Sunday, 23 October 2016

Christ Is Tithe

Tithe literally means "a tenth". The concept of tithe had existed among the ancient Semitic people before the time of Abraham. Tithe were given to gods, kings and lords. The idea behind tithe is that the servant declares to the lord that, "all that I have is yours" by offering a tenth of what he has to the lord. It is a way of honouring the lord and expressing loyalty. When a person gives as tithe a tenth of his harvest he is saying, "all my harvest belongs to you". If it is a tenth of his cloth he is saying, all my cloth belongs to you". Or if is a tenth his livestock he is saying, "all my livestock belongs to you". This is because the tenth is a representation of the whole. By giving a tenth of a thing you are offering all of that thing.
Tithe is offered to God as a sacrifice. Sacrifice is offering a representative portion to God in order to secure His right over the whole. Tithe is giving a tenth of that which God has given you in order to proclaim that all that He had given you is His. Everything that God does is relative to the covenant God has with you. God act base on covenant and we respond to Him base on that covenant. Covenant is an agreement between two people. The two parties agree to perform certain things onto each other.
In the covenant between God and Abraham, God is to bless Abraham while give himself faithfully onto God so that God might have a nation through him. As part of the prerequisite of His eternal plan, God needed to have a nation consecrated to Him. And He would get this through Abraham while in exchange He would give Abraham great blessings (that was the agreement). Abraham was to give himself completely to God while God blesses him. Therefore Abraham offered a representative tenth of what God had blessed him with as tithe onto God. By this Abraham declared that, "all you've given me is your, oh Lord".
The Children of Israel were commanded to offer tithe to God. The Israelites gave back to God all that He had given them by offering a tenth. Tithe is a practice carried out if every culture, although it may be called something different in another culture. Tithe may appear in various form but it exist in every culture. It is a divine principle that have found its way into the nature and culture of man. Remember, man was created in God's image and likeness. Therefore in the culture and practice of man you would find certain principles that are inherent in the nature of God. For example there is some form of sacrifice and the shedding of blood in most ancient culture. This is because, "without shedding of blood there is no remission." (Heb 9:22).
Another example is marriage, it is found in every culture and the Bible says concerning this, " “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one." (Eph 5:31-32). The concept of marriage is a divine principle found in Christ before the foundation of the world. Just as these concepts are divine principles that are inherent in the culture and nature of man tithe is also a divine principle inherent in the culture and nature of man. Therefore one cannot dismiss tithe claiming it is just a law in the Old Covenant and the New Covenant people don't need it.
In Christ we find the reality of things practice not just in the Old Testament but in all culture of man. This is why the Bible says, "the spiritual man is able to try [examine, investigate, inquire into, question, and discern all things]," (1Cor 2:15). Those who are spiritual, who knows what constitute God are able to understand all things. This is because in God you would find the reality of all things. When you've seen the reality you would have greater understanding of the types. The practices and culture of man are types or figures of the things that constitute God.
Tithe as practice by man is a type or a figure of a reality in God. It is made to look like something that already exist in God. The original or the reality is part of God, it is what constitute God. Christ is God, therefore tithe is inherent in Christ. Tithe is a reality that constitute Christ, therefore you cannot be in Christ and not experience the reality of tithe. The tithe found in Christ is not the type but the reality. The type is that which is practice by man, it is the offering of a tenth to the lord. We know the type, it is found all over the Old Testament and the history of ancient culture. But what is the reality?
In the God head you would find a divine dance of the Father offering Himself to the Son by the Spirit and the Son offering back himself to the Father by the Spirit. The Father give Himself to the Son and the Son give himself back to the Father, this intercourse is carried out by the Spirit. It is the divine dance of the Trinity. We would find this dance playing out even while Jesus was on earth. Jesus life was that of the Father, it was given to him by the Father. The Bible affirm this by saying, "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (John 5:26). Jesus live his life by pursuing the Father's will. Jesus lived for the Father, everything he did was for the Father. He offered the life that the Father had given him back to the Father. The Father gave the Son life and the Son gives back the life to the Father. This is the reality of tithe playing out in the God head even while Jesus was on earth.

Jacob defined tithe when he said, "I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.” (Gen 28:22). Tithe is giving back what the lord has given. The tenth is a representative of the whole but all these are just the type or figure. In the reality there is no need for representative. The Son gives to the Father all that the Father has given him - this is the reality of tithe as it is in the God head. Christ is God and you would not find the type in God, what you would find is the reality. The Bible reveals to us that we are in Christ. If we are in Christ then we would be in the reality of tithe and not the type. You cannot be in the reality and yet practicing the type. No one having his dream car would abandon it to play with a toy that was made to look like the car. It would be pure foolishness.
Yet Christians who are meant to be a people in Christ abandoned the reality only to practice the types. Watching Christians paying money as tithe is like watching grownups playing with the toys of there dream car when they have the car abandoned in their garage. It is as foolish as that. We are in Christ, it is foolish to abandon the reality and focus on practicing the type. We are suppose to focus on experiencing the reality. We experience the reality by pouring back to the Father the life which the Father has given us through Christ.
Paul stated that, "But I will rejoice even as my life is being poured out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God." (Phi 2:17).
"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." (Gal 2:20).
Paul experienced the reality of tithe when he poured out his life as an offering onto God. Yet the life that Paul offered was not his, it is Christ's life and Christ's life is the life given by the Father. Hence, the Father gave Paul life through Christ and Paul offers it back to the Father - this is tithing in the New Testament. Paul paid his tithe to God by living a life that is utterly consecrated to God. Paul spent his whole life trying to live that life (the one that came from the Father through Christ) as an offering to God. Therefore tithing in the New Testament is expressing or living the life of Christ in you. It is being crucified in order to live by the life of Christ. We tithe when we spend our lives try to express the life of Christ in us for God's sake.

This topic belongs to a series, below is the rest of the series.
Tithing In The New Covenant
Tithe And Financial Prosperity
The Growing Tithe 
First Fruit And Burnt Offering

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