6 Now godliness combined with contentment brings great profit. For we have brought nothing into this world and so we cannot take a single thing out either. But if we have food and shelter, we will be satisfied with that. Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.
17 Command those who are rich in this worldʼs goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment.
Treasures in heaven
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Remove falsehood and lies far from me;
do not give me poverty or riches,
feed me with my allotted portion of bread,
lest I become satisfied and act deceptively
and say, “Who is the LORD?”
Or lest I become poor and steal
and demean the name of my God.
Be sure you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments, ordinances, and statutes that I am giving you today. When you eat your fill, when you build and occupy good houses, when your cattle and flocks increase, when you have plenty of silver and gold, and when you have abundance of everything, be sure you do not feel self-important and forget the LORD your God who brought you from the land of Egypt, the place of slavery, and who brought you through the great, fearful desert of venomous serpents and scorpions, an arid place with no water. He made water flow from a flint rock and fed you in the desert with manna (which your ancestors had never before known) so that he might by humbling you test you and eventually bring good to you. Be careful not to say, “My own ability and skill have gotten me this wealth.” You must remember the LORD your God, for he is the one who gives ability to get wealth; if you do this he will confirm his covenant that he made by oath to your ancestors, even as he has to this day. Now if you forget the LORD your God at all and follow other gods, worshiping and prostrating yourselves before them, I testify to you today that you will surely be annihilated. Just like the nations the LORD is about to destroy from your sight, so he will do to you because you would not obey him.
5:9 The one who loves money will never be satisfied with money,
he who loves wealth will never be satisfied with his income.
This also is futile.
5:14 Just as he came forth from his mother's womb, naked will he return as he came,
and he will take nothing in his hand that he may carry away from his toil.
Satisfied and safe
Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
“I am rich”
Because you say, “I am rich and have acquired great wealth, and need nothing,” but do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, take my advice and buy gold from me refined by fire so you can become rich! Buy from me white clothing so you can be clothed and your shameful nakedness will not be exposed, and buy eye salve to put on your eyes so you can see! All those I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent! Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me.
And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Sexual immorality and greed
But among you there must not be either sexual immorality, impurity of any kind, or greed, as these are not fitting for the saints. Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting - all of which are out of character - but rather thanksgiving. For you can be confident of this one thing: that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Honor the LORD
Honor the LORD from your wealth
and from the first fruits of all your crops;
then your barns will be filled completely,
and your vats will overflow with new wine.
The Parable of the Rich Landowner
Then someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But Jesus said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator between you two?” Then he said to them, “Watch out and guard yourself from all types of greed, because oneʼs life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” He then told them a parable: “The land of a certain rich man produced an abundant crop, so he thought to himself, ʻWhat should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?ʼ Then he said, ʻI will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”ʼ But God said to him, ʻYou fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?ʼ So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward God.”
Test me in this matter
Can a person rob God? You indeed are robbing me, but you say, ʻHow are we robbing you?ʼ In tithes and contributions! You are bound for judgment because you are robbing me - this whole nation is guilty.
“Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my temple. Test me in this matter,” says the LORD who rules over all, “to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all. Then I will stop the plague from ruining your crops, and the vine will not lose its fruit before harvest,” says the LORD who rules over all. “All nations will call you happy, for you indeed will live in a delightful land,” says the LORD who rules over all.
“But woe to you Pharisees! You give a tenth of your mint, rue, and every herb, yet you neglect justice and love for God! But you should have done these things without neglecting the others.
Origins of the tithe
Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (Now he was the priest of the Most High God.) He blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by the Most High God,
Creator of heaven and earth.
Worthy of praise is the Most High God,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything.
And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised, so that he would become the father of all those who believe but have never been circumcised, that they too could have righteousness credited to them. And he is also the father of the circumcised, who are not only circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham possessed when he was still uncircumcised.
For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression either. For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants - not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”). He is our father in the presence of God whom he believed - the God who makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do. Against hope Abraham believed in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations according to the pronouncement, “so will your descendants be.”
Hebrews confirms that christ is priest under the order of Melchizedek.
and in one case tithes are received by mortal men, while in the other by him who is affirmed to be alive.
Christ “receives” the tithe (Present form, indicating a service that continues)
Since we are not under the law, but under grace (Rom 6.14), “He receives it” but “Does not demand it”.
Abound in this grace also
Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
Wisdom in financial matters
The one who lacks wisdom strikes hands in pledge,
and puts up financial security for his neighbor.
Saving for the future
There is desirable treasure and olive oil in the dwelling of the wise,
but a foolish person devours all he has.
The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Help the poor
The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the LORD,
and the LORD will repay him for his good deed.
Other peoples needs
People will curse the one who withholds grain,
but they will praise the one who sells it.
One person is generous and yet grows more wealthy,
but another withholds more than he should and comes to poverty.
A generous person will be enriched,
and the one who provides water for others will himself be satisfied.
Do not wear yourself out to become rich;
be wise enough to restrain yourself.
Favored by the LORD
Evil men borrow, but do not repay their debt,
but the godly show compassion and are generous.
Surely those favored by the LORD will possess the land,
but those rejected by him will be wiped out.
The LORD grants success to the one
whose behavior he finds commendable.
Even if he trips, he will not fall headlong,
for the LORD holds his hand.
I was once young, now I am old.
I have never seen a godly man abandoned,
or his children forced to search for food.
Account of ourselves
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Rom 14:12 KJV
The church in Macedonia as examples
Now we make known to you, brothers and sisters, the grace of God given to the churches of Macedonia, that during a severe ordeal of suffering, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in the wealth of their generosity. For I testify, they gave according to their means and beyond their means. They did so voluntarily, begging us with great earnestness for the blessing and fellowship of helping the saints. And they did this not just as we had hoped, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and to us by the will of God. Thus we urged Titus that, just as he had previously begun this work, so also he should complete this act of kindness for you. But as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, and in all eagerness and in the love from us that is in you - make sure that you excel in this act of kindness too. I am not saying this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love by comparison with the eagerness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, he became poor for your sakes, so that you by his poverty could become rich. So here is my opinion on this matter: It is to your advantage, since you made a good start last year both in your giving and your desire to give, to finish what you started, so that just as you wanted to do it eagerly, you can also complete it according to your means. For if the eagerness is present, the gift itself is acceptable according to whatever one has, not according to what he does not have.
For I do not say this so there would be relief for others and suffering for you, but as a matter of equality. At the present time, your abundance will meet their need, so that one day their abundance may also meet your need, and thus there may be equality, as it is written:
“The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same devotion I have for you, because he not only accepted our request, but since he was very eager, he is coming to you of his own accord. And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his work in spreading the gospel. In addition, this brother has also been chosen by the churches as our traveling companion as we administer this generous gift to the glory of the Lord himself and to show our readiness to help. We did this as a precaution so that no one should blame us in regard to this generous gift we are administering. For we are concerned about what is right not only before the Lord but also before men. And we are sending with them our brother whom we have tested many times and found eager in many matters, but who now is much more eager than ever because of the great confidence he has in you. If there is any question about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; if there is any question about our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ. Therefore show them openly before the churches the proof of your love and of our pride in you.
Eager to give
For it is not necessary for me to write you about this service to the saints, because I know your eagerness to help. I keep boasting to the Macedonians about this eagerness of yours, that Achaia has been ready to give since last year, and your zeal to participate has stirred up most of them. But I am sending these brothers so that our boasting about you may not be empty in this case, so that you may be ready just as I kept telling them. For if any of the Macedonians should come with me and find that you are not ready to give, we would be humiliated (not to mention you) by this confidence we had in you. Therefore I thought it necessary to urge these brothers to go to you in advance and to arrange ahead of time the generous contribution you had promised, so this may be ready as a generous gift and not as something you feel forced to do.
The joy in giving
My point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work. Just as it is written,
“He has scattered widely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness remains forever.”
The joy in giving (continued)
Now God who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your supply of seed and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow. You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God, because the service of this ministry is not only providing for the needs of the saints but is also overflowing with many thanks to God. Through the evidence of this service they will glorify God because of your obedience to your confession in the gospel of Christ and the generosity of your sharing with them and with everyone. And in their prayers on your behalf they long for you because of the extraordinary grace God has shown to you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!