“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (I Corinthians 16:2).
Although the New Testament writers frequently commend and encourage generous giving to the Lord’s work (e.g., II Corinthians 8,9; Philippians 3:10–19), this seems to be the only verse where a systematic method of giving is suggested. The only references to tithing in the New Testament are set in the context of either the Jewish or patriarchal economies and so are not directly applicable to the Christian economy, although the principles are instructive.
The particular collection referred to in our text was for what we today would call a “designated offering,” but probably this principle of regular and systematic giving for the over-all work of the Lord was also carried out in similar fashion, since no other method is ever prescribed in the New Testament for Christians. Although tithing is not specifically mentioned as the standard, the principle of proportionate giving is clearly commanded. Those who have been most “prospered” by the Lord should contribute the most, but all should contribute something out of what the Lord has given them. Recall that Jesus gave special commendation to the poor widow who gave “all her living” (Mark 12:44), and that Paul gave special commendation to the Philippian believers whose “deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality” (II Corinthians 8:2).
Their giving was also to be regular and systematic, on “the first day of the week,” not just sporadic or impulsive. Of course, if a person received wages say, only once a month, it could all be given on the first Lord’s day following, since it was only that day on which he had been “prospered,” as it were. And it should, of course, be given cheerfully and thankfully (II Corinthians 9:7,11). HMM