tithes to Melchizedek in Genesis 14:20, you’re saying that Abraham’s tithing to “the priest of the Most High God” [Gen 14:18] and the reception of those tithes was a pagan tradition???
    –So when Melchizedek blessed Abraham in Gen 14:19…was THAT also a pagan tradition?

    #2 – “Moses’ teaching was that legitimate tithes were only food from farmers and herdsmen inside Israel. Tithes were not accepted from outside Israel or from pagans.”

    I never said tithes WERE accepted from outside Israel or from pagans. I never preach that a lost person SHOULD tithe – I preach a lost person SHOULD get SAVED!

    #3 – “Jesus’ tithe in Mt 23:23 was a discussion of ‘matters of the law.’ He could not and did not teach his Gentile disciples to tithe.” -AND- “1 Cor 9:13-14 is self-destructive because your interpretation requires you to copy all OT giving practices.”

    FIRST OF ALL: These “Gentile disciples” you speak of…I’m guessing you’re talking about the Gentile disciples during the time of Matthew 23 and during our Lord’s ministry. If that’s so, how many “Gentile disciples” do you think there were? Oh, I do believe there were a few, but the Lord’s first church was made up of Jews who had gotten saved.

    And – not wanting to put words in your mouth, but – are you saying although Jesus “could not and did not” teach tithing unto His Gentile disciples, that He DID teach tithing unto His Jewish disciples??? Why do you make a distinction between the Gentile and Jewish disciples? Romans 10:12, “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”

    SECONDLY – You say that 1 Cor 9:13-14 is self-destructive because my interpretation requires me to copy all OT giving practices…no it doesn’t! You presume without explanation. Here’s my explanation:

    1 Cor 9:13-14, “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? [vs14] Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.”

    In vs14:
    – “EVEN SO” = “In the same manner; for the same reasons”

    – “HATH THE LORD ORDAINED” = “God appointed it; He commanded and arranged it so that it should be so; God required it and made it a law”.

    – “THAT THEY WHICH PREACH THE GOSPEL” = “They who are sent forth by God; they who’ve devoted their life and are employed by God in His work”.

    – “SHOULD LIVE OF THE GOSPEL” = “Should be supported and maintained in this work by this work.” [This maintenance and support constitutes a livelihood]

    What was Paul doing here? I believe he was resembling or conforming the maintenance and support of the N.T. livelihood of “preaching the gospel” with the maintenance and support of those O.T. ministers of the Temple…those ministers were supported by the tithes and offerings, and 1 Cor 9:13-14 links that same method to N.T. ministers of the gospel.

    One more thing you said…

    #4 – “Do you teach that tithe-recipients are not allowed to own or inherit property? I doubt it.”

    Why would I? We’re not Levites. You doubt right. That restriction God placed on the Levitical priesthood was NEVER brought into or found in the New Testament like that of the N.T. ministers of the gospel being supported by the tithes and offerings described in 1 Cor 9:13-14.

    A servant of Jesus Christ,
    Mike Szekely

  5. Michael said

    Things get interesting and require more effort when you preach to the world huh?

    Preaching God’s Word in the comfort of our pulpits to our people is usually fairly safe. Taking it to the world…whew! My youth minister and I did some door to door visiting this Sunday. Got a door slammed in our faces at the mention of church and had one man who went off on a tirade about how he hates and wants nothing to do with God due to the loss of several family members and friends lately. The latter gave me permission to come back and visit him again this week. Pray for my upcoming visit. May God’s love be heard and seen in this humble servant’s words and actions.

    The world is more challenging but I love how God gets His word to those who need it most when we are willing to be taken to uncomfortable places. To God be the glory.

  6. Amen, Michael…Thank you for your comments!

    I pray your upcoming visit would be a profitable one for the Lord. If you can, let us know how it goes.

    Catch you later & Lord bless!

  7. Great reply, Brother Mike. You should do a separate blog entry for your comments from 1 Corinthians 9. You make some good points there.

  8. I will, Bro. Jerry…

    I’ve got one more post on our MOTIVE of giving, and then I will. Thank you for the idea!

    Lord bless!

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