TENET LESSON 11

Finances

Christians have a holy stewardship to the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Christ with their time, talents, and material possessions.

According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Christ’s cause on earth.

We believe both the Old and New testaments teach tithing, which is 10% of our gross incomes (first fruits) to be given to the local church (Malachi 3:10, Matthew 23:23). In addition, the Holy Spirit may prompt believers to give additional amounts over and above the tithe. These amounts are called offerings.

Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19 Matthew 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35.

When it comes to money and giving tensions rise. There are a variety of reasons for this. One reason is that people receive money as wages for their work and they feel like it is theirs to spend however they choose to. Another reason is that there are examples of ministers on television who manipulate people to given money. A third reason is that people sometimes give money with strings attached because they want to control how the money is spent.

Giving is a regular them throughout the Bible and to not give puts us at odds with the character of the Scriptures. Biblical sacrifice is a form of giving as well. Cain and Abel both brought from the first fruits from their specific trades. Genesis 4.

Luke 12:15 reminds us that our life is not found in our possessions. Real true life is found in our relationship with God and our relationships with others. Money has ruined more relationships than it has ever made helped.

The Bible also teaches in Philippians 4:12-13 that money is not necessary for peace and contentment. Some of the happiest people I have met were some of the poorest. The problem many times is that money begins to control the person not the person controlling the money.

Haggai 1:5-9 is a reminder that when we prioritize our personal wealth and well-being above the things of God, He frustrates our efforts in order to remind us to put God first in our finances.

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