Summary: Teaching on the history of the idea of offering God worship through giving
Tithing on Trial!
Coulee Community Church
January 15th, 2017
Scripture: 1 Cor 9:6-11 (First of many scriptures today, teaching sermon- write down questions for the end)
A family came home from church one Sunday and after they had lunch they sent their 6-year-old son off to play. After awhile, his mother realized that they hadn’t heard much from him, which any parent knows is a recipe for disaster.
The mother got up from her recliner and walked to the child bedroom and listened right outside his door. She kept hearing small metallic sounds and jingling come from the other side of the door. Intrigued, she cracked the door a little and looked in to see her son sitting on floor with his piggy bank opened and a few dollars in coins lying around the floor. He gathered them up and put them in the handkerchief, knelt down and prayed silently, and then threw the coin up in the air. He watched them all hit the ground, frowned, and gathered his coin back into the handkerchief and repeated throwing them up in the air.
His mom opened the door and asked him what in the world he was doing.
The little boy replied, “We learned in Sunday School today that we should give money to God for an offering. I forgot to bring mine today I figured I’d come home and throw mine in the air, and God would catch whatever He needed and I could keep the rest, but He hasn’t caught any yet!”
As cute as that story is, it does highlight one of the common misconceptions about giving as an act of worship. There are probably few other topics that make people, including most pastors, more uncomfortable in church than the subject of tithes and offerings.
I think much of this is because of
bad teaching, some of which we will point out today
Past scandals regarding misuse of church offerings
Cowardice, fear, doubt, and unbelief on behalf of pastor to teach the subject correctly.
This morning we are going to look at what the bible says about giving in reference to our relationship with God. We will begin with a section of the New Testament to keep in the back of our minds as we explore this subject.
2 Cor 9:6-11
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.” l
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
We will go back to the scripture we just read, but first I want to lay a foundation of where this principle of giving as an act of worship comes from.
God’s word is a progressive revelation- meaning it starts in Genesis with the beginning, laying a foundation for who God is, humanities creation and failure, and God’s plan of salvation. The bible then uses 65 more books to explain the completeness of who God is and how His plan for salvation has worked itself out.
This progressive revelation also does the same thing with individual truths, and the idea of giving as an act of worship is no different.
This morning we will do a quick survey through scripture looking at giving from it’s historical perspective in the beginning using the book of Genesis, then move forward a little in the historical record and look at giving under the OT law, then we will transition to the NT understanding and finally it’s application for us today.
I. Origins of this precept called Tithing
To properly understand tithing, we must first explore this idea of sacrifice, founded by God Himself. You see this immediately after Adam and Eve’s failure in the Garden of Eden, that God killed an animal and clothed them in the skin of that animal. From then on, they understood that they would have to offer regular sacrifice as atonement- or payment for their sins.
The primary idea of sacrifice is seen in the principle of first fruits. The first time the bible alludes to it in in Gen 4, with the story of Cain and Abel.