Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
I am going to speak to you today on New Testament giving. You say, hey, wait a minute, Malachi is not in the new Testament and you would be correct. In order to get a true picture of New Testament giving, we must understand where the concept of giving comes from. “My messenger” or “my angel” is the meaning of the name Malachi. Malachi was probably the last book written in the old testament and was written around 430 BC. It was the last time God spoke until the New Testament was established. It is believed that James, written about 500 years later was the first written book of the new Testament. Tithing is mentioned in Genesis 14:20 where Abraham gave a tithe of all his spoil to Melchizedek, the priest of God. This is notable because this came before God gave the Law to Moses. Tithing was instituted to be given to the Levites, the priests for their livelihood Tithing continued throughout the old testament and it is how God ended the Old Testament before what is known as the silent years when God did not speak. Tithing was a giving done with a heart of thanksgiving for the good of those who carry out the task of caring for God’s people. Enough history because what I want to do not is focus on grace “New Testament” giving. Is it different? Is it more? Is it less? It is the same? I hope to answer these and other questions by the end of this message
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
New Testament Giving has always been an act of Love –
Acts 2:44-47 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Acts 4:33-36 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Giving is an indication of the Heart
II Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
II Corinthians 8:11-16 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. 12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. 16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.
Giving should a joyful act of Worship
Philippians 4:15-19 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
- It is a sweet smell in the sight of God
- It is a sacrifice He accepts
- It is pleasing to Him
- He responds by meeting all our needs according to HIS riches
Giving should still be how the man of God sustains his life
I Timothy 5:17-18 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
Galatians 6:6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
Pastors (Elders, Bishops) are entrusted with keeping the house of God in order
I Timothy 3: 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Titus 1:6-9 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
They are to give themselves to the teaching of the word of God
II Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
The are worthy of your sacrifice
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
Giving should help those who find themselves in need
Acts 2:45 – And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Helping begins with other believers
Galatians 6:1-10 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Giving should help those who have lost the father or husband
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unto inspect, examine with the eyes in order to see how he is, i.e. to visit, go to see one , the poor and afflicted, the sick to look upon in order to help or to benefit’ to look after, have care for, provide for: of God, to look (about) for, look out (one to choose, employ, etc.)
Ministering to those outside of the faith
Giving to reach the Lost
Philippians 4:16-17 - For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account
Giving should be an act of Grace
II Corinthians 9:6-10 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
- We should be generous in our giving
- Giving should be sacrificial
Mark 12:44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
- God will see we have all we need when we give graciously
- As we sow, God gives abundantly in things that matter –
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.