This is the eleventh sermon in a series covering marriage, family, and the church. This message was delivered on the evening of August 12, 2012 at Hillcrest Baptist Church. This message deals with tithing in the church. Of special interest is law and grace, and how tithing fits in. You will find the sermon notes, and the audio. Please note that the sermon notes are NOT a full transcript. Typically, as I preach, I add to what is in my notes. So, for the full sermon, please listen to the audio version.
**I used an incorrect Scripture reference during the sermon. I referenced Melchizedeck as being mentioned in the 101st Psalm, that reference was incorrect. He is mentioned in the 110th Psalm.**
Matthew 22:21: “They said to Him, Caesar’s. And He said to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”
We often quote the first part of this verse, but ignore the second part.
What we have belongs to God, it was never ours to start with.
**IS TITHING LAW?
Some have used the excuse that we are under grace, not the law; therefore, we don’t need to tithe.
They forget that Abraham and Jacob tithed hundreds of years before there was any law.
Tithing precedes the law. Abraham lived under grace.
Abraham, under grace not a legalist, tithed.
Jesus never, in any way, implied that we had no obligation to tithe. In fact, he told us to give God what is his.
**WHAT’S IN IT FOR US?
Let’s understand what tithing is not:
Tithing is not a money raising scheme, it is a character-developing program.
The purpose of tithing is to secure not the tithe, but the tither; not the possessions but the possessor, not your money, but you for God.
If is only a scheme to get money, why not get a real money-making scheme?
Let people gamble or draw numbers, maybe even a weekly bingo game. You could raise big money for a while.
Tithing is not a scheme of preachers, but a plan and program of God to enrich character, develop souls, and enlarge vision.
There is nothing spiritually elevating about eating a piece of cake, for a dollar, to help a church. But, to bring one’s tithe into the storehouse and place it on God’s altar, thus honoring God with your substance, is worship.
Tithing is not a substitute for heartfelt service, neither is it a gift to our maker, it is a debt.
Tithing is not an entrance fee into the city of God, reserved seats in heaven are not for sale.
All the benefits and privileges from God are absolutely free gifts of his infinite love.
It is written “you can not serve God and mammon”; however, you can serve God with mammon.
**MONEY AND THE BIBLE:
In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke one verse in every six deals with the money question.
Of the twenty nine parables narrated by Christ, sixteen speak of the Christian and his money.
If you think the issue of money doesn’t matter, think again.
Jesus doesn’t ask “How much money do you have?” , but “what are you doing with it?”
**THE NEED TO TITHE:
Are you praying to God to help you with your finances, but you are not tithing, you haven’t given control over to God.
You are saying that you know better how to handle your money than He does. You haven’t demonstrated any faith.
Tithing is necessary to the functioning of the church.
J.D. Rockefeller once said “I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 a week.”
The more we get, the more we want to hold on to.
We make all types of financial commitments, but are reluctant to commit to a tithe.
Tithing won’t always bring you material blessings, but it will bring spiritual blessings:
You’ll have more peace (less worry) about your finances, because you’ll know that God is in control.
You will develop a closer relationship with Christ.
You’ll increase in faith.