Calvary Baptist Church, Grenada, MS, USA
Holding to the truths embraced by Baptist for centuries.

Lessons On Tithes/Offerings

By E. L. Bynum

Lesson One — Abraham The Giver (Gen. 14:17-15:1)

Lesson Two — Tithes and Offerings in the O.T. (Lev. 27:26-34; Deut. 12:1-18; Mal. 3:7-12)

Lesson Three — Tithes and Offerings in the N.T.

Lesson Four — The True Test Of Giving (Matt. 25:14-30)

Lesson Five — Why Should The Christian Give? (II Cor. 8:1-15; 9:6-8; Phil. 4:10-20; Matt. 6:19-21)

Lesson # 1

ABRAHAM THE GIVER

Memory Verse: Luke 6:38 (N.W. Prov. 11:24) Lesson: Gen. 14:17-15:1

We should not expect the world to finance the Lord's work, whether through chili suppers, snack bar at the fair, car washes, cake walks, raffles, paper drives, funds drives, cookie sales, or any other means.

I. THE ONE WHO GAVE - ABRAM THE BELIEVER.

A. Abram was the typical Old Testament believer.

1. He was the father of all believers the pattern. Rom. 4:1-12

2. We are to walk in the steps of Abraham. Rom. 4:12

3. Abraham believed God and so should we. Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3, For what saith the

scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4. This was before circumcision. Rom. 4:12, And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

5. We are saved as he was saved, we are to walk as he walked.

B. We Should Remember The Law Of First Mention.

1. When a doctrine is first mentioned in the Bible, particularly in Genesis, a pattern is set that will carry all the way through the Bible.

2. For instance SIN is first mentioned in Genesis 3. That sin required a sacrifice, to satisfy the holiness of God. That sacrifice had to be a blood sacrifice. That truth prevails throughout the Bible.

3. Tithing is first mentioned in Genesis 14, and the pattern set there prevails through all the Bible.

II. ABRAHAM GAVE TITHES - HE DID NOT PAY TITHES!

A. There Is A Difference In Paying And Giving.

1. Abraham GAVE tithes. Heb. 7:2a, 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.

2. Levi PAID tithes. Heb. 7:9-10, And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

3. This was 430 years before the law. Gal. 3:17, And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

B. The Law Does Not Change The Pattern For Us.

1. The Law - Our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Gal.3:24, Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

2. We are the children of Abraham and heirs of God. Gal. 3:7, Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Gal. 3:29, And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

3. We do not pay the tithe but we give it.

III. TO WHOM DID HE GIVE THE TITHE? To Melchizedek a type of Christ. Read Heb. 7:1-21 carefully.

A. Giving Is The Highest Type Of Worship.

1. Abel's offering was a gift. Heb. 11:4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

2. Giving and calling on the name of the Lord was the only method of worship for 2,500 years.

3. The first song is not mentioned until Exodus 15.

B. His Motive Was Gratitude. Gen . 14:18-22

1. It was not to pay the expenses of the soldiers etc.

2. We give unto HIM. Ex. 35:4-5, And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass. Lev. 1:2,3,9,13,17; Heb. 13:15-16, By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Phil. 4:18, 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, well pleasing to God.

C. The Amount He Gave, "Tithes Of All".

1. Tithe means 1/10 or 10%, or one out of ten!!

2. The tithe represented ALL! -- God's portion. In tithing and in all Scriptural giving, God puts the rich and the poor on the same level of equality. II Cor. 8:12-14, 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. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 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.

IV. THE REWARD FOR GIVING THE TITHE. Gen . 15:1

A. God Made Certain Promises To Abraham.

1. God promised to be his shield of protection. v. la. This was much better than the protection of the king of Sodom.

2. God was Himself Abraham's reward. v. lb. This was much better than the reward offered by the king of Sodom. See Gen. 14:21-24

B. God Has Made Certain Promises To Us.

1. According to Phil. 4:14-18, the Church that has given rightly, may claim the promise of Phil. 4:19, Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 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. 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. 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, well pleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

2. Notice these other Bible promises. 11 Cor. 9:6, But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Mal. 3:10, 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. Prov. 3:9-10, Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Babbs, in the 'Law of the Tithe' (p. 24) quotes Monacutius as writing, "Instances are mentioned in history of some nations which did not offer sacrifices, but in the annals of all times, NONE ARE FOUND WHO DID NOT PAY TITHES".

Of course we stand on the Scriptures and not tradition, but it is interesting to know that tithing was common in all the ancient nations.

Do your giving while you're living;

Then you'll be knowing where its going!!

According to a Gallup Poll, almost half of the charitable contributions given in the United States, come from households with an income of less than $30,000 per year.

—by E. L. Bynum

 

 

Lesson #2

TITHES & OFFERINGS IN THE O. T.

Lesson: Lev . 27:26-34; Deut. 12:1-18; Mal . 3:7-12

Memory Verse: Prov. 11:24 (N.W. I Cor. 16:2)

Abraham tithed over 400 years before the law. Jacob made a vow to tithe, long before the law was given. Gen. 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. Years later the Bible indicates that the blessings of the Lord had rested upon him. Gen. 32:10, I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.

I. THE TITHE WAS MADE A PART OF THE LAW.

1. Tithing was practiced BEFORE the Law, then UNDER the Law, and then AFTER the Law.

2. All the tithe of the land to be given. Lev. 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. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 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. This would include the "seed of the land," "fruit of he tree," "herd," "flock," and "whatsoever passeth under the rod."

3. If a man wanted to keep a part of the tithe for himself, he had to give equal value, plus 20% to the Lord.

4. The Lord was not to be cheated. Lev. 27:33, He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.

II. THE APPOINTED PLACE FOR THE TITHES AND OFFERINGS.

1. God chose the "place." Deut. 12:5, 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.

2. All of the offerings to be brought there. Deut. 12:6, 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.

3. The believer was to rejoice in this. Deut. 12:7,12, 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. 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.

4. Man was not allowed to change this. Deut. 12:8, Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

5. God's place--to be faithfully accepted. Deut. 12:11-14, 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: 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. Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest: But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.

6. The "place" is mentioned 27 times in Deut.

7. New Testament believers surely have a "place." That "place" is the Church. Just as God said that Israel was to bring their offerings to the appointed place, even so we are to obey the Lord in bringing our tithes and offerings to the "place."

III. UNDER THE LAW THEY GAVE MUCH MORE THAN THE TITHE!

Many seem to think that the Law required the Israelite to bring only a tithe. They had much more than the tithe to bring. There were at least 7 offerings. See Deut. 12:6,11. 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. 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.

1. Burnt Offerings--This was the daily burnt offering on the brazen altar, where the fire was never allowed to go out.

2. Sacrifices--Sacrifice offerings.

3. Tithe--1/10 or 10% of all income.

4. Heave Offerings--At least 10% of the tithe "of all the best thereof." Num. 18:26-32, 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

5. Vow Offerings--Anything they vowed to give to the Lord.

6. Freewill Offerings--For building the Tabernacle or any other project endorsed by the Lord. Ex. 25:1-9

7. First Fruits Offering--

a. Abel brought a "firstlings of the flock." Gen. 4:4, And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering.

b. All the first born of man and animals and the firstfruits of the harvest. Ex. 13:11-12, And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD'S.

c. All of the firstborn belonged to the Lord. The firstborn of the unclean animal had to be redeemed by estimating its worth and adding 20% to it. The firstborn of an ass had to be redeemed (bought back) with a lamb or its neck had to be broken. Ex. 13:13, And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem. So you see UNDER LAW much more than the tithe was required.

IV. THERE WAS A PENALTY FOR DISOBEDIENCE. Mal. 3:7-12

1. They had robbed God of "tithes and offerings."

2. They were cursed with a curse.

3. They found out the windows of heaven closed. Mal. 3:10, 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.

4. Their crops became unfruitful. v. 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.

5. They lost the respect of the nations. v. 12, And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

6. They experienced physical and spiritual poverty. Prov. 11:24, There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

7. They lost the approval and the blessings of God.

V. THERE WERE BLESSINGS PROMISED FOR OBEDIENCE. Mal.3:10-12

1. The windows of heaven would be opened. v.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.

2. Blessings of such quantity to be poured out that there would not be room enough to receive. v. 10

3. The devourer of their crops and possessions to be rebuked. v. 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.

4. The fruit was not to prematurely fall off. v. 11

5. All nations to call them blessed. v. 12, And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. 6. Theirs would be a delightsome land. v. 12

7. God would return unto them. v. 7, 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?

What bountiful blessings the Lord promised them. God still blesses His people when they give scripturally. Surely God has not changed, and His promises are just as good today as they ever were! Let us claim the promises of God!!!

—by E. L. Bynum

The Sevenfold Blessing of the Tithe

1. It blesses the heart by making it receptive to God's will.

2. It blesses the life by lifting it to a higher plane of grace.

3. It blesses the hands by making them willing to do God's work.

4. It blesses the mind by giving it the satisfaction of doing the right thing.

5. It blesses the nine-tenths that remains because God has been honored.

6. It blesses the individual by giving him a part in God's worldwide program of work.

7. It blesses the church by enabling it to carry out a greater ministry.

 

 

Lesson #3

TITHES & OFFERINGS IN THE N. T.

Memory Verse: I Cor. 16:2 (N.W. II Cor. 9:6)

I. THE DOCTRINE OF GIVING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

A. Jesus Commended the Tithe.

Matt. 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.

1. The Pharisees payed a tithe out of their garden.

a. This was getting down to the little things, but Jesus said this was right. He did condemn them for omitting even weightier matters.

b. They even tithed of their spices which they raised. "Mint was grown for its pleasant odour; anise, or dill and cummin, for their aromatic flavor. These were cultivated, not for food, but for scents and relishes; and only a small quantity of each would be grown in a private garden for the use of a household." Fraser

2. Jesus was a tither. He kept the law and tithing was a part of that law. The Pharisees and others sought to find Him in violation of the law, but they never accused Him of not tithing.

B. Paul Correctly Taught The Churches.

1. His teaching on the support of pastors and missionaries.

a. The Old Testament priests were supported by tithes and offerings. Num. 18:19-21, All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee. And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel. 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. I Cor.9:13, 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?

b. The New Testament preacher to live this way. I Cor. 9:14, Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. Since the various flesh offerings that the priest could eat of were all done away with through the sacrifice of Christ, then the N.T. preacher would have to live from the tithes and freewill offerings.

2. Paul's appeals for offerings were addressed to Churches and not to individuals. II Cor. 8:1-7; 9:1-7. Compare with II Cor. 1:1. Individuals would give, but it was through their Church that they gave.

3. Tithing was practiced by New Testament Christians. Heb.7:8, And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

4. Paul endorsed proportionate giving. I Cor. 16:2, 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.

a. Give periodically "Upon the first day of the week."

b. Give personally "every one of you."

c. Give in the proper place "lay by him in store." The storehouse is the Church where God's people gather on the first day of the week. Note in v. 1 that this is an order to the Church.

d. Give providentially "as God hath prospered." Prosperity comes from God.

e. Give proportionately "as God hath prospered." Give in proportion to your income.

f. Give preventively "that there be no gatherings when I come." It is better to give each week than to wait for the "gatherings."

II. THE EXAMPLES OF GIVING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

A. The Lord Observes Our Giving. Mark 12:41-44

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 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.

1. The Lord knows how much we give.

2. In the eyes of the Lord, the size of our gift is not determined by the amount we give, but how much we have left when we have given. The widow gave all.

3. The "mite" was about 1/5 of a cent.

4. This shows us that the poor should give also.

B. Some New Testament Saints Gave Sacrificially

1. Some New Testament believers gave all. Acts 4:32-37, And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 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.

a. They brought it to the Church and laid it at the Apostles feet.

b. This was not communism for they volunteered to give their all, while Communism demands that we give all.

c. While we are not commanded to give all, when we have given ourselves, we are ready to give whatever the Lord would have us give.

2. The Macedonian saints lived in deep poverty, yet they gave liberally. II Cor. 8:1-5, Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 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.

C. Dishonesty In Giving Is Dangerous. Acts 5:1-11

1. This couple joined with others in a freewill offering.

2. This couple vowed one thing, and then lied and cheated.

3. They had lied to the Holy Ghost and not to men.

4. The judged them for their sin.

Illustrations:

The greatest surprise of Mary's life was receiving a dollar on her fourth birthday. She carried the bill about the house and was seen sitting on the stairs admiring it. "What are you going to do with your dollar?" her mother asked. "Take it to Sunday School," said Mary promptly. "To show your teacher?" Mary shook her head. "No," she said. "I'm going to give it to God. He'll be as surprised as I am to get something besides pennies." Copied

If every church member in the United States were to suddenly lose his/her job and went on welfare, and yet were willing to tithe from the minimal amount received from public assistance, giving in the nation's churches would immediately increase over 30%! Copied

—by E. L. Bynum

 

 

LESSON #4

THE TRUE TEST OF GIVING

Memory Verse: II Cor. 9:6 (N.W. 9:7) Lesson: Matt. 25:14-30

Also study: Luke 16:1-17; 19:11-27. The true test of giving will be made at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Then all of our works shall be tried by fire, as is described in I Cor. 3:8-15. Certainly no one can deny that giving is not a part of the works of the believer. The story of the ten virgins (v. 1- 13) reminds us that we watch. The story of the talents reminds us that we are to work.

Many people, and some of these are Church members, believe that money should seldom be mentioned at Church. They feel that the Bible does not say much about giving. From the above references, and many others could have been given, we find that our Saviour taught a great deal on money and our stewardship of it. He makes it clear that we shall give an account of what we did with the money that was placed in our hands.

In the lesson today, the "man traveling into a far country," is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and the servants are professing Christians.

I. GOD PLACES CERTAIN THINGS INTO OUR CARE. v. 14-15

1. He places TIME in our hands. Time is a gift from God and it is very valuable. We shall give account of our time.

2. God places TALENT and opportunity in our hands. Originally talent was a balance, then it came to mean a talent in weight, and later on it meant a certain sum of money in silver and/or gold. Our English word has come to mean a gift or ability.

3. He places TITHES and money and material things in our hands This is clear from our lesson and other passages of Scripture. This passage of Scripture is definitely talking about money.

II. HE WILL REQUIRE US TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF OUR STEWARDSHIP. v. 16-30

A. The Amount Intrusted To The Stewards.

1. One Bible scholar tells us that one talent equaled wages for 20 years.

2. A talent of silver weighed 100 pounds in Israel. While a talent of gold weighed 200 pounds.

3. Regardless of the exact amount, we are talking about a tremendous amount of money.

4. We may wisely use what God lets us have. v. 16-17

5. We may unwisely use what God lets us have. v. 18

6. One thing that God requires is that we be found faithful. I Cor. 4:1-2, Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

7. We will be judged according to the amount of money we receive. Luke 12:48, ...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

8. This stewardship not only covers the tithe, but the other 90% also. (A steward primarily denoted the manager of a household or estate, but he was always required to answer to the owner. In the Bible we learn that the Lord has made his servants stewards who must answer to Him.)

9. This stewardship covers our talent and everything else that God has placed in our hand.

10. No steward of the Lord lacks opportunity...the Lord furnishes the opportunity and everything that goes with it.

B. The Accountability Required of The Stewards.

1. All Christians have received some money and material things from the Lord. v. 14-15. Notice that not all receive the same amount, but it is, "according to his several ability."

2. Some Christians make good use of the money God has given them. v. 16-17

3. Some Christians make bad use of the money God has given them. v. 18

4. All Christians must give an account to God as to how they have used their money. v. 19

5. Some Christians will receive an abundant reward for the good use of the money God has given them. v. 20-23

6. Some will face serious judgment because of their unwise use of money. v. 24-27

7. Some Christians will lose all rewards because of their failure in the use of money and opportunities. v. 28-29. I Cor. 3:15, If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (Study I Cor. 3:9-15).

8. Some professing Christians who do not use their money and opportunities wisely may not be saved at all. v. 30

III. WE SHOULD CONSIDER OURSELVES ON AN EXPENSE ACCOUNT.

1. We possess things but we do not own them. They pass from one generation to another, but they really belong to God.

a. Psa. 24:1, The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. I Cor. 10:26, For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.

b. Hag. 2:8, The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.

c. Property is not an earthly treasure, but a heavenly trust.

d. We are tenants and share croppers, the Lord is the owner.

2. Much money is spent unnecessarily. Someone has said, "we spend money we don't have, to buy things we don't need, to impress people we don't like."

3. Much talent, time, and material possessions are used foolishly.

4. Misusing these, is to be found guilty of misappropriation of a heavenly trust fund, when we stand before the Lord at the judgement seat of Christ.

5. The rich man made the mistake of saying, "my barns", "my fruits," "my goods." Luke 12:16-21, And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Money is called filthy lucre. It is not the money itself that is filthy, but the actions of many in order to gain it. I Tim. 3:3, ...Not greedy of filthy lucre....

Someone has written:

Dug from the mountainside, washed from the glen,
Servant am I or the master of men;
Steal me I curse you, earn me I bless you;
Grasp me and hoard me, a fiend shall possess you;
Live for me, die for me; covet me, take me;
Angel or Devil, I am what you make me.

Excuses For Not Tithing

In January because of Christmas bills due.
In March because of income taxes.
In April because of clothes for Easter.
In May because too much rain threatens the crops.
In June because too little rain threatens the crops.
In July because of vacation expenses coming up.
In August because of vacation expenses to be paid.
In September because of the children's school needs.
In October because of winter clothes and doctor bills.
In November because of the Thanksgiving trip.
In December because of the Christmas shopping.

—by E. L. Bynum

LESSON #5

WHY SHOULD THE CHRISTIAN GIVE?

Lesson: 11 Cor. 8:1-15; 11 Cor. 9:6-8; Phil. 4:10-20; Matt. 6:19-21

Memory Verse: II Cor. 9:7

I. WE SHOULD GIVE BECAUSE OF THE LOVE OF GOD!

A. The Descent Of Love.

1. "God so loved...." John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

2. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us...." I John 3:1,

3. "For love is of God...." I John 4:7

4. "God is love." I John 4:8

5. "Beloved if God so loved us ...." I John 4:11

B. The Ascent Of Love.

1. "We love him, because He first loved us." I John 4:19

2. Man cannot love God until he first knows the love of God to himself. After he has realized God's love and has received God's love, then he is capable of loving God. He is then capable of loving his fellow man.

3. The unsaved never know the meaning of true love. I Cor. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

C. Love Is The Great Actuator For All Christian Service.

John 14:15, If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:23-24, Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

1. Love causes a man to work long hours to support his family. Love causes a mother to do the house work and spend long hours of labor for her family.

2. Love will motivate a Christian to work and give for the Lord's work. Lack of love, causes the very opposite.

3. Love will cause people to "first" give "their own selves to the Lord...." II Cor. 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. Love will cause us to give with "a willing mind" and be a "cheerful giver." II Cor. 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. II Cor. 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.

5. Love will cause us to abound in the grace of giving. II Cor. 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. By giving we can prove the sincerity of our love. II Cor. 8:8, I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.

II. WE SHOULD GIVE BECAUSE GOD COMMAND IT.

A. We Have A Command From Our Saviour.

Matt. 28:18-20, And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

1. This command is four-fold. We are to "go," "teach," "baptize," and "teach them to observe all things."

2. The financing of this endeavor is to be done by tithes and offerings.

B. As Ambassadors And Servants, We are At His Command.

II Cor. 5:20, Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. Rom. 12:1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

1. As an ambassador, we are subject to His orders.

2. As servants, we are to be under His control.

C. This Is God's Plan For The Financing Of Missions.

Chapters 8 and 9 of II Corinthians constitute important teaching on the financing of missions. In reality Paul has urged that these people give a FAITH OFFERING for the purpose of missions. Although his message was addressed to churches (II Cor. 1:1; 8:1), it is evident that he expected every member to get personally involved with offerings.

1. The offerings were to be brought to the church. I Cor. 16:2, 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.

2. Each member was to get personally involved. I Cor. 16:2

3. They were to give systematically to this mission offering. I Cor. 16:2. The first day of each week. (People give or pay systematically, house payments, car payments, and then some balk at giving to missions in a systematic way).

4. The Macedonian churches, though poor, gave out of their deep poverty in a liberal manner. This could only be done by faith. II Cor. 8:2-3, How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves.

5. Yet, the actual amount that a person gave for missions was a matter between him and the Lord. II Cor. 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.

D. As Children Of God We Should Give Because Of Our Love For Lost Souls.

1. As the SON He was sent into the world for sinners. John 3:16

2. As sons of God we to have been sent. John 17:18, As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

E. As Wise Servants We Should Labor And Give Because Of Literal And Eternal Rewards.

1. Many earthly rewards are promised to those who are faithful in their giving. Mal. 3:10-12, 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. 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. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. 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. Prov. 3:9-10, Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy                                                                                                                 presses shall burst out with new wine.

2. Many heavenly rewards are promised to those who are faithful in their giving. Phil. 4:17, 19, Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Matt. 6:19-21, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

—by E. L. Bynum

Used with permission