Summary: Dynamics and Dimensions of Offering in New Testament context. For majority of Christians, the word 'offering' quickly invokes thoughts of money... but offering in true scriptural perspective is hardly ever about funds colection on a Sinday church service.
Majority of Christians have been wrongly churched to be just about as materialistic as the unbelievers however this sermon isn't about money but rather targeted at attacking money-centric error with the subject matter of 'offering' and to dismantle those, in Jesus’ name. To diismantle is to methodically and carefully destroy!
Historicity of Offering:
Cain & Abel were the first humans ever to make an offering; Gen 4:3-4 – see Hebrews 11: 4 (only Abel’s offering was acceptable!... why? In actuality though, God was the first ever to make offering – Gens 3:21 – in other to cloth Adam and Eve. This was antecedent to the cloth-of-righteousness which the perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God would bring to mankind thousands of years from the Adam’ fall.
Under the Old Testament dispensation, Offerings were a synonym for Sacrifices – in other words, offering were almost always equal to sacrifice. Sacrifices in the Old Testament were of two broad types;
1) Unbloody types - e.g.
first-fruits and tithes
meat and drink-offerings
20 Bloody types - e.g.
sin and trespass offerings
Definitions of Offering:
The English dictionary defines offering as “something offered as a proposal/proposition… oblation, an act of contributing to the funds of a church or charity”.
However, it’s Hebrew origin is from a word mizbe’ah - meaning “to slay”. Now, to slay means to bump off … to kill intentionally and with premeditation. Where there is a slaying, there would be an altar – the first altar spoken of in the Bible is that of Noah, Gen 8:20. Then that of father Abraham in Gen 22:9, and came the divine injunction concerning altar in Exodus 20:24-25. In the tabernacle, and thereafter in the temple, two altars were erected namely;
The altar of incense – Exodus 30:1-10. Also called “the golden altar” – Exodus 39:38, Numbers 4:11. On this altar sweet spices were continually burned with fire taken from the brazen altar. Morning and evening services were commenced by the high priest offering incense on this altar – the burning of incense was a type of prayer – Psalms 141:2, Rev 5:8, 8:3-4.
My bespoke definition is; “An offering is whatever good you can do in the context of your Christian faith and in the course of your walk with The Lord” – see James 4:17.
Bear in mind though that “good” defined is not down to your human senses and sensibilities . ‘Whatever good’ should be so defined by God as evidenced from scriptures – e.g. see Hebrews 12:15, Galatians 5:12.
Types of Offering - i.e. in New Testament context:
1) THOUGHTS – yours is a type of offering… Job 31:1
2) PRAYERS – yours time is a type of offering… 1 Sam. 12:23