x534.....2 Corinthians 9--all about giving in the NT

 

1 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.
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:
4 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.
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
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.
8 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;)
11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
12 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;
14 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.
(2 Corinthians 9:1-15, KJV).


This chapter of the Bible is directed toward a new covenant church--and commending them for their giving. It is important to note that there is NO TITHE. The giving in the new covenant church was 100% Spirit-lead. It was the leading of the heart of everyone that was supporting all the church. Another important point to understand is that the church consisted of people--operating on a common level (see Acts chapter 2 and 4)--ministry was NOT authority over others--rather the definition of ministry was the simple gifts of service which were being done according to the purposes of Christ--spreading the Gospel--praying for the sick--bringing deliverance to those in need--feeding the poor (specifically the poor within the church) and releasing one another "apostolically" to freely serve God.

6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
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.

Notice what these verses (often quoted to build the church building fund and demand tithing!) are truly saying. Giving certainly is necessary in God's kingdom and in His church--of this there is no doubt. Our giving and our prosperity are tied together hand in hand--and of course this means that we ought to give in order to receive--and will in fact receive according to our own sowing. However--look carefully at what is being said--what is the correct way to give related here--does the Bible say--

"According to the law of the tithe, so let him give;...."?????

NO of course not. There is no new covenant tithe. The giving, like everything else, was lead of the Holy Spirit--the Spirit within a person was to decide where and what and how to give--

"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give;"

The law of the tithe was made obsolete by the blood sacrifice of Christ at the cross. The tithe of the old covenant was a necessity--it was needed--it had a specific purpose--it was the offering for sin. But Christ made the one time offering for all sin for all people--forever-- amen. Therefore there was no more need for an offering...

"Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin." (Hebrews 10:18, KJV).

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.

Notice that in the new covenant there is no more necessity of giving as there was in the old covenant. There was no more specific sin-forgiving offering needed--yet of course, giving was important--and still is for Christians today.


But the questions are--how should we give?--and to whom should we give?

The tithe of the old covenant was to the Levites (a priesthood which is specifically done away with in the new covenant)--who were the delegated designated "authority" which had the exclusive right to do ministry within the temple in Israel. The new covenant makes specific changes in all these points. There is no more Levites--authority is not to be exercised one over another amongst ourselves (see Luke 22:25-29)--all believers are now made the temple of the Holy Spirit (therefore no more need to build and operate a physical temple to house God--God dwells in the heart of every believer--the "house of God" in the new covenant was the home of every Christian--and wherever 2 or 3 gathered together in Christ's name).

There was no tithe since there was no longer the need for sin offering--no more levitcal priesthood to support (with all it's continual and necesary rites and offerings)--and no more physical temple to be built.

Tradition tells us that we need to operate and support something that is similar to the old covenant temple--and a "priesthood"--an "official" minister of that temple as well as operate that temple on a sabbath day. These traditions--if we will study history--come to us from the decisions of Roman emperors, dark ages catholic popes and protestant kings---all rulers who exercised absolute authority over the Christian people of their day and age. Hundreds of years of these traditions have defined the "established" church and set up incredibly powerful tradition--which makes us ignorant of the Bible in these areas. Powerful spiritual strongholds are firmly in place in these areas--so much so that no one dares question the "pastor's authority" or the fixed chuch "format" which we all seem to gravitate toward--or the "holy day of obligation" which we all celebrate every Sunday. The plain fact is, in all these areas, we are very disobedient to the new covenant commands and the example set by Christ Himself and the church of the Bible. The fact is, that these things stand in the way of ministry operating freely--as a gift which every one of us has and needs to use in order for the fullness of God to come forth into the world. These traditions hinder the communications that the Holy Spirit is meant to give us--and therefore hinder God from doing all that He would like. They limit Christ from actually being the Head of the church. And Spirit-lead giving takes a back seat to a fully-enforced law of tithing.


So, how should we give? Are we to be directed by the old covenant law of the tithe? All the purposes of the tithe were destroyed by Christ's sacrifice at Calvary. The new covenant says that the purposes of giving are now to be lead of the Spirit.

To whom was the giving directed? Was it directed to the leadership of the church? No. The giving in the new covenant church of the Bible was to the needs of all the saints. It was to "every man as he had need"........

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
(Acts 2:44-45, KJV).

34 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.
(Acts 4:34-35, KJV).

The giving and collecting of money was "for the saints"--for the ministry which every man was accomplishing for the Lord--it was to see that none had any lack in any part of the body of Christ--so that all could serve God directly and to full effect.


1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
(1 Corinthians 16:1, KJV).

13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
(Romans 12:13, KJV).

26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
(Romans 15:26, KJV).

9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
(Galatians 2:9-10, KJV).


The collecting of money was by the leading of the Spirit--to the poor within the church--this is what will make us a cheerful giver--(you ought to try it sometime--it is very true!). What will make us begrudging givers is "giving of necessity"--being told that it is a necessity for us to pay a tithe to the leadership! I'm not saying that by experience---the Bible says it!!

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.
8 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:

Giving cheerfully to the ministry of all within your church will thus allow all to serve God fully--so that all will be able to "abound to every good work". Every good work that the Lord would like your church to accomplish will then be done--since no one will have lack for their ministry activity. It is important to note that the bible does not say here that the leadership has all the ministry--nor has the right therefore to collect all the money. All the church has the right to have it's needs met by one another--the giving is to the poor--to those who have lack--so that they will have sufficiency to accomplish any good work.


Now, to establish this new covenant way of giving to the poor--Paul quotes from the psalms--

9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

This is psalm 112:9.......

9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
(Psalms 112:9, KJV).

Like it or not, this is the old covenant verse which establishes the new covenant way of giving. Notice that it is giving to the poor. It is definetly NOT the tithe! Paul, as he was commending the giving of this church, could have quoted a verse about tithing from the old covenant--right??!! He could have quoted something like this..

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.
(Malachi 3:10, KJV).

Isn't this the verse which is often quoted in our churches today (perhaps linked with the half verse about the "cheerful giver") to lead us to believe that God requires a tithe--that we will not be fully blessed unless we tithe? Well, then why doesn't Paul preach it this way?? Instead, he quotes from the old testament a verse about how it is Gods will to give to the poor! Again, it is plain fact that the new covenant church as not operating from a tithe--they were giving by the leading of the Spirit--to the poor--God's higher will--a much higher will of God than the old covenant tithe--a tithe that ended it's purpose when Christ shed His blood on the cross!

12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

Here is Paul's explanation--he is saying here that this ministry of giving has 2 effects--it supplies the "want of the saints"--and meets God's high will and He certainly will reward the sower of this type of giving to the poor and the needs of our fellow Christians.

(Note:--Read these verses from the catholic standpoint. Hundreds of years ago, saint worship entered into the catholic church--in fact the practice goes back to the times of the Roman empire occupation of the church. Catholic folks have always had the notion that only certain specific chosen people are "the saints". From the catholic standpoint, only a "saint" had the right to collect money from the people in the church. The authority of the catholic church controlled and still does control exactly who is a "saint"--the obvious reason being that they are the people who could rightfully receive money. If you control the saints--you control the money--just another ancient Roman corruption of the church!)

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;
14 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.

Note in these last verses, the "subjection" is not unto man--not to a shepherd or pastor--not to a leader who collects a tithe (if it were--the bible would say so!)--but rather the subjection is unto "gospel of Christ". It does not say "you should be commended for paying your tithe and making yourself subject to the pastor"---right?? The people in this church were being commended for their giving to others who were spreading the gospel--but notice that they were not only giving to those who were spreading the Gospel--"for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;" Again, the giving was not the "one-dimensional" giving to leadership often taught within the church--rather it certainly was to the people who were spreading the gospel in other areas and to the poor within the church--to "all men"--to the "every man" who had lack--who had need--to "the saints".

Give to the poor--go ahead and try it--you will be blessed!