“Howwere financial collections in the early church distributed?”
Unfortunately most of us don’t
the answer to thisquestion.We assume we know the answer based on what pastors, spiritualleaders, or people in a place of spiritual authority have taught us.But how many believers havestudied this idea personally?The answer to this question is vitally important because it revealsGod’s desirefor our giving today. The New Testament books of Acts through Jude provide a written testament ofthe church in itspurest form. To truly understandand appreciate‘the church’ wemust look at the first church and how it functioned.This study exploresNew Testament Scriptures that reveal howfinances were distributed in the early church.
is acollection of Scriptures that directly reveal how finances weredistributed in the early church. While there are passages in theGospels that mention giving, only Scriptures after theestablishment of the church (Acts 2:1-4) are considered.
takes an in-depth look at three Scriptures that are commonlyused as proof-texts to support financially supporting local pastors,elders & church staff.
containsthe author’s finalthoughts. Refrain from reading this section until after you havestudied the passages for yourself and drawn your own conclusions.
is a listing of discussion questions for personal or groupuse.Keep in mind that the focus of this study is on howcollections weredistributed and not the validity oftithingfor the New TestamentChurch. Determining whether tithing is commanded for the NewTestament Church is beyond thecurrent scope of study.To learnmore about tithing visit TruthForFree.com which has an excellentsection dedicated to the validity of tithing for New Testamentbelievers.Regardless of your belief in tithing, both sides of theargument agree that Christians should be the most generous andcheerful givers on the face of the earth(2 Cor. 9:7; 1 Tim.6:18).
May the Lord bless and protect you as you study New Testamentgiving, and that He will show you mercy and kindness. May theLord be good to you and give you peace. (Based on the HighPriestly Blessing in Leviticus 6:22-27)
II. Scriptures Related toNew TestamentGiving
As you study the following passages, allow Scripture to interpretScripture. Take time to honestly evaluate each Scripture passageand prayerfully draw conclusions concerning howfinancialcontributions should be distributed. Keep the following questionsinthe forefrontof yourmind as you study each passage…
“Who was the recipientof the financial offeringin thispassage?”
“What does this passage reveal about God’s desire forgiving?”
“How should this passage affect my patterns of giving?”
And all who believed were together andhad all things incommon.Andthey were selling their possessions andbelongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any hadneed.
Now the full number of those who believed were ofoneheart andsoul, and no one said that any of the things thatbelonged to him was his own, butthey had everything incommon.And with greatpower the apostles were givingtheir testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,andgreat grace was upon them all.There was not a needyperson among them, foras many as were owners of landsor houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what wassoldand laid it at the apostles’ feet, andit was distributedto each as any had need.Thus Joseph, who was also calledby the apostles Barnabas (which meansson of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,sold a fieldthat belonged to him and brought the money andlaid it atthe apostles’ feet.
Unless noted, all Scripture quotations are from the
English Standard Versionof the Holy Bible