God has given us all things, and continues to bless us. One of the blessings we have is to give. Giving involves our time, abilities, effort, money and other resources. On one of those, our money, God has directed each one to give on the first day of the week "as he may prosper" (1 Corinthians 16:2). This command was given to the churches of Galatia, a good distance from Corinth, and then to Corinth. It was a universal practice in the early church, and was set in order to continue through the ages.
Many in the religious world have adopted the ‘tithe’, which is the tenth of one’s income. They arrive at this from Old Testament passages, but have forgotten that this was only a part of what the Old Testament saints were expected to give. However, the tithe is not commanded in the New Testament. And neither is any other percentage. We are to give as we have prospered, and as we have purposed in our hearts - cheerfully and liberally (2 Corinthians 9:6, 7). Our giving is to be in proportion to our prospering and with an intelligible and faithful response to God’s great love.
What does it mean to give as we prosper? Some have decided that since the tithe [tenth] is not binding on us that we can give much less. But what kind of conclusion is it to give less when we are living under a better covenant, with a better sacrifice [Jesus] and have a better hope (the letter to the Hebrews)? We can not, and shall not, bind a percentage. But let each one give serious consideration to how he purposes his giving. But what does it mean ‘as we prosper’? It means that we give in proportion to our income. And, as our income fluctuates there will be an understood fluctuation in our giving.
How much do we prosper? If a person works a $10.00 an hour job he prospers $10,00 an hour, even though his check is closer to $7.50 an hour. Just because the government takes theirs before we see it does not mean it is not part of our prospering. We also prosper in the amount of benefits paid by our employer on our behalf. Our income is the gross wage plus the benefit package.
Who should give? If you are a child of God and have prospered, you have a responsibility to give as you prosper. A wife or child cannot claim that their giving is done from the husband and father’s income. This would be just like having the husband and father be baptized for them. One cannot obey the Lord for another. Remember, it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
By Greg Weston
Return to the General Articles page
Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /