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Account Name: Mondeor Community Church

Bank: FNB                        

Branch: The Glen

Account Number: 50551128009

6 Benefits of offering/tithing  (and I am sure there are more)

God is pleased by our obedience.

1) Malachi 3:10v God is honoured by our faithfulness.

2) Proverbs 3:9v You are eligible for a blessing .

3) Malachi 3:10v Guards Christians from selfishness.

4) Acts 20:35v God loves a cheerful giver.

5) II Corinthians 9:6-12v Offerings/tithing’s ensures that your needs will be met: 

6) Mathew 6:33Simply give regularly and willingly

 

You will be amazed at the blessings God gives

(NB:  Don’t give because you want a blessing – this would be a wrong attitude!)

 

BIBLICAL PRINCIPALS OF GIVING by Mario Teixeira       (25/03/12)

Giving is an integral part of the Christian lifestyle which is indicative of our salvation as well as our relationship with Jesus Christ.

 Notice that I said Christian lifestyle – not religion.  A religion is based on legalistic set formulae and traditions – and the relationship with God is lost in the process.

That was the problem with the Pharisees and other religious leaders and who got carried away with their legalism, formalism and traditionalism that their religion ended being an –ism – Judaism.

In order to understand giving in the Christian context we need to understand some fundamental and foundational aspects of Christianity. So before we can talk about giving per se we need to look at a few practical issues that ultimately will undergird what I’m going to say about giving. I’m doing it this way because I also want to put the concept of tithing into the right perspective.

 First of all we need to understand that English is a rather poor language in some respects and because of this we can easily misinterpret Scripture .  Since the Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek one has to look at the context and meaning of the original language.

 For example if we look at the Gospels and in particular the Gospel of John (John 20:31) – it is clear that it was written so that readers might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, so that by believing this, they might have life in His name.

 This is a clear enough statement but it is important that we fully understand the full meaning of what John says.Now this was written in Greek, but the Greek language has a “present continuous” tense for verbs which is not easily translated into English, but is so often crucial to a proper understanding of the text.

·         It means to be continually doing something.

·         To translate the sense into English it is necessary to add 2 little words “go on”.

This present continuous verb is used by John in 20:31 so that the verse is more properly translated “These are written that you may go on believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and by going on believing you will go on having life”. This same construct illuminates the best known verse (3:16) in the book of John which is better understood as: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever goes on believing will never perish, but go on having eternal life”.

 So John was writing not so that his readers might start believing that Jesus is the Son of God, but they might go on believing it. Put simply the end goal for what John was writing was life and the means to that end is on-going trust and obedience

·         It’s a present continuous life

·         So what does this teach us in principle?

That Faith is the means. In fact John uses the word faith 98 times in his book – more than the other 3 Gospels put together. But we must be careful, for he doesn’t mean the same every time

For John there are 3 stages or phases of belief.

1.      Credence

·         To give credence means to believe that something is true.

·         The operative word is “that”.

·         So we believe that Jesus died, that he rose again

·         It is believing certain historical facts, accepting the credibility of the gospel and its accepting its truth

 This is not by itself saving faith, for at this stage anyone can say they believe something is true . Demons believe the facts and “tremble”, but this does not make them believers (James 2:19)

2.      Confidence

Confidence is the second stage of belief: having accepted the truth, we then put our confidence in Jesus by trusting and obeying Him

·         It means taking the truth and acting on the basis of what we say is true.

·         We may claim to believe in someone, but if we do not have confidence in them our “faith” is superficial.

3.      Continuance

This means we have to go on believing . In both the Greek and Hebrew languages the words “faith” and “faithfulness” are the same word, and sometimes we don’t know which is meant.

·         If you really trust someone you will go on trusting them.

·         If you are really full of faith then you will be faithful

·         You will go on believing in someone whatever happens and whatever it costs

·         Faith therefore, is not a single step (instantaneous) but a state (continuous)

·         Jesus makes this clear in John 15.

·         He uses the imagery of the vine to describe Himself and tells them they are the branches of the vine.

·         He warns them that they must stay, abide, remain in Him

·         If they don’t, they will become unfruitful, be cut out and burned

·         So as believers we are to continually abide in Christ if we are to enjoy eternal life.

·         This life is in the vine, not the branches (1 John 5:11)

 And so abiding in Christ also means we have to continually remain in Christ and remain obedient to Christ.

This brings me to my next point – abiding in Christ also means that if we remain in Christ we are free from the law and its curse, in fact Jesus paid a very dear price at the Cross to purchase our freedom.

The Apostle Paul was very keen to make sure that people (especially Jews) understood that in Christ we are no longer under the law – go and read both Romans and Galatians!

Christianity is rooted in Judaism which in turn is rooted in the Old Testament which has 613 laws and when Paul was writing to the Galatians, he was very keen to make them understand that they are no longer under the curse of the law. If you break just one of the 613 laws of Moses, you will be guilty of breaking them all. That’s why Paul was so anxious on the issue of circumcision. Not that circumcision was the issue but that it led straight back to Judaism.

At issue here is really salvation and how it is obtained and this is where even Christians make some grave errors in their interpretation.

o   Works alone

o   Most religions in the world are about salvation by works.

o   You must pray, fast, give alms and so on and then at the end of it all you will get right with God.

o   You save yourself by your own efforts.

o   This Do-It-Yourself religion appeals to people because it leaves them with their pride, for they feel they have achieved salvation.

o   It is self-righteousness and God hates it. (JC & Pharisees)

o    Works plus Faith

o  This belief is very common in the church today.

o  It basically implies that we keep as many commandments as we can, and then we ask God to forgive us for those we are not able to keep.

o    Faith plus Works. Some believe you can start with faith and then go on to works. After you have believed in Jesus, you have got to keep the law

o    This is what the Judaizers of Paul’s time were saying "Faith Alone"

o    Paul said to the Galatians (3:3) “Having started in the Spirit, are you going to continue in the flesh? The law belongs to the flesh – it is your effort, it is not the Spirit doing it in you.

o    Paul was fighting for faith alone – faith from beginning to end. In other words, we cannot compromise on this – you must go on believing

o    Paul was therefore fighting for Christian freedom. To introduce the law at any stage is to put people under a curse because the only pass mark that Jesus will accept for the Law is 100%

o    You either keep all the Law or you have broken the Law. That’s why it is so important to put people under grace, rather than under the law.  If we tell people today to keep the Law of Moses, we are consigning them to hell, because they cannot do it!! There is a law that we are under, but it is the Law of Christ, not the Law of Moses (which is now obsolete – it has been done away with)

·         Let me give you a practical example:

o   Red robot - cop

o   The Law is not just a pile of individual pearls – it’s a necklace – a complete thing. If you break it any point the pearls will fall on the ground. You have broken the Law so it doesn’t matter if you’ve broken one commandment or all of them.

o   Imagine 3 men must cross a deep ravine – a 3m jump.

§  1 jumps, gets third of the way, falls and dies.

§  2 jumps, gets two-thirds of the way, falls and dies

§  3 jumps, only misses by 15cm, falls and dies dies.

o   God says “Cursed be he who does not continue in all these laws, to go on doing them” This is the curse you are under if you try to keep all 613 laws to get to heaven under your own steam.  But the Gospel has a different way of righteousness altogether.  So now you may be asking well why did God give the 10 commandments and the Law of Moses?

§  The answer’s in Galatians

·         God gave the Law to restrain sin (at least some laws will be kept)

·         God gave the Law to reveal sin (how else will we know what’s right and what’s wrong? The Law tells you that you are a sinner – it points to the necessity of coming to Christ and being rooted and grounded in Him continually).

This is why Paul says we have been redeemed from the curse of the Law because of what Jesus did for us at the cross and so by now you must be asking so what has all this got to do with giving?

·         Well the truth is everything.

·         Just as our salvation is dependent on our ongoing belief, so it is when the Bible talks about our lifestyle of giving it is an on-going state, not just a once-off event.

·         When it comes to giving we have to do it in faith which means we must have credence confidence and continuance in our obedience to give out of love.

·         A lifestyle of giving is proof that we are abiding in the Vine because we are free from the curse of the law we don’t have to apply the Law of Moses to our giving

·         Too many people in the church are abusing scriptures like Malachi 3, where there are blessings attached to tithing (prove Me now herewith if I do not open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings on you). (This also teaches people incorrectly to give expecting a financial reward)

·         And then to boot they will remind you of the curses attached to tithing – that your children and grandchildren will suffer if you don’t tithe.

·         And so people give out of fear and condemnation and compulsion!

o   Tithing by force is heavy shepherding and is condemned -  1 Pet 5:2-3

o   Tithes are works and will not save you - Luke 18:10 - 14 (parable of rich ruler)

·         This is why I don’t preach tithing as such because tithing belongs to the Law of Moses and it is never mentioned in the New Testament with respect to Gentile believers.

·         Jews did it, but no Gentile believer was ever told to tithe.

·         So what does the Bible tell us to do?

·         IT COMMANDS US TO GIVE. How? How much? When?

To Whom Should We Give?

·         The Local Church - And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches” (Gal. 6:6;  also 1 Tim. 5:17-18). If the local church is to form a solid home base for other ministries of outreach, it is only logical that it should become a first priority for our giving.

·         Other Organizations and Individuals (3 John 5-8).

·        Fellow Believers in Need . Those unable to support themselves or who have faced serious problems are to be helped as we are able. Those who refuse to work are not to be supported (1 John 3:17; Jam. 2:15-16; Gal. 6:10; Heb. 10:33-34; 13:1-3 with 2 Thess. 3:6-10).

·         Unbelievers in Need. Our first priority is to those who are of the household of faith, but we are also to reach out to others in need as we are able (Gal. 6:10).

Now let’s look at the Principles of Biblical Giving

·         2 Corinthians 8 and 9 deal extensively with Biblical New Testament Giving

·         {{read 9:6-15 }}

1.      God Expects us to Give according to His Grace Work: Through fellowship with Him, giving is to be the product of God’s grace working in my life so that it first produces a commitment of my total life to God with giving as an overflow of that previous commitment (2 Cor. 8:1-2, 6-7; 9:9-11).

2.      It must be done in faith: He has promised to supply all our needs; our giving will not be our lack (2 Cor. 9:7a; Phil. 4:19 My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus).

3.      It must be purposeful (2 Cor. 9:7a)

3.1.  We are to give from careful and prayerful planning. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity;

4.      It must be cheerful (2 Cor 9:7b) (therefore out of love for others and for Christ)

4.1.  When giving is cheerful it will also be generous

4.2.  The important rule of thumb is not how much is given, but how much is left after the giving.

4.3.  God isn’t primarily occupied with the amount of the gift, but with the motive that lies behind it

4.4.  All the money in the world belongs to God (Psalm 24:1)

4.5.  My gift to Him doesn’t make Him any richer; it makes me richer spiritually because of the realisation that everything I have is His and that I am giving because I love him and want to give.

5.      It must be regular (Turn to 1 Cor. 16:2. Here Paul gives a formulaic instruction for giving).

5.1.  “On the first day of every week” helps promote diligence and disciplined giving. This creates a consistency and regularity that translates good intentions into actions.

6.      It must be personal (1 Cor. 16:2)

6.1.  “Let each one of you…” brings out the need for every believer to take giving as a personal responsibility for which God holds us each responsible

7.      It must be systematic (1 Cor. 16:2)

7.1.  “lay something aside and save” brings out the need to have a method or system whereby money for the Lord’s work is specifically set aside, stored up for giving, so that it is not used for other things

8.      It must be proportional

8.1.  In the New Testament, set amounts of compulsory giving (as in the tithe) have been replaced by the grace principle of voluntary, purposeful, and proportionate giving.

8.2.  The new standard for today is “as he may prosper” (1 Cor. 16:2), “they gave of their own accord” (2 Cor. 8:3), For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack — that there may be equality (2 Cor. 8:12-15), and “let each one do … not under compulsion” (2 Cor. 9:7).

9.    It must be without ostentation (Matthew 6:3)

9.1.  When you do a charitable deed do not let your left hand know what your right is doing

10. It must be done freely

10.1. New Testament "tithing" is a free will giving, but not at the expense of your obligation to care for your own family.

10.2. The first giving is your body, then time 2 nd finances, sometimes more than you are able occasionally, but never continually. 2 Cor 8:1-5

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