New testament (Spiritual) giving – Part 8
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers”. (Acts 2:42). The Bible says the early church continued steadfastly in the ‘APOSTLES DOCTRINE’. The seed of the apostles’ doctrine was planted in the church at Pentecost. Jesus is coming back for the fruit of the apostles’ doctrine at His return. Today we shall see if the 10% legalistic giving is part of the apostles’ doctrine. Nowhere did the apostles in their teachings and practices mention tithes as an acceptable form of giving in the New Testament.
Furthermore the Bible has enjoined us in Proverbs 22:28 not to depart from the ancient landmarks of our fathers. Our fathers are the Apostles and there are certain landmarks concerning giving which they set that we can only ignore to our peril. Eph. 2:20 says we are built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Himself being the chief cornerstone. Again in John 17:20 the Word of God asserts that we can only come to Jesus through the apostles doctrine. Therefore to come to Him in giving, let us see what the apostles’ doctrine is concerning giving. Now let us see giving, as it was practiced by theearly church.
Acts 2:42 – 45, lays at bare the type of giving encouraged in the apostles doctrine. It is spiritual giving. No law. Nobody threw Malachi chapter 3 at them. They gave as led by the Holy Spirit. Acts 4:34-37 is also very instructive. It was also spiritual giving; as demanded by the Holy Spirit. Again, no law. No threat thrown at them. The Levitical tithes were meant for Levites. Please note that the priesthood has changed and there is a change in the law governing the priesthood (Heb 7:12). The above scripture says that Barnabas himself as a Levite did not wait for the tithes. He himself was involved in the spiritual giving.
We can now look at some apostolic teachings on giving. 2 Cor. 8:1 – (TLB) – This scripture makes very interesting reading. It is an illuminating treatise on the spiritual giving in the New Testament. Reading it in the Living Bible certain things jump at you. Paul was using the Macedonian Christians to challenge or provoke the Corinthian Christians. He was not throwing legalistic giving of tithes at them. He said they gave themselves to the Lord and committed themselves to the Lord’s servants for direction. They gave even more than they could afford. It was not because of any nagging on his part, but as prompted by the Holy Spirit. They were even begging the leaders to accept what they gave with so much enthusiasm. In verse 8, he went as far as to say he was not giving them an order, but their giving should be the product of the love they had for God. We will continue from here next week in Jesus name.
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Bro. Kunle Adigun; Friends of the Bridegroom International Ministries (FOBIM)
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