A Serving Church Gives Offerings
There are many who will argue, “The tithe (tenth) was done away with by the new covenant. Each person should pray about what God wants them to give.” Does scripture support that opinion. While it may be true that the New Testament nowhere says to give a tenth, it also doesn’t say to stop. Jesus said, “I didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.” But, let’s say this opinion is right and you prayerfully commit to giving 5% or 35% or a tithe (10%). Your offering doesn’t begin until after the giving commitment is made to the church, the storehouse.
So what is an offering? Most of the Old Testament terms for offering are directly related to sacrificial burnt offerings for atonement of sin or for the worshipper to enter into fellowship with God. Once the perfect sacrifice was made, Christ, atonement for sin was covered and fellowship with God was offered to all those who have received Christ. Therefore, the burnt offering is now obsolete. The New Testament terms for offering are related to bearing towards, giving to another, present unto. An “offering” is giving freely from either abundance or sacrifice for the purpose of glorifying God.
Acts 4:32-37 tells us about the first church, “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostle’s feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Thus Joseph, who was called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles feet.” These were great offerings that went above the tithe that these Jewish believers were raised to obey. Given from a heart of love and compassion for the betterment of their community so that God would be glorified.
Paul made mention of the offering sent by the church of Philippi in Philippians 4:18, “I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.” The offering can be given to the church, a ministry, an individual, an organization, etc., but it is given for the purposes of meeting needs and glorifying God.
Ephesians 5:2 reads, “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Jesus gave Himself for us. What a great example of what an offering is, giving till it hurts...literally.
After you tithe, prayerfully and freely give to others. Through surplus or sacrifice, allow God the opportunity to impact lives through your generosity.