Principles of New Testament Giving
I. How do we determine the rules for giving or tithing?
A. Dispensation (oikonomos)- is translated economy, stewardship, house rule or stewardship and it is used 29 times in the NT. (Eph. 1:10, 3:2, 9)
B. There are seven dispensational periods in history. (Where we are determines our rule)
- Innocence (Adam before sin)
- Conscience (After Adam’s sin before the Law)
- Law (Moses to New Covenant)
- Grace (Church Age)
- Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th week [Dan. 9:24], 7 years)
- Millennium (Christ’s rule on earth)
- Eternal State (After 1,000 reign to infinity)
C. Paul’s Principles for Giving (Church Age)
- The Phil. Church’s relationship with God and its desire to please Him was seen in their giving to the Saints. (Phil. 4:10-16; II Cor. 8:4-5).
- Christians gave not because of command, but “of their own accord.” (II Cor. 8:3).
- Christians sacrificed personal wants and needs to help meet the needs of others. (II Cor. 8:2, 3).
- Their giving is called “…a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.” (Phil. 4:18).
- Their sacrifices would be rewarded by their needs being met and by increased rewards in Heaven. (Phil. 4:17b, 19).
II. How much should we give?
A. Each one should give what he or she has “purposed in their heart.” (2 Cor. 9:7)
B. Each should give their best out of what they have. (Luke 21:1-4; 2 Cor. 8:12)
C. Each should give their first fruits. While not a command, it is a principle that is found in previous dispensations (Gen. 4, Ex. 13:11)
III. When should we give?
A. Paul instructed the Corinthian church to take up a collection on Sundays.
Collecting monies on this day was probably based upon all the saints being in one area at one time. These monies were to be distributed to the needy Saints in Jerusalem. (Acts 11:27-30; Rom. 15:25-27)
B. Whenever there is a recognizable need. (Phil. 4:15-16; James 2:14-16)
C. When it benefits the spreading of the gospel or ministry.
IV. Where should we give?
A. The local church. (Acts 4:32-37).
B. To aged parents and grandparents. (1 Tim. 5:4).
C. To Missionaries. (Phil. 4:10-20).
D. To teaching Elders (Pastor/Teacher). (1 Cor. 9:14; I Tim. 5:17, 18).
E. To our needy family members and neighbors in society. (Luke 10:25-37; Gal. 6:10; 1 Tim. 5:8)
Points to Ponder
1. Giving is an act of worship between you and God. Keep in mind that what you give is a direct reflection of how you view Him.
2. Pledges are an acceptable wisdom practice for helping to determine a budget. A Church can not count the ministry cost if it lacks information regarding projected monies that it will receive.
3. Give eagerly and willingly. The Lord loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). Remember, what you do now with your monetary resources will echo in eternity.
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