Summary: A look at what Scripture has to say about Tithes and Offerings
Stewardship: Tithes and Offerings:
Last week we set the tone for the series on Stewardship ¡V we defined what stewardship is and we tried to bring home the understanding that stewardship went beyond just the act of giving --- it went to the core of living. It went to the core of who and who¡¦s you are in Christ. Today I want to go deeper into specific aspects of stewardship.
Now sometimes our Sunday Study Talks are emotional in nature and sometimes they are more intellectual in nature, but hopefully they are always educational. Well today the talk is going to be intellectual in nature and so I am going to ask you to put on your thinking caps and to follow along with me as a try and build a scriptural basis for the understanding and interpretation of what I feel scripture teaches us about the specific aspects and truths with regard to Tithes and Offerings.
But as is our custom here at Grace Point, especially when we are studying topics that can be interpreted in different ways, I want to stand firmly on Acts 17:11 and encourage each of you to take what you hear here today and use it as a springboard for your own study asking God to guide you in what He would have you gleam from the scriptures on this topic.
Acts 17:11 (New International Version)
11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Before I get into this study I also want to remind you of what I said last week --- there is a subtle difference between understanding and belief --- between acceptance and Faith and that difference makes all the difference in the world. It is in that difference that we understand without God anything is possible, but with God all things are possible. It is in that difference we can show the World a Christ that is worth believing In --- we can show them a Faith that has changed us form the inside out, a Faith that can Change the World.
So you may hear some things today that differ from what you have traditionally heard about Tithes and Offerings, but I encourage you to go beyond the surface and seek that subtle difference, because it is in that difference where you will find the true intent, the true meaning behind what I am trying to share with you today.
Tithes and Offerings - Does God require us to give a tithe of all we earn--- does God dictate that we give 10% of all we earn back to the Church --- His Church?
That’s what most of us have been taught, but is it Scriptural? Let’s see if we can’t find out together.
Two kinds of giving are taught consistently throughout Scripture: giving to the government (always compulsory), and giving to God (always voluntary).
If we study the Old Testament we will find that the period from creation to the establishment of the Old Covenant spanned about 2,500 years and during that whole time the Bible mentions tithing only twice.
The first occurrence is found in Genesis 14 -- After four Mesopotamian kings had plundered Sodom, Abraham and his men pursued the attackers and recovered all the stolen property. When they returned, the kings of Sodom and Salem came out to meet them. Melchizedek, the king of Salem, was a priest of God and this is what transpired:
Genesis 14:18-22 (New International Version)
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself." 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ’I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me.
Let’s notice a few things here:
First Abraham was giving away someone else’s property. He plainly said he didn’t own it and if it wasn’t his how could he tithe any of it?
2nd: Many People believe Melchizedek was in fact Jesus himself and Jesus did not ask Abraham to give him the 10th, in fact he told Abraham to keep the goods ---- All Jesus wanted was the people. Let that sink in --- Jesus wants you, not your goods.