Finances

23 11 2011

There is so much that has been written on finances in the Church. There are just as many different ideas as there are writers. My personal view is that Christians have been milked by ‘churches’ under the guise of “biblical giving”. This includes bringing them into condemnation by ‘forcing’ them to tithe, by threatening them with a curse out of Malachi 3. For too long God’s children have been exploited and have been treated very much like a farm animal that provides food and labour for its keeper. I pray that you will read with an open heart and that you will allow God’s Word, to transform your religious upbringing.

Paul did not use the church money to cover his expenses. In fact he ‘boasted’ of not using their finances and that he worked for a living. It is ironic to hear how many preachers say that they are following Paul as he follows Christ and at the same time draw a salary from the church!

1 Corinthians 9:1-27 KJV  (1)  Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?  …(11)  If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?  (12)  If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.  (13)  Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?  (14)  Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.  (15)  But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.  (16)  For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!  (17)  For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.  (18)  What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel……

 Corinthians 4:11-12 KJV  (11)  Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place;  (12)  And labour, working with our own hands: …..

Very often preachers will preach that Christians are meant to be wealthy. If we are supposed to be rich as Christians then why was Paul hungry and thirsty and naked so often?

2 Corinthians 11:27 KJV  In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

To the prosperity teachers and advocates out there that promote the doctrine that we are supposed to be rich christians, please read this next verse very carefully and let it sink into your hearts.

1 Timothy 6:5-10 KJV  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.  (6)  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  (7)  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  (8)  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  (9)  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  (10)  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

On giving finances to the church we read this…..

2 Corinthians 9:5-15 KJV  (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.

A very interesting verse is the next one where the main church in Jerusalem asks Paul to remember to do something, and note that it was not to remember to tithe!

Galatians 2:9-10 MKJV  and knowing the grace given to me, James, and Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, gave right hands of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we go to the nations, but they to the circumcision.  (10)  Only they asked that we remember the poor, which very thing I was eager to do.

These next verses are very clear on giving as new creation people:

2 Corinthians 8:10-24 MKJV  (10)  And in this I give my judgment; for this is profitable for you, who began before, not only to do, but also to be willing a year ago.  (11)  But now also finish the doing of it, so that, as there was a readiness to will, so also the finishing, giving out of what you have.  (12)  For if the eagerness is present, it is acceptable according to what one has, and not according to what one does not have.  (13)  For it is not that others may have ease, but you trouble;  (14)  but by equality in the present time; your abundance for their need, that their abundance also may be for your need; so that there may be equality;  (15)  as it is written, “He gathering much, he had nothing left over; and he gathering little did not have less.”  (16)  But thanks be to God, who put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.  (17)  For indeed he accepted the entreaty. But being more earnest, of his own accord he went to you.  (18)  And we have sent with him the brothers whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;  (19)  and not only so, but also he having been chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself, and as a witness of your eager mind;  (20)  avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us;  …..

Emphasis on gift!!!

So how are we to give as new creation believers? Everything we have is the Lords. We do not own anything of our own because we have died with Christ and we no longer live. We do not own 90% and give 10% to God as a tithe. We are no longer under the “portion” law. God has set us free from ‘portionalism’. God doesn’t get a portion and God does not give a portion. He gives freely and without measure. If we use a measure to give then we will receive a measure in return – this is the Law of sowing and reaping.

Matthew 7:2 KJV  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And Luke 6:38

But we are under a much higher law, the law of Christ. Everything belongs to Him in us.

John 3:34-35 KJV  For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.  (35)  The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

All of our needs are given to us in Christ Jesus and through Him, not through our works of giving or sowing!!!

This is why the believers in Acts were so generous, because they knew that everything is Gods.

Acts 4:32-35 MKJV  And the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul. And not one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own. But they had all things common…..  (34)  For neither was anyone needy among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold,  (35)  and they laid them down at the apostles’ feet. And distribution was made to every man according as he had need.

Acts 2:44-46 KJV  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.  (46)  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

We have already been given everything that God could give us already in the Person of Christ Jesus.

2 Peter 1:3 KJV  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

In closing: To all those who are still running after a blessing from God. Please look at Ephesians 1:3 in the various translations to those of us who are in Christ Jesus:

(ASV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ:

 (BBE)  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us every blessing of the Spirit in the heavens in Christ:

 (CEV)  Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for the spiritual blessings that Christ has brought us from heaven!

 (Darby)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ;

 (ESV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

 (GNB)  Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! For in our union with Christ he has blessed us by giving us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world.

 (GW)  Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer.

 (ISV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm,

 (KJV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

 (MKJV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ;

 (RV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ:


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