In this sermon, we are going to undergo a careful examination of the origin and purpose of offerings in Christendom, and I hope you will get to know so much about offerings after reading this sermon.
In order to thoroughly understand the origin and purpose of offerings in Christendom, we will try in this sermon to look at the following: its origin, definition, synonyms, and offerings in the bible as well as its purpose.
And even though conventional ideas already exist about offerings in Christendom; this sermon will really shed light on the origin and purpose of offerings in Christianity.
Origin of offerings.
The origin of offering began with the first seeds of humans in the world, Cain and Abel.
The Bible specifically states in Genesis 4:3 that after some time, Cain brought some of his harvests and gave it as an offering unto the Lord.
And in verse 3 Abel bought his own offering which was the first lamb of his sheep, killed it, and gave the best parts as an offering to the Lord.
You can also see the real idea of the origin of offering in Exodus 35; where Moses commanded the people to make an offering to the Lord for the making of the tent of the Lord’s presence.
According to Moses in verses 4 to 9; the offering was to be given free-willingly and the items he asked the people to bring included.
- Silver or bronze
- Fine linen
- Blue purple and red wool
- Cloth made of coats hair; rams with skin dyed red.
- Fine leather
- Acacia wood
- Oil for the lamps
- Spices for the annointing oil and sweet-smelling incensed.
- Carnelians and other jewels that were to be set in the High Priest’s ephod, and in his breastpiece.
And in verses 20-29, we see how those who were willingly obeyed Moses and brought their offering to the Lord for making the tent of the Lord’s presence.
What is so spectacular about this origin of the offering was that; people continued to bring more gifts that were more than what was needed.
Until the craftsmen had to report to Moses who commanded them to stop bringing the gifts. Exodus 36:3-7.
What is offering?
Definition of offering according to the bible.
According to Genesis 4:3-4 where we see the origin of offering in the bible, we can define offering as gifts human beings can offer to God.
An offering can also be seen as a gift offered by a human to a human, as in the giving of alms where Jesus warns in Mathew 6:1-4; that we should do it in secret if we want to receive praise from God.
Definition of offering according to the dictionary.
According to the dictionary, offerings may be defined as a thing offered, especially as a gift or contribution.
It also defines it as a contribution, especially of money, to a Church.
The 6 major types of offerings in the bible.
The 6 major types of offerings are:
- Burnt offerings
- Grain offerings
- Fellowship offerings
- Sin offerings
- Freewill offering
- Alms offering.
1. Burnt offerings – Leviticus 1.
According to the bible in Leviticus 1, burnt offerings were offerings that were to be consumed on the altar (that is burnt whole) without being eaten by humans.
This kind of suffering can also be seen as the second kind of offering mentioned in Genesis 8:20 where we see how Noah took one of each kind of ritually clean animal and bird and burnt them whole as a sacrifice on the altar.
After Noah burnt the sacrifices, the scripture reveals in the next verse, i.e. 21 that the Lord smelled it as a sweet savor and because of that made a vow not to destroy the world with a flood again.
Survey reveals that this kind of offering is mentioned 197 times in the bible.
2. Grain offerings – Leviticus 2.
This kind of offering was made without the shedding of any blood and also without any animal sacrifice.
The bible describes it as an offering of fine flour and no animal flesh in Leviticus 2:1.
3. Fellowship offerings – Leviticus 3.
This was the only kind of offering that allows the offerer to eat the meat of the sacrifice.
It was also a voluntary kind of offering.
Its aim was to make peace between God and mankind.
4. Offerings for unintentional sins -Leviticus 4 and 5.
This was a very compulsory and required offering that was meant to make up for the sins committed by humankind.
Verse 5 indicates that when someone finds himself guilty of a sin he did not intend to do, he should first and foremost confess the sin.
And as a penalty for the sin must bring to the Lord a female sheep or goat as an offering.
The priest shall collect the animals and offer them as a sacrifice for the person’s sin.
There was also a substitute for the sin offerings thus.
5. Freewill offering – Exodus 35.
In 35 of the above bible portion, Moses commands the children of Israel to bring a freewill offering to God.
And in 2 Corinthians 9:7, the apostle Paul calls on the people of Corinth to give free-willingly with a cheerful heart.
And don’t look upon offerings as a necessity because God loves a cheerful giver.
6. Alms offering – Mathew 6.
Alms offerings are anything you give to relieve the poor or less privileged.
In Mathew 6:1-6, our Lord Jesus advises us to do alms offerings in secret so that our Father in heaven who sees in secret will reward us openly.
Below are the synonyms of offerings, that is the words you can use in place of offerings:
- Widow’s mite
Offering in the early church.
In Acts 4:32-35, we see how the offering was done in the early church.
The scripture states specifically that those who had brought what they had to the feet of the apostles and it was shared with every one according to their needs.
It even got to a point where people had to sell their properties and brought the money to be shared among other members.
Purpose of offerings.
In Romans 18:8-20, we can see how God assigned all the offerings made by the Israelites to Aaron the priest, and his household.
According to the bible, God told Aaron to eat those things with his family.
And from there we can understand that the purpose of offerings was for the upkeep of the priests and his family.
Consequently, the priest inherited this because they were forbidden to share the inheritance with the other Israelites as we can see in verse 20.
The reason God did this was that the priests were expected to administer in the temple at all times.
And for that reason, they will have no other form of career or means of livelihood.
And as the scripture will further reveal, those who work in the temple must feed from the temple. 1 Corinthians 9:13.
And from the knowledge we have gained so far we can deduce the following as the purpose of offerings according to the bible.
- Offering serves as a means of appeasing God.
- For the furtherance of the work of God.
- It serves as a form of help and assistance to our fellow human beings.
- Provides a menas of livelihood for those who are serving in God’s house.
Having understood so much about the origin and purpose of offerings, whether it is for God or human beings, we must ensure we give offerings; because the scripture says that it is in giving that we are able to receive.