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General Notes on the Tithe

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

1. Tithing may be defined as the practice of giving a tenth of one's income or property as an
offering to God.

2. The custom of paying a tithe was an ancient practice found among many nations of the
ancient world.

3. The practice of giving a tenth of income or property extends into Hebrew history before the
time of the Mosaic Law.

4. The first recorded instance of tithing in the Bible occurs in Genesis 14.

 Genesis 14:17-20 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the
slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh,
which is the king's dale. 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and
wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said,
Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed
be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him
tithes of all.

5. After returning from rescuing Lot and defeating his enemies, Abraham met Melchizedek, the
"king of Salem" and "priest of God Most High."

6. The text states simply that Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe of all the goods he had
obtained in battle.

7. The author of the Book of Hebrews, in recounting this episode, considered the Levitical
priests who descended from Abraham and who appeared centuries later as having paid tithes
to Melchizedek through Abraham.

 Hebrews 7:1-10 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who
met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 To whom also
Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and
after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 Without father, without mother,
without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the
Son of God; abideth a priest continually. 4 Now consider how great this man was, unto
whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 5 And verily they that are
of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take
tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out
of the loins of Abraham: 6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes
of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 7 And without all contradiction the
less is blessed of the better. 8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth
them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who
receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 10 For he was yet in the loins of his father,
when Melchisedec met him.

8. There is no recorded demand of Abraham for a tenth. Neither is an explanation given about
why Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek.

9. Jacob also, long before the Law of Moses, promised that he would give to the Lord a tenth of
all he received.

 Genesis 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of
all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

10. The Law of Moses prescribed tithing in some detail. Lev 27:30-32 stated that the tithe of the
land would include the seed of the land and the fruit of the tree.

 Leviticus 27:30-32 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the
fruit of the tree, is the LORD's: it is holy unto the LORD. 31 And if a man will at all
redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 32 And concerning
the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth
shall be holy unto the LORD.

11. In addition the Hebrew people were required to set apart every tenth animal of their herds
and flocks to the Lord.

12. Mosaic legislation on tithing is also found in two other passages. Num 18:21-32 stated that
the tithes in Israel would be given to the Levites, because the Levites did not receive a land
inheritance like the other tribes of Israel.

 Numbers 18:21-32 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel
for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of
the congregation. 22 Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the
tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. 23 But the Levites shall do the
service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall
be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they
have no inheritance.

The Levites, in turn, were to offer a heave offering to the Lord. This would constitute a tithe
on their part of the goods which they received.

 24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the
LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the
children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 25 And the LORD spake unto Moses,
saying, 26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children
of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall
offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe. 27 And this
your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the
threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress. 28 Thus ye also shall offer an heave
offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and
ye shall give thereof the LORD's heave offering to Aaron the priest. 29 Out of all your
gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the
hallowed part thereof out of it.

The rest of the goods which the Levites received would provide their living as the reward for
their work in the tabernacle.

 30 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then
it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the
increase of the winepress. 31 And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households:
for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation. 32 And ye
shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall
ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.

13. The third passage dealing with the tithe is Deut 12:5-7,11-12,17-18.

 Deuteronomy 12:5-7 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of
all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither
thou shalt come: 6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices,
and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill
offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: 7 And there ye shall eat
before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and
your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.

 Deuteronomy 12:11-12 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall
choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you;
your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your
hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD: 12 And ye shall rejoice
before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your
menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch
as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.

 Deuteronomy 12:17-18 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of
thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows
which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand: 18 But
thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall
choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant,
and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in
all that thou puttest thine hands unto.

This passage instructed Israel to take their tithes to the place the Lord prescribes, or the city
of Jerusalem.

In Deuteronomy, only a vegetable tithe is mentioned.


In 2 Chron 31:6, however, the tithe of cattle is mentioned.

 2 Chronicles 31:6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the
cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy
things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.

14. In Deut 26:12-15 the third year is called the year of tithing. This may indicate that the tithes
were not collected annually (however, cf. Deut. 14:22).

 Deuteronomy 26:12-15 When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine
increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the
stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;
13 Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed
things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the
stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which
thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I
forgotten them: 14 I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away
ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have
hearkened to the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that thou
hast commanded me. 15 Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy
people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a
land that floweth with milk and honey.

15. Apparently in this year only the goods which were given as tithes could be offered and stored
locally. The offering of the tithe also took the form of a ritual meal (Deut 12:7,12).

 Deuteronomy 12:7 And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall
rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy
God hath blessed thee….12 And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your
sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite
that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.

16. Some Bible scholars have suggested that there were three tithes, but this seems unlikely.

17. There is no mention of a tithe in Ezekiel but only the giving of the first fruits.

 Ezekiel 44:29-30 They shall eat the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass
offering; and every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs. 30 And the first of all the
firstfruits of all things, and every oblation of all, of every sort of your oblations, shall be
the priest's: ye shall also give unto the priest the first of your dough, that he may cause
the blessing to rest in thine house.

18. The prophet Malachi indicated that Israel had robbed God in withholding tithes and
offerings. Thus the Israelites were exhorted to bring their tithes into the storehouse in order to
enjoy the Lord's blessing (Mal 3:8-12).
 Malachi 3:8-12 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have
we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed
me, even this whole nation. 10 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. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall
not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time
in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye
shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

19. In the Old Testament the purpose of the giving of a tenth was to

meet the material need of the Levite,


the stranger,
the fatherless (the orphan),
and the widow.

 Deuteronomy 26:12-13 When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine
increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the
stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;
13 Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed
things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the
stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which
thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I
forgotten them:

20. The tithe was an expression of gratitude to God by His people. Basic to tithing was the
acknowledgment of God's ownership of everything in the earth.

21. In the New Testament the words tithe and tithing appear only eight times in seven verses.

 Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint
and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment,
mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

 Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of
herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not
to leave the other undone.

 Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

 Hebrews 7:5-6 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the
priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is,
of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: 6 But he whose descent
is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the
promises.
 Hebrews 7:8-9 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom
it is witnessed that he liveth. 9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed
tithes in Abraham.

22. All of these passages refer to Old Testament usage and to current Jewish practice.

23. Nowhere does the New Testament expressly command Christians to tithe.

24. However, as believers we are to be generous in sharing our material possessions with the
poor and for the support of Christian ministry.

25. Christ Himself is our model in giving. Giving is to be

voluntary,
willing,
cheerful,
and given in the light of our accountability to God.

26. Giving should be systematic and by no means limited to a tithe of our incomes.

 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order
to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of
you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I
come. 3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send
to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

27. We recognize that all we have is from God. We are called to be faithful stewards of all our
possessions (Rom 14:12; 1 Cor 9:3-14).

 Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

 1 Corinthians 9:3-14 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, 4 Have we not
power to eat and to drink? 5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as
other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or I only and Barnabas,
have not we power to forbear working? 7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own
charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a
flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not
the law the same also? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the
mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10 Or saith he it
altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth
should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your
carnal things? 12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather?
Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the
gospel of Christ. 13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the
things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14
Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the
gospel.
Doctrine of the Tithe

1. The tithe was the divinely appointed means of supporting the work of the ministry under the
Old Testament economy.

2. The tithe, which was considered to be sacred. It could take the form of money, the actual
produce of the land, or the animals.

 Leviticus 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the
fruit of the tree, is the LORD's: it is holy unto the LORD.

 Leviticus 27:32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever
passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.

3. When the tithe was collected there was to be a heave offering made. In this manner the
spiritual dimension of the tithe was remembered and to Whom the tithe was to be given.

 Numbers 18:26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the
children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then
ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.

4. Once the tithe was set aside, if it took the form of corn, wine, oil, or animal, it was not to be
retaken and consumed in a personal and private manner.

 Deuteronomy 12:17 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy
wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which
thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand.

5. Year by year what the land produced was to be tithed.

 Deuteronomy 14:22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field
bringeth forth year by year.

6. The tithe was to be consumed in public and before the Lord to indicate the corporate nature
of worship and the personal presence of the Lord.

 Deuteronomy 14:23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he
shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil,
and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD
thy God always.

7. The third year is declared to be the year of the tithe, which might indicate the tithe, was
collected annually.

 Deuteronomy 14:28 At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine
increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:
8. Righteousness, gospel repentance, gratitude, and spiritual renewal is accompanied with
giving.

 2 Chronicles 31:5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel
brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the
increase of the fields; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.

 2 Chronicles 31:6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the
cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy
things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.

 Nehemiah 13:12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the
oil unto the treasuries.

9. The Levites were ultimate responsible for collecting the tithe and seeing the tithe was
handled in a proper manner.

 Nehemiah 10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the
Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of
our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

10. There is a way for the tithe to become corrupted and that is when the heart of men forget to
whom the resources belong. Then greed replaces a gracious response of gratitude of the
heart. Jesus denounced the religious leaders of His day because they forgot what they were
really suppose to do—teach the law.

 Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint
and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment,
mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

 Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of
herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not
to leave the other undone.

11. God did condemn Israel when they forget to be grateful and commanded them to return to
Him what He commanded.

 Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we
robbed thee? In tithes and offerings…10 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.

12. It was possible for the tithe to become a point of pride.

 Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Twenty-four New Testament Principles of Giving
Based upon the Concept of Grace

2 Corinthians 8 – 9

1. Christians have a tremendous privilege to give to the work of the ministry.

 2 Corinthians 8:1-2 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed
on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of
their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

2. Giving is to be according to grace and apart from coercion.

 2 Corinthians 8:3-4 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they
were willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the
gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

3. Before giving of money the heart should be given to God.

 2 Corinthians 8:5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to
the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

4. Gracious giving encourages others.

 2 Corinthians 8:6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also
finish in you the same grace also.

5. One area of Christian grace enhances another.

 2 Corinthians 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and
knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace
also.

6. The giving of financial resources is a great indication of the true status of the heart.

 2 Corinthians 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of


others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.

7. Christ has set the best example of giving.

 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was
rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
8. Grace giving is planned as well as spontaneous. There is a settled commitment to take giving
a part of one’s Christian ethics.
 2 Corinthians 8:10-11 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who
have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11 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.

9. Giving is to be based upon financial reality. In the Old Testament economy giving was a
fixed portion of one’s income. In the New Testament the principle is not as rigid.

 2 Corinthians 8:12 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.

10. God’s people are not to exploit one another.

 2 Corinthians 8:13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:

11. God and God’s people will honor and remember those who honor and remember others in
time of need. (8:14)

12. The New Testament saints are not to be overshadowed by the Old Testament believers.
(8:15)

 2 Corinthians 8:15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he
that had gathered little had no lack.

13. The guidelines for grace giving are reasonable being rooted in love and concern. (8:16–17)

 2 Corinthians 8:16-17 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the
heart of Titus for you. 17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more
forward, of his own accord he went unto you.

14. All moneys given to the work of the Lord should be accounted for. (8:18-20)

 2 Corinthians 8:18-20 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the
gospel throughout all the churches; 19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the
churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the
same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind: 20 Avoiding this, that no man should
blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:

15. Christians should be concerned what God and man says about their financial dealings.

 2 Corinthians 8:21-24 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but
also in the sight of men. 22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have
oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great
confidence which I have in you. 23 Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and
fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of
the churches, and the glory of Christ. 24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the
churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

16. Excessive pleas for money is beneath the dignity of the Christian minister and is a poor
reflection of faith and trust in God’s people to do right in this area.

 2 Corinthians 9:1-2 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me
to write to you: 2 For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to
them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very
many.

17. God does hold His people accountable for what they do with the resources entrusted to them.
While Paul commends the Christians at Corinth he also holds them accountable.

 2 Corinthians 9:3 Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain
in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:

18. There is shame when God’s people give large sums of money to matters that do not promote
the kingdom of God and the salvation of souls.

 2 Corinthians 9:4-5 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you
unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.
5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto
you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same
might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

19. There is a spiritual principle of sowing and reaping.

 2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly;
and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

20. The spirit in which money is given to the work of the ministry is just as important as how
much is given.

 2 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.

21. Those who put the interest of God’s work first will not lack funds.

 2 Corinthians 9:8-10 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: 9 (As it is
written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness
remaineth for ever. 10 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;)
22. One reason why God gives us resources is so that we can give to others.

 2 Corinthians 9:11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth
through us thanksgiving to God.

23. Grace elicits a spirit of thanksgiving to God and appreciation.

 2 Corinthians 9:12-13 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want
of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; 13 Whiles by the
experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the
gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;

24. Grace giving enduces prayer.

 2 Corinthians 9:14-15 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the
exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Conclusion. Let these principles of grace giving prevail in the church and there will never be a
lack of resources for God’s work.
A Question of Concern

By reviewing the Biblical material on tithing according to the Old Testament economy
and grace giving in the New Testament economy a question of concern can be addressed. The
question arises as to how the work of the ministry is to be funded by those associated with
Sovereign Grace Baptist Church. At the moment there does not seem to the pastor to be a general
consensus among the members or a consist policy articulated or practiced. Perhaps that can
change and essential unity found.

Tithes and offering. One possible concept to adopt by the assembly is to say that only
the tithes and offerings of Gods people shall support the work of Sovereign Grace Baptist
Church.

 While this concept certainly sounds very spiritual the practical implications are hard
to define and impossible to implement.

 There is also the theological problem of placing God’s people in the New Covenant
back under the civil and social mandates of the Mosaic Law, which have been set
aside in Christ.

 And there is something else. The concept of SGBC being supported solely on the
tithes and offerings of its members would be a radical departure from what has been
practiced from the first.

The truth is that SGBC has accepted money from its initial purchase of the building
for the operation of a day care – not to mention that monies have also been collected
for the operation of a mini laundry mat by having a washer and dryer for the day care
workers.

While the day care can conceptionally be considered to be a form of ministry to the
community from the Churches point of view it is a business for profit from the
viewpoint of those who run the actual program. Therefore the rent monies paid to the
Church cannot be considered tithe money or even a spiritual offering.

I am convinced that in all of this no New Testament principle or practice is violated


as far as I can tell.

If the Church wants to adopt a policy of operating only on the basis of tithes and
offerings then I would argue that no more monies should ever be accepted from the
day care, no more charges be should be made for the use of the washer and dryer, and
no more “donations” should be accepted for meals offered to the public. Moreover,
the church should be very careful not to support fundraisers by other organization
who appeal to us to buy flowers, candies, etc when we come together as the church on
Sundays, Wednesdays etc. Nor should we allow guests to offer their records and
books.
The gifts of God’s people. The most biblical way for the ministry of SGBC to be
supported is to teach the principles of grace and let people give. For the most part this is being
done.

What about alternative sources of income? The greatest area of concern seems to be
whether or not in the name of SGBC revenues might be generated through church sponsored
yard sales, bake sales, and fundraisers. The word “fund raisers” seems to be a particularly
odious word with emotional overtones so we shall try to avoid using that precise language.

Now, if we as a congregation say that we as SGBC do not want to engage in raising


money specifically by having yard sales, bake sales etc because it is a preference not to do so,
that is logical. There are many things we might prefer not to do to raise money such as having a
dunking tank or having a bingo night etc.

However, to argue that the congregation cannot have a yard sale or a bake sale because
such activities are innately wrong and violate a scripture principle, well that is where the
frustration and confusion begins to arise.

In principle how can a day care for profit and a mini laundry mat for profit be justified
while other forms of raising money be condemned? Suddenly, the argument against alternative
forms of revenue take on a sense of being illogical. The result is tension and resentment because
what is condemned is condoned; what is condoned is condemned.

There is a solution to this concern and it does not need to be dramatic or traumatic. The
solution is this.

1. Let us agree in principle there is nothing wrong with God’s people generating
revenue for the work of the ministry individually or corporately as long as not
biblical code of conduct is violated. We find the pattern in the early church. People
did not just give “tithes and offerings” in some narrow sense.

One individual had a yard sale (literally).

 Acts 4:37 [Barnabas] Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at
the apostles' feet.

Others Christians just sold what they had and gave the money to ministry.

 Acts 4:34-35 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, 35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made
unto every man according as he had need.
It was the people of God as the Church of Jerusalem that agreed to do this.

Would it be wrong to think the saints might even have told one another what they
were going to do?

Would it be wrong to suspect the saints might even have encouraged each other in
the selling and sharing of what they had?

It does seem that the end result of this activity was that a spirit of love and
appreciation and UNITY was created in them. No one opposed this activity as far as
the Scripture narrative records. At least no one in the church and certainly not the
apostles. The money was received and put to good use.

Therefore, let us agree in principle that the practice of selling and sharing as the
church is not wrong. If we prefer not to do something that is fine, but there is no evil
in principle in wanting to do something together for the glory of God and the good of
others.

Let me confess gently but firmly that as a pastor I have been deeply grieved by
the anger and hostility that has been expressed over selling bread sandwiches to rich
and well fed Americans out of a desire to get to poor people to give them the Bread of
Life.

Surely the Spirit of God must be grieved as such misplaced passion. And the work
of the ministry threatens to be arrested to that extent.

It is wrong to imply that which is good is somehow evil.

2. Let us agree that care will be and should be taken as to what is done in the name
of Christ corporately. But if it is not wrong in the name of Christ to operate a
laundry mat officially and a day care how can it be wrong to have in the name of the
church a yard sale or even a bake sale? If the apostolic church could come together
and work to raise money why not the church in the 21st century?

3. Let us agree to follow apostolic and pastoral leadership in overseeing what will
and will not be done in this area based on biblical precedents.

4. Let us agree that no one will ever be pressured to participate in any activity the
church offers.

5. Let us agree to be more consistent. Amen.


Non Board Decisions

 The placing of a fence with federal funds around the churchyard


 The operating of a mini laundry mat
 The taking of a “donation” for a public meal

Under currents
 The decision that an official “watch guard” was needed to oversee the Ladies of Grace