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April 8, 2022 4:00 am
How much is enough to question about tithing that's been asked since the church's early days. So what guidelines if any we have in the Bible for financially supporting local churches today entry for life. Alistair Begg offers a biblical framework for giving looking at chapter 16. First Corinthians verses one through nine.
The issue is not that we have a lot of money out of which we can get.
The issue is that since our giving is to the Lord. We want always to be getting each one of and if all that I can give would be the result of no longer taking the plain dealer, six days a week and put that in the offering plate that would be absolutely fine because each one is to be setting aside on the first day of every week their resources. Another one here for set-aside is the great word they saw read so, from which we get our English word thesaurus which we think of, usually in terms of a collection of words or compendium or a treasury of words is the same word and what Paul is addressing here is a fact that in the period in which he is writing both in pagan environments and also enjoys environments in the religious framework.
There were literally treasuries within the places of worship and it was customary for people on a regular basis to bring resources and to put them in those treasuries and so says Paul that's what I want you to do on a regular basis. Indeed, on a weekly basis. I want you to set aside these resources in the treasury all but since somebody don't you think he's just talking about setting them aside home. No, I don't think so because he says I want you to do this so that no collections will have to be taken when I come. If everybody was setting it aside in their home and after data collection when he showed up but if everybody was setting it aside regularly in the treasury there and when he showed up there would be no need for collections because the money would already be in place. All this is somebody that surely doesn't apply today because after all, you understand the tax implications of these things and if I keep the money.
December 30, and so on. That is far more effective and far more useful, and so on. Listen I know about that a little bit about that. I understand the wisdom of that. So you this is what the Bible says there is something about the actual discipline of weekly, setting aside money that is imperative for God's people because it is a reminder to us at least on the first day of every week that all that I have done all that I have is a result of God's grace and his goodness to me. If I choose to do that once every four months. I don't have the same benefit of that experience and furthermore the resources that accrue accrue that in turn to the church rather than the wealthy, trying to make sure they make sufficient interest off the seeds before they finally scrape then before the end of the year with a donation. Something to think about. I can tell by your lines. The participation then was total.
The amount is were going to see in a moment was personal, but the participation was total. I just make a couple of points of application before I come to the fifth question. The New Testament indeed the Bible itself says this learning to give properly is a central part of learning to worship properly and we have never really learned to worship the Lord until we have learned to give to the Lord. The other thing to point out is that the local church while not having the exclusive access to our giving should nevertheless be the primary place of our giving. Here it is that we support God's people that we support God's servants that we support God's ministry, as we place our gifts into the custody of those who have been responsive and trusted with the awesome responsibility of dealing with tremendous amount of money is duplicated and read duplicate as a result of a misunderstanding or an unwillingness on the part of God's people to begin at the point of the New Testament calls us to begin, namely the treasury and the central place of the local church become to the fifth question, which for many people is perhaps the most significant one.
How much was to be given how much that's what everybody wants to know that's cut through and we got there Sunday think they got that you know who's involved in every let's get to the heart of the matter how much is a very important thing you see. Because, for the Jewish mind. They wanted it button down real tight.
Just tell me how much that I want to give any less but I'm bloated from going to give anymore. So just tell me what it is. I have some very good friends with whom I played golf with Tommy say you know what I buy my seat in the synagogue. I pay my thing I do the high holy days, and the rest of it. Just keep out of my face ice want to know what my responsibility is tell me how much tell me how often let me do the deal and let's get out of Paul doesn't give them any can a luxury like that. Look at what he says each one of you should set aside some of money. This is not again real helpful folks are some of money.
Is there any indication of what it should be. Yes, in keeping with his income. In other words, there is some correlation between that sum of money that you set aside, and I set-aside and the way in which God has prospered me, but there is no specific indication given here.
There is no amount. There is no percentage, and indeed, for all of my searching I can find no amount no percentage in all of the New Testament. Always it is discretionary. Let me show it to you right now. Let me give to you old territory for some new terrain for others and he gives to you a number of biblical pointers in relationship to this. How much question I just going to go through them quickly going to number one. Two. Giving begins with the giving of ourselves to the Lord. Two Corinthians chapter 8 and verse five.
If you look there you will discover and they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to eyes. In keeping with God's will so true giving begins with the giving of myself in the Lord in the same way as when you get married in your marriage service. You may have had the line out when you put the ring on your bride or your bridegroom use must put the ring on the fellas of fourth finger of his left hand and say after the officiant with this ring, I mean wed.
With all my worldly goods IV and out, in other words, you get me yet all this and hopefully there is in all this. In some cases, is like you get me you got a problem, but you got me you get all this words. First, I give myself to you and that all that I have it comes to you. I'm not a nuptial agreement through no funny business. There is no separating of funds and resources is not enough of that nonsense lead to our one you got me you got the whole show I get you the whole show.
I'm not talking about business and tax dealings around only philosophically hear him talking expressively and that's the picture when the Lord Jesus gets us. He gets it all. He doesn't get eyes and 10% of what we own, he gets us in the whole deal hundred percent. The totality the business the house, the cars, the vacation hold the resource in prime tax benefits against all whole deal.
True giving begins with the giving of myself to the Lord. Two Corinthians 85 second true giving is in response to what Jesus has given for still in two Corinthians 8. Look at verse nine for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
He is the Creator of the ends of the act. He is the one who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine he is the Lord of the University is King of heaven. He is sovereign over the whole thing and he appears as a baby wriggling his toes in the ignominy of a Bethlehem straw heat.
He says to his followers. Foxes have holes and birds have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. Why did he do this in order that we, through his poverty might become rich CT studs as if Jesus Christ regarding died for me than no sacrifice that I could ever make for him could ever be too great. Thirdly, true giving will be generous rather than grudging or reluctant to Corinthians chapter 9 and verse five. So I thought it necessary towards the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised, then it will be ready as a generous gift and not as one grudgingly given.
In other words, he says I don't want to be sending out a collection agency for your funds. I don't want to be funny Robin say excuse me remember you promised a gift for the poor in Jerusalem. I just wondering how your coming along with that they love that phrase I just wondering how your coming along with that answer is not coming along at all. If I been coming along. I would've come along even had a jolly stuff. Now he says I want you. You see I send them ahead to finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised you seek what happened is going to start within their hearts and he said I'm in for that pulse is when you get to that point. Make sure you get in right there.
Don't let it go cold on you and then someone asked the crime and really like the fire of enthusiasm underneath you.
He says let your giving. Be generous rather than grudging or reluctant verse seven of two Corinthians 9, the amount of our giving is to be personally determined how much should I give each man should give what he has decided in his heart to get, not reluctantly or under compulsion, nobody coming along and say this is what it costs and this is what you going to give and blah blah blah. For God loves a cheerful giver. I hilarious giver.
That's the word hilarious. He loves it when we were just going not skimming again this that's that's crazy. Let's get this published. Did you have in your part and I don't know about 270, why to realize how much I spent this week on goal to realize how much we spend this week on eating out do isomers we spent in the last six months, and ourselves. Goodness gracious. If I do get in I had in my pocket and put it in. We would even come close to what we've been doing for ourselves and we didn't eat out sufficiently.
Driver shall we flight services, let's fly scanner crazy, but students cheerful and personally determined civil what about time. What about tight though you believe in time you believe in tithing when you're supposed to tithe and I don't believe in timing when you're not supposed to tie so when he supposed to tie in the Old Testament under the Mosaic law will problem because I was feeling really good about my 10% in the ninth, you got it stashed beautifully to tell me that 10% is in the deal.
See exactly what I'm going to tell you it's not. You see when you look at the Old Testament under the Mosaic law in the establishing of a tie. This money up instantly, but in the establishing of a tie Abby hilarious only comes and takes it in the establishing of a tide. There were three elements to. There was a time for the Levites, which the government there was a time for the national feast, which was the community and there was a tie for helping the poor, which was welfare and when you put it all together and amounts to some 23% of the people's income. Israel was a theocracy and awards government was ruled by God and in order for the structure of the nation to function.
They needed these taxes and these tie-ins where the taxes so that the nation might function effectively. They were not free will offerings they were demanded they were required. They were necessary.
There was a date when they were due. And there is no doubt about it, you have the little voucher you've got the envelope ready to put the check in with you feel good about bad about or whatever you gotta do something about. But that's not about giving today to the Lord's work that's different and it was different for the people of God and find in Exodus chapter 25 God introduces a free will offering and I want just you to notice this because it's really quite remarkable.
Exodus 25 the Lord said to Moses tell the Israelites to bring me an offering you to receive the offering for me. Each man whose heart prompts him to give the prompting of his heart to give, if you go forward. 10 chapters you find the same emphasis 35 five this is what the Lord is commanded from what you have taken offering for the Lord, and everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord and then he mentions all these different thing. And in verse 21 of Exodus 35, and everyone who was willing and whose heart removed him came and brought an offering to the Lord. Now this thing got so out of hand that by the time you get to Exodus 36 verse six God has to issue an instruction through his servant Moses gave an order and they send his word throughout the camp. No man or woman is to make anything else is an offering for the sanctuary and so the people were restrained from bringing more because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work as soon as they were cut free from the legalistic requirements of a tie, which actually limited them.
The thing went Knox and eventually the wire goes, that's an stop for a while.
It wasn't as a result of having a law laid down you say will there's the type of no place I think it has a place in this respect that. If that principal was important in the old covenant, then it certainly represents a good starting point in the new. It gives us some kind of frame of reference, but I believe the real dangerous that we bring a mentality that says when you become a Christian. There's a kind of 10% deal kicks in is bad. If you've only ever been given half of one of verse 1% are nothing to the Lord until your Christian experience because a 10% hit in your income will be found. But that's not the deal is that when we become Christians.
The Lord takes over. He ultimately owns the title to all that we have and all that we are soon to get away with 10% would be to sneak out. Well, I've said enough on that I would add to the dead through giving is to be sacrificial and yet cheerful. David says I want over to the Lord that which cost me nothing.
Second Samuel 2424 ultimately to giving is a matter of the heart. Jesus says in Luke chapter 6 in verse 38 wonderful verse of always always thought it should be some kind of song. I don't know if it is or not and how you make it into a song that it would certainly move along. I'm sure Jesus is given, it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
A good measure, pressed on sharing together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. In other words, stingy and stingy out. You want to be stingy with God. That's okay you want to be generous and you see the passing that attends there was a final question in verse three and four of first Corinthian 16 I just mention it and we will conclude how will these financial matters be handled the answer in verses three and four is with scrupulous care. You'll notice that Paul arranged for the collection. But he didn't plan to touch the money in person at any time. You'll notice that the Corinthians were to raise it. The Corinthians were to keep until Paul came and when it finally went to Jerusalem he was going to write letters but if they would be given to man that were approved by the people there in Corinth and they these men would take the money.
There some of the worst things that have ever happened in the framework of Christianity happened as a result of people in leadership positions. Having access to the funds in the resource.
Some of the most horrendous things in old evangelists counting the offering pastors, putting it in the bank all at Kenneth and I want you to know, just in passing just is as interesting as it I can sign a check in this church. I can draw down funds in this church.
I can do anything financially in this church except in relationship to my book and conference allowance, which is a minimal amount of money and it all has to be disbursed to me by the hands of others, and I absolutely love it I love it. So if we raised 2 million 5 million 10 million 20 million for the work of the kingdom. That'll be fine.
I might even stand up here and say let's go. You can be sure that I'll never touch it will be put in the hands of godly men who will care for as those who give an account to God. What's this collection for the poor people why's it so important because our money is an expression of our love. When should it be received first day of every week. How much is involved in proportion without income as God moves on and how will it be handled. Please God.
It will be handled with the utmost integrity in light of all that is ours by God's grace we are to be cheerful givers listing the Truth for Life. That's Alistair Begg keep listening.
Alister will be back to close with prayer in just a minute. Today's message Alister mentioned that the local church should be our primary place of giving and we wholeheartedly endorse this the Truth for Life.
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If you'd like to see what's currently available as a Truth for Life.org/store. Speaking of books, today's selection is an intriguing look at Jesus last meal with his disciples. The book is titled lessons from the upper room that's written by theologian Sinclair Ferguson. He takes us into the last supper scene described in John's Gospel. He explains the events of the discussion was taking place to give us a vivid picture of these remarkable hours.
Sinclair's goal in writing this book is to metaphorically bring us into the room so we can have a personal face-to-face encounter with the son of God, request your copy of lessons from the upper room when you give to support the teaching you hear on Truth for Life. Just visit Truth for Life.org/donate now, here's Alister father, grant that in these most practical obedience you will reign supreme within our life. Glorify your name in the giving of ourselves and in the giving of our resources for Jesus sake, we ask about Jesus said to his disciples follow me. Got a job for you. He was calling you and me as well join us Monday to hear about this special and personal invitation.
Jesus Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living