Is Tithing a Biblical Practice?

Is Tithing a Biblical Practice?

 

Probably a better question, should we practice tithing/giving in today’s church?

 

Other statements/questions that have come up would be:

  • Tithing is a practice limited to the Old Testament only
  • Tithing is a requirement

 

In order to see if tithing and giving is for today’s church, the New testament church, how about we look to the Word of God. But first, let’s see what the word tithe means.

 

Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of tithe:

  • a tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution
  • broadly: a small part

 

Now, what does the Word of God say about tithe:

  • Old Testament ~ 25 times
  • New Testament ~ 7 times
  • Genesis 14:17-20 ~ the tithe was a religious practice whereby the first tenth of all income was sanctified and designated for the support of the priesthood and holy sites dedicated to the worship of God.
  • As the nation of Israel fell into idolatry, the worship of God declined, and tithing declined.
  • 2 Chronicles 31 ~ The tithe was re-established by the reforms of Hezekiah
  • Malachi 3:8-10 (ESV) ~ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

 

All the above is from the Old Testament, even the last verses, which is some of the most famous scripture used when the discussion of tithe and giving comes up.

 

So, what about the New Testament? Let’s take a look at how Paul views tithing and giving.

 

First, we see that Paul says that the purpose of the Law was to tutor the people of God in order to lead them to Christ (Galatians 3:23-24). We also know that the tithe was canonized in the Mosaic Law. Many say we are no longer under the law, but under grace. WHICH IS TRUE! However, we must realize that Paul here is telling us that the law was a tutor, a guide, a guardian, a school master for us as Christians.

 

Galatians 3:25 says “But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” So then, if we are no longer under the Law, should we no longer practice the tithe? Paul’s point about the Law was that as children of the Law, we needed guidance and direction of a tutor, a schoolmaster. HOWEVER in Christ we have matured beyond the need for a tutor. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26).

 

Now, since Paul, one of the great founders and leaders of what we have as the modern-day church, is pointing everything back to Christ, what does Christ say about giving and tithing?

 

Luke 14:33 (ESV) ~ So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

 

Wow! The Law required only the tithe or 10%; Jesus demands it all (100%)!

  • Jesus made a point about the poor widow, because she “out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:44).
  • Let’s not forget the young rich ruler in Luke 18:22, when Jesus told him to “Sell all that you have”.
  • Zacchaeus, the tax collector said in Luke 19:8, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”
  • In the first church, in the book of Acts, the church members sold all they had and brought to the church.

 

When we consider the call of Jesus and the practice of the first day church, tithing is now considered child’s play. For Christians, tithing should be a minimal spiritual discipline. WHY? The law, which was a tutor or a guide to how we should live pointed to 10%, while Christ wanted people to give 100%. If we are to talk in the fullness of the maturity of Christ, then we must live and give generously.

 

2 Corinthians 8:3 (ESV) ~ For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,

  • We are called to give out of our means and beyond our means, of our own accord.

 

Lastly, one of the biggest points that is made by Christ and others of the first church, in the New Testament, is the selfness of the Old Testament church and leaders. How they had lived a life of wealth, while neglecting those in the church and community.

 

At Coosa Valley, we have line items in our budget for the things that are necessary, such as power bill, water bill, upkeep, maintenance, and repairs. HOWEVER, there are also items in our budget that we are meeting as well. Those items are:

  • Love offerings for Retired Ministers and Widows
  • Ann’s New Life
  • Benevolence Ministry
  • Camp Utopia
  • General Missions
  • Home for Children
  • Hope for Honduras
  • YWEA

 

We realize that the more we can give to these ministries and others, the more God is going to bless CV. When you give to CV, I don’t want you to think of what you are giving as a necessary item, but I want you to give as 2 Corinthians 8:3 (ESV) ~ “For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord”
 
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}

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