Tithing – A Priestly Service

By Joe Boot/ April 28, 2013

Series  Hebrews and the High Priesthood

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Mission Of God

Scripture  Malachi 3:6-15

God's plan for mission, worship, scholarship, health care, education, arts, justice, etc., depends on tithing. Those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. We do not just rob God, we rob ourselves when we fail to tithe. God promises blessing as we honour His ownership over everything He has entrusted to us (Malachi 3).

Scripture: Hebrews 7:7-10;  Malachi 3:6-15

Sermon Notes:

  1. The priesthood of Melchizedek and Christ was superior to that of the Levites, and its scope included all the nations. 
  2. All of the Levitical system pointed forward to Christ, the perfect, final priest-king (Psalm 110:4).
  3. The tithe predates Moses, and now the tithe is paid to Christ who is the new Melchizedek.
  4. The last Adam, Christ, offered Himself as a sacrifice and received authority to rule the nations.
  5. Our limited sovereignty over creation is only as God’s image bearers under God’s authority.
  6. It’s not only that we can exercise dominion in the earth, but we must.  It’s part of the covenant God has with all people.
  7. We have perverted God’s calling on our lives because of sin.  Instead of honouring God, we want to be as God.
  8. Man’s powers are not used under God for His glory, but to exercise sinful domination for our own service.
  9. God claims all things for Himself.  All power is in the hands of Christ (Matthew 28:18).
  10. The priestly calling of Adam required active administration, cultivating the good creation.
  11. As God’s image bearers we are to exercise dominion based on our knowledge of God’s natural and moral laws.
  12. When we fail to exercise this inescapable dominion under God, we become a destroyer and manipulator.
  13. The earth was put under a curse because of Adam’s sin. 
  14. Dominion orientation is not the same thing as false environmental religion which subjects people to nature.
  15. The effects of sin are solved only by an ethical return to God, not by science and social planning.
  16. Sin pollutes the land (Lev. 18:24-28; Rom. 1:24-27).
  17. For immorality the creation and even our bodies are subject to judgment.  For obedience to God’s Word the land itself will produce fruit.
  18. By Christ we are restored as a royal priesthood exercising God’s vice-regency in the earth. 
  19. God owns everything (Psalm 89:11; 50:10-11) and our ownership is derivative as stewards.
  20. Wealth operates in terms of God’s blessing for covenant faithfulness.  God is the source of all wealth.
  21. Tithing is not an arduous burden but promises blessing.
  22. God claims merely 10% of the increase of our assets.
  23. God demands the tithe to further the work of His kingdom.
  24. We are to cultivate the garden-sanctuary of God, recovering what has been lost by sin and rebellion (Ps. 72)
  25. God’s plan for mission, worship, scholarship, health care, education, arts, justice, etc. depends on tithing.
  26. Those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel (Luke 10:7; 1 Cor. 9:13-14; 1 Tim. 5:17).
  27. We do not just rob God, we rob ourselves when we fail to tithe.  God promises blessing as we honour His ownership over everything He has entrusted to us (Malachi 3).

Application Questions:

  1. What does it mean for us to be vice-regents under Christ?
  2. What happens when we reject godly dominion?
  3. What kingdom purposes are to be financed by the tithe?
  4. How does financing God’s kingdom shape the future?
  5. With respect to stewardship, what are our obligations and privileges as God’s covenant people?
  6. How does the theological background and purposes of tithing help us to give with hilarity?

Sermon Notes