What your pastor never told you about the Old Testament – Part 7
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…” Acts 2:42
The previous editions in this series had been centred on the Old Testament – for whom it was designed (the Jews), the Law, which was a repository of the ordinances, including the observance of the Sabbath and payment of tithes by the Israelites (Rom 3:1-2; 9:4-5; Heb 7:5; Deut 5:15). All this is history as Christ died to end the Law (Rom 10:1-4; Gal 4:4-5; Col 2:14; Heb 8:6-7).
Today, our submission will hinge on what Christians have to give and how to give. Having died to abolish the Law that contained the payment of tithes by the Jews, Jesus delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into His kingdom, the church (Col 1:13; 2:14). Hence, Christians are not to practise any literal worship structure of the Jews, except stated in the New Testament.
The Jew paid tithes, but the Christian has to “lay by him in store as God has prospered him” and give every first day of the week. In I Cor 16:2, the Scripture states: “Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” Even though it was a pool to assist the suffering Judean Christians, it became the parametre for Christian giving. Apostle Paul intended that the brethren should be systematic in their giving and that they should give from principle, and not merely under the impulse of feeling.
Christians are not governed by the law-code of Israel. Hence, the New Testament does not teach tithing as a binding law for Christians. However, what the N/T teaches is that Christians give in proportion to the income they receive (I Cor 16:2; 2 Cor 8:3, 12-14). The offering of tithes by the Israelites was regulated, but in this Christian dispensation, God desires that offerings be made willingly and joyfully, not under compulsion or grudgingly (2 Cor 8:3; 9:7). THE APOSTLES AND THE EARLY CHRISTIANS NEVER PAID TITHES OR FIRST FRUIT.
All church history testifies that the early church took up weekly collections on the first day of the week, BUT NOT PAYMENTS OF TITHES AND FIRST FRUIT. See the Letter of Pliny to the Emperor Trajan.
Christians are blessed the more for “For if there be first a willing mind…” (2 Cor 8:12; 9:8).
All Bible excerpts are from the KJV.
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