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Must I Tithe 10% of My Net or Gross Income?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 17, 2024 5:30 pm

Must I Tithe 10% of My Net or Gross Income?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 17, 2024 5:30 pm

Episode 1491 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. What qualifications should a church look for in a new pastor? 2. Does Paul say in 1 Corinthians that there will be a change in the Trinity? 3. Are Christians required to tithe 10% of their net or gross income? 4. Can Satan still come before God? 5. What is an appropriate way to reject a call to ministry?     Today’s Offer: 5 Names of God You Should Know   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Should I tithe 10% of my net income or my gross income? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi there.

Happy Friday. This is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open right now, and we'll be taking your calls for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Just a reminder, we have a YouTube channel. You can watch Adriel right now live on YouTube and send him your question that way, or email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com.

First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Neil. Well, Neil, in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul makes it very clear that there are certain qualifications that we need to be looking for for any pastor. You know, somebody's maybe transitioning out of one church and going to another, or maybe it's the first time they're being ordained to the ministry of the word. And he highlights those in 1 Timothy 3.

He says this saying is trustworthy. Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well with all dignity, keeping his children submissive. And if someone does not know how to, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. So one thing, especially if you're thinking about a new pastor, somebody who's, they're just getting ordained, I think one thing that you do want to watch out for is what Paul says there in verse six, not being a recent convert. Sometimes people can be brand new believers and really excited about the Lord and passionate about the word and even immensely gifted, really charismatic. So the church says, man, we're just going to platform you because people are drawn to you, they're attracted to your charisma, you seem so passionate about the word and Paul says, okay, hold your horses. There needs to be a time of testing, a time of maturing, a time of growth.

And so that's something to watch out for, but also those other things as well. You note that a lot of times what we're looking for is competency, is this person able to preach and teach? Do we like the way they preach and teach? But so many of those qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 are related to character and it takes time to see whether an individual is a person of character or not. And that's why I would say, you know, taking things slowly, not just going off of, you know, well, this person is just a really gifted preacher. I think that's important.

That's a good thing. They need to be able to teach, but that's not everything. And so spend some time looking at those qualifications in 1 Timothy 3, praying about those qualifications and ask that the Lord would guide you, your church, as you're in this process, it sounds like, to find a pastor.

Good counsel on that. You know, I was thinking about that admonition from Paul to Timothy about not making a recent convert, a new convert, but not putting them into leadership. And you see that happening sometimes, not so much in the pastoral role, but you see that happening with Christian celebrities.

You know, somebody comes to Christ who's a celebrity and all of a sudden now we want to put them in front of audiences and have them share their testimony. And I've seen a lot of cases where that person ends up crashing and burning, and I think that's really sad. Yeah, and that's the thing. We don't want to use people because of their platform.

We have to be really careful that that's not what we're chasing after. And I've seen the same thing, Bill. And so, I mean, I think it's wonderful when somebody like a celebrity really does come to faith in Christ. I think that's something we should rejoice in and obviously pray for that person. But that doesn't mean you should invite them to speak in your church because, oh, they're going to attract so many people. And this person, this football player, this movie star became a Christian.

How wonderful. No, they need to grow. They need to submit to the Lord and be discipled. And who knows, maybe God could use them later down the line to influence people for Christ.

But we just have to be careful that we don't jump on that bandwagon. Amen. You're listening to CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, maybe something in your church life that either you're concerned about or confused about, you'd like some clarification on that. Feel free to give us a call at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Ed, calling in from Tennessee.

Ed, what's your question for Adriel? Hello. Good day. Thank you for taking my call.

I enjoyed listening to your program. I have a question in 1 Corinthians 15. Paul is referencing the resurrection of the dead, makes his case there, verses 12 through 34. And he makes a couple of statements during that explanation in verse 24 and then again in verse 28. It appears to be saying that there was going to be some sort of change in the relationship of the Trinity. Verse 28 says, when all things are subjected to Him, that being Jesus, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to Him, God, who put all things in subjection under Him, that God may be all in all. Have you got any ideas about that or any other biblical references? Because Paul really doesn't go on to explain that.

Yeah. Well, you're totally right that this passage is focused on the resurrection of the dead and in particular verses 24 through 28 on the destruction of death. Verses 24 through 28 form a chiasm, this literary structure that focuses on that centerpiece, highlighting that. And in particular, the centerpiece here is verse 26, the last enemy to be destroyed is death.

And so the focus in 1 Corinthians 15, but then more specifically in that passage, verses 24 through 28 is on death, destruction. You have some quotations from Psalm 110 and Psalm 8, and the focus of Christ's ruling in the midst of His enemies, the enemies being subjected to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, until at last when all things are subject to Him, verse 28, then the Son Himself, and this is where you're focused, the Son Himself will also be subjected to Him, who put all things in subjection under Him, that God may be all in all. Now, the question is, does this signify, does this teach that there is a change within the relationship between the persons of the Holy Trinity, as they are revealed in scripture, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? And the way in which we distinguish those persons of the Holy Trinity is by means of their relational properties.

And so for that to change would be a pretty significant thing. In fact, it could even create problems, would even create problems for our understanding of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Now, typically the way in which this was understood then, this idea of Christ's humiliation and being made subject to the Father, had to do primarily with what we call the economy of salvation. So it was in the context of Christ's incarnation and His mediatorial work, His redemptive work for us. And this is why Paul in Philippians 2, for example, can talk about the Son of God who is equal with the Father, emptying Himself by taking the form of a servant, the humiliation of Christ, whereby He submits, subjects Himself to the will of the Father. And so typically the way that this has been interpreted throughout Christian history, and you could even look at ancient preachers like St. John Chrysostom talking about this, they focused on that subjection being related to the economy of redemption, the role that Jesus, the eternal Son of God, took when He assumed humanity and offered up Himself to redeem us. And so it's not that this creates problems or a shift, a change in the doctrine of the Trinity as it is, in the persons of the Holy Trinity, but we're thinking primarily about what Christ accomplished in His redemptive work in time through the assumption of humanity. And now, even continuing His work in the world, subjecting all creation, all things to Himself, that last enemy that's going to be destroyed, again highlighted there in verse 26, is death. And so I appreciate the question. I know we're getting in the weeds a little bit there thinking about how to properly understand these passages, but there has been a lot of discussion throughout the history of the Church on these ideas.

And certainly they've also been taken too far, taken to mean that there was this shift or this subjugation of Jesus as the eternal Son of God to the Father, so that He's less than the Father in some sense, and the Church rejected that idea. So I appreciate your question, Ed, and thank you for calling in. Well, thank you for that theology lesson. That was great. Yeah, come back for more.

I can do it all day. Thank you. This is Core Christianity with pastor and perhaps future seminary professor Adriel Sanchez. We've got to put a doctor in front of that one of these days. No, my wife is like, please, no more school for you. This is it. I think we made that deal when I graduated from seminary many years ago now.

And so there could come a day in the future when the kids are growing, you never know. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Our number is 833-THE-CORE. By the way, we have a great resource we want to offer you today for free. It's our core guide called The Five Names of God You Should Know.

Yes. And as Bill said, hey, it's free. Get a hold of this. You can download it over at corechristianity.com. And this resource in particular, highlighting those different names of God that we see sometimes throughout the Bible, just another hopefully encouraging devotional resource for you that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord. You can explore names like Yahweh and Abba and Immanuel and what those mean, what they mean to us as followers of Christ.

So check that out again. It's called The Five Names of God You Should Know. And it's available to you at corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the Core. You can call us this weekend anytime and just leave us your voicemail question. Make sure you let us know your name and where you're calling from.

And here's a voicemail that came in from Clayton in Kansas. Hey, Pastor Adriel. My question had to do in reference to tithing. So I believe the first example of tithing in the Bible is in Genesis 14 when Abram gives the tithe to Melchizedek after rescuing Lot from his enemies. And then I think of the Lord telling the Israelites in Deuteronomy about the laws of giving of the first fruits. And in Proverbs chapter three, it talks about honoring the Lord with your possessions and the first fruits of all your increase. And so I was wondering, what is the biblical view of tithing? I understand it's a 10 percent.

But would that be of your gross income or your net income? So that's my question. And I look forward to hearing your answer.

Thank you. Excellent question. I was just having a conversation with a group of guys the other night from my church, and we were talking about the things that sometimes pastors can be timid, subjects of pastors can be timid around. One of them that was brought up was giving, which probably says something about me as a pastor, because he was saying, man, giving is such a blessing, giving to the work of the ministry, giving to the advancement of the gospel, giving to those who are in need. And yet a lot of pastors kind of feel like, oh, well, you know, I don't want to talk about giving or tithing.

Partially, and I get this, I mean, this is why I feel this way, is because you look at all of the abuses that are out there. You think of the prosperity gospel, you think of people who turn on, you know, religious broadcasting television, and there's some preacher up there who's saying, you just got to sow your seed, you just got to give your 10 percent or this special gift, and God is going to bless you in these ways, and it just feels real slimy, to be honest. And so, I'm getting to answer your question, but I guess what I would want to say is, man, when we talk about this, when we talk about tithing, when we talk about giving to the work of the ministry, we really should highlight the blessing, the real blessing, one, that God has blessed us with the ability to give, but also the fact that God has overwhelmingly been generous towards his people, right? When we think about the gospel of his grace, when we think about all of his provision in our lives, we ought to give, not from a sense of, okay, how do I calculate the exact number, and I understand that. We want to be faithful to the Lord.

We want to make sure that we're not holding back from God. But I think one big question we should ask ourselves is just, am I stingy? Am I stingy with God?

Am I stingy with the people around me? Do I give grudgingly? Is it just like, oh, I've got to figure out what the right number is so that way I can be fine and just sort of make sure that I'm covering my bases spiritually speaking? That's not how we should give. We should give with hearts full of joy because God has given to us so much. And I think that's what Paul is getting at in 2 Corinthians 9. The point is this, verse 6, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

He doesn't even bring up the concept or the idea of the tithe here. He's just saying, look, each one must give, verse 7, as he has decided in his heart. Not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver, and God is able to make all grace abound to you so that you have all sufficiency in all things at all times, and you may abound in every good work as it is written. He has distributed freely. He has given to the poor. His righteousness endures forever.

I mean, what a promise there. He's saying, God is going to bless you when you do this, when you give with a cheerful heart. And so, look, that's not to say that tithing is not a thing. And of course there is debate about, you know, what does that look like for believers under the New Testament? You know, we're not bound by the ceremonial laws of the old covenant believers, and the fact of the matter is when you think about all the things that they would tithe back then, it was probably more than just 10 percent.

Different scholars like Craig Blomberg have talked about this. He has a book on money and possessions and scripture, and others have talked about this as well. So I think, you know, I encourage the people in my church to say, a tithe is good. You know, giving 10 percent, I think typically people give probably 10 percent of their net income, not of their gross, but I think they could give, and some even do give, I'm sure.

I don't have the numbers. It's not something I look at as a pastor. You know, it's not like I know who gives what and how much they give within my church.

But I'm certain that there are people who give more than that, based on what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9, because they want to give, you know, with a cheerful heart, because God has blessed them, and they're able to. And so I would say, prayerfully think about, okay, you know, I think a tithe is kind of a good baseline, but prayerfully think about, God, how can I be generous to what's happening here in the life of the church, to the advancement of the gospel, to the work of the ministry? How can I listen to what Jesus said when he said, don't store up treasure here on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but store up treasures in heaven? God, how do I align myself with the purposes of heaven and investing in your kingdom?

And when you do, with joy, man, there's such a blessing associated with that. And so I would just encourage you to pray about this and to think about, well, what does that look like for me? Maybe that's a tithe of 10% of my net income.

Maybe it's more than that. And you know what? God will bless you in that. And so appreciate this question, and hopefully that's helpful. 2 Corinthians 9, I think, is a great passage to look at when thinking about giving in the context of the church. I always want to be a cheerful giver. I mean, I don't want to be one of those people that goes, oh, man, I got to give another donation to my church. I want to do it with a smile on my face. I want to sing and dance when I'm given that money. Well, don't sound the trumpet, though, Bill, because that's another thing that Jesus says, right?

Oh, that's true. When you give, don't let everybody know. I will give it quietly.

There's a couple of ditches to reckon here. Bill walking up to the offering basket, you know, just doing backflips and stuff, letting everybody know. No, I don't think we'll do that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Matt calling in from Missouri. Matt, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, sir.

Thank you for taking my call. I was going to ask a question about Revelation 12. 13 through 17, it talks about the woman, the dragon, and it talks about Satan taking a third of the angels with him. But in Job, he still had access to heaven when he was tempted in Job.

When did he actually lose like his? I realized during the fall that nobody really knows when the fall is, but when did he lose access to heaven? Yeah, excellent question. So Revelation chapter 12, the woman and the dragon, a really interesting passage. Here, by the way, one of the things that Revelation 12 highlights for us is the book of Revelation shouldn't be read as this sort of sequential timeline of events because you have what we call recapitulation in the book of Revelation, looking at these different scenes that happen throughout history over and over again, kind of in this cyclical way. Revelation chapter 12 in particular focuses on the coming of the Messiah, on Satan's attack against Messiah Jesus, and also the church and the redemptive work of Jesus and what it accomplished, namely the excommunication of Satan.

That is, his being cast down. Jesus, the strong man, has bound Satan. And so you have this woman with the dragon. There's debate about, well, who's this woman? Is the woman the church, the people of God?

That's one way of looking at it. There are some who make the argument that the woman is a reference to the Virgin Mary. Maybe you have a kind of a both-and in this symbolic, apocalyptic way, but clearly the child is the Son of God, Jesus. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. They're essentially echoing Psalm 2. But her child was caught up to God and to his throne.

There's the ascension. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. Now, there the woman, I think, is a reference to the people of God, the church, being nourished, cared for, protected by the Lord. Now, here you have the redemptive work of Jesus on the earth, what's taking place and what we can see, what people could see with their eyes through his ministry and so forth, but also what was taking place in heaven. Of course, we know that his sacrifice, right? It reached the courts of heaven, we might say.

That's what it purified. The author of the Hebrews talks about this. Verse 7, Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. So I think that defeat was contemporaneous with, that means happened at the same time as, the redemptive victory of Jesus in his death and resurrection. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down who accuses them day and night before God. So when did that happen, which is your question? I think this took place at the same time that Jesus accomplished his redemptive work. That accomplishment, essentially what it did was it cast down our accuser. Now, he has no argument against us. Our great advocate, Jesus, ascended into heaven, is there at the right hand of the Father.

He ever lives to make intercession for us and so the evil one doesn't have or doesn't get to get a word in. Thank you for your question. Wow.

This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Kurt in Montana. Kurt, we've just got about a minute.

What's your question for Adriel? Yeah. If somebody is invited or appointed, going to be appointed to an eldership at the church, how do they, what's the proper way to actually turn that down? Yeah.

Interesting question, Kurt. So first, in 1 Timothy 3, Paul says, if anybody aspires to the office of an overseer, he desires a good thing. So I think there needs to be that internal call. It's not like the church just says, you have to do this, and you're like, I don't think I'm actually called to this. If there isn't that internal call and that external call, I think that there are serious problems. Shepherding the flock of God should not be done under compulsion.

Oh boy, I just have to do this sort of a thing. No, it really is a calling. And so if you or if another person doesn't sense that calling, feels like for whatever reason, no, this is not what I'm called to, then I don't think it's something that they should just jump into because other people are saying, I think that you're called to this. And so looking at 1 Timothy 3 and thinking about that idea and saying, OK, do I aspire to this office or not? And if I don't, then it's probably not right for me to try to enter into it.

Really a complex situation. The church does need good elders, though. We're committed to the word of God. May God bless all of our churches with that. Thanks for listening. When you contact us, let us know how we can be praying for you and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-17 18:09:26 / 2024-05-17 18:19:25 / 10

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