Who does the pastor think he is? This is our church and he shouldn't tell us what to do. This is my hard-earned money and it's none of his business what I do with it. Would you think anybody in the
F. B. C. of Corinth would say that about Paul? No doubt some would, but Paul just kept on doing what the Lord told him to do and in the first verse he says, "as I directed the church in Galatia, so do you also."
The Bible definitely teaches a principle called "pastoral authority."
Paul taught with authority concerning giving. Let's examine verse 2 to
see what he dogmatically told this congregation.
I. Teachings concerning giving: Include the Time to Give. v 2 a
The Bible says on the first day of every week, we are instructed that the day of worship is to be the time when we give our offering. Perhaps in Bible times the people could give their money or gifts at times other than the day of worship. (As a side matter, Sunday had to be their day of worship, otherwise Paul would not have instructed them to bring their offering on the first day of the week.) We should bring our money and give it as a part of our adoration to God. We can give it in the Sunday School or in the worship service and it can be a part of our praise to God.
Therefore, on the first day of the week, (on the Lord's Day) we should give.
Mariner's Chapel in Newport Beach, California, never takes a collection by passing an offering plate. What they do is they have the plates stationed at a particular location. But the vast majority of the people give because the Lors has blessed at this is the Lord's Day.
Did you give an offering today? Will you give this month as an act of
worship? The Bible teaches that you should give and your giving should
be on the Lord's Day. Notice point two.
II. Teachings concerning Giving: Include the People who give. v 2 b
The next phrase in verse 2 says, "Let each one of you." Therefore, the teaching would be that every individual is to have something to give as an act of worship supporting the church and its ministries. It is not just for the pastor, deacon, Sunday School teacher or individual leader, but it is for every one of us. Parents are to encourage their children to give every Sunday. It may be best to take a portion of our offering and divide it so that each child would have something to give. When the child has an allowance or if the child is making money by working part-time, then that child is supposed to give, and it is our responsibility as parents to instruct them. The Bible says, "Let each one of you" every one who is a part of the church activity. Everyone in attendance, let them give.
Hershel Creasman was Educational Director at F. B. C. in Pompano Beach, Florida in 1964. His father had eight children. Hershel learned to tithe because his father divided his tithe and gave each child something to give.
Tithing is something God leads His people to do. If you tithe, it should be because you love the Lord and want to obey Him. If you individually don't tithe, you need to study the Bible and pray more about this matter.
Look at the 3rd point.
III. Teachings concerning giving: Include the Place to Give. v 2 c
Examine the phrase in verse 2 which reads, "put aside and save." It is saying that each individual should have the money for the church set aside. Today we say the tithe should be at the top of the budget or the first check written. Paul teaches this principle of stewardship so the church will have the money set aside that it needs for ministry.
Some suggest that this verse is instructing the individual to save in his own home. But that interpretation doesn't fit the total teaching of this verse. Note the last phrase, "that no collections be made when I come." If the money were in individual's homes, they would have to make a special collection. The interpretation that says the church had some kind of treasury and place of safe keeping makes more sense. Jesus had a treasurer of the 12 disciples and it makes sense that this group would follow that example.
Another principle influencing my interpretation of this scripture is the principle called "store house tithing." This idea runs throughout the Old and New Testaments. It says the tithe belongs to the Lord and His church. It is not my tithe, it is not your tithe, it is the Lord's and the churches collectively.
You can not scripturally decide what to do with the tithe. It's decided for you as the command is "bring all the tithes into the storehouse." Every once in a while I have heard of a church member (never in this church) who has said, "I'm not going to give my tithe to that program." It's not your tithe and it's not your responsibility to decide what happens to the tithe. It is the church's responsibility collectively. Pray for yourself and your church.
When Reagan was President he gave a tithe. He did not do it just like this verse but I will commend him for the attempt to be obedient to the command of God.
Do you tithe? Do you bring all the tithes to the storehouse? Pray about
this matter and let God direct you.
IV. Teachings concerning giving: Includes the Proportion to be Given. v 2 d
In verse 2 we find it says, "as he may prosper." The KJV supplies the Lord God and says "as God has prospered you." Please note in the KJV that the word "God" is in italics which means it is not a part of the original language. The NASB doesn't supply the word God but says, "as He may prosper." All Christians should know that their prosperity is from God, therefore, a person will have money to give because God has allowed it to be that way.
Is this giving as a person prospers something different than tithing? I say "no!" For the Bible from Genesis through Revelation never changes the minimum requirement of the tithe. One writer wrote about the tithe saying, "Abraham commenced it before the Law, Moses continued it after the Law; who are you to cancel it in the day of Grace?"
We can use inductive reasoning to prove that Jesus was a tither. (Mt. 23:23).
If God prospers your home and family with an income of $10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 100,000 a year, the proportion He requires is still the tithe. That tithe is to be given into the treasury of the Church.
Story of R. G. LeTourneau who gave 90% of his income.
Not many of will get to a place where we can give 90% of what we make
back to the Lord. But there's not any person who has their membership in
this church, there's not anyone who will ever attend this church who cannot,
by faith, trust the Lord and become a tither. You ask how I know that,
I know it because the Bible requites a tithe. God does not require what
it is not possible of each of us as individuals. How has God prospered
you? The matter before us according to the Scriptures is that we are to
give according to the way God has prospered.
V. Teachings concerning giving: Include the Purpose of Giving. v 2 e
Look at verse 2 again and notice it says "that no-collections be made when I come." The needs of the church are to be met with the Sunday by Sunday gifts of Christian people. Paul didn't want the people to hear an emotional plea every time there was a need. He wanted to be able to share the Word of God with them and fellowship around spiritual things. He wanted the collection for the "saints" to be ready for him when he got there.
Today we don't want to have a week by week plea for money. We don't want the treasurer or finance committee to come and say, "the electric bill is due, who will give towards paying it?" We don't want anything like that, so we have a unified budget and a Cooperative Program to support missions. If everyone of the families of our church tithed, do you know that we would receive almost three times the money we receive? Our debt would be paid in three years instead of 25, and we could start mission churches all over this community. The purpose of giving is to meet needs ahead of time.
A farmer approached his new pastor and said "Son, what does this church need?" The pastor said, "I don't know that we're in urgent need of anything. Why do you ask?" The farmer said, "Your preaching about money and tithing and if there was a need, I'll get it; otherwise, we don't need any preaching about giving."
Some missionaries in other denominations have to come home from the field just to raise their financial support. We lay by in a safe place so the need can be met ahead of time.
A pastor has a responsibility to develop people of strong financial stewardship. It's not giving to meet some emergency, but participating in God's plan of financial maturity. The reason for giving is to have a definite plan of church finances. The Bible clearly teaches financial stewardship.
I enjoy giving to this church and the missionary program of Southern Baptists. It would hurt me greatly if I could not give. I count it as a privilege because I know I owe my Lord more than I can ever pay. We give because we love Him and His work but it all began when He called us to Him and redeemed our souls. Do you Love to give?
If you haven't been saved and don't understand Christian stewardship,
come and we'll counsel with you. Come forward as we sing.
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And Beyond. Amen? Amen!