The Scriptural Truth About New Testament Tithing
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Christians have to make a decision about giving to God. However, ignorance of New Testament tithing under the New Covenant causes confusion, and I believe it to be a major cause why Christians give very little or nothing at all to God. Frankly I think it’s because churches don’t educate their congregations on how to give to God through Jesus and the new covenant that we have because of Him.
The major ways we give to God financially is through tithing and offerings. Tithing is giving consistently to our churches to help support them. We should not give our tithes to different churches or ministries. We give them to the church which we attend and believe is feeding the complete word of God. Offerings are separate from tithing and they can be given to various churches, ministries and persons as we are led or desire to give.
Common sense tells us that some type of financial support has to be given into the kingdom because without it, churches can’t survive. We have to see the practical and logical side of church and view it like a business. Looking at the major expenses of a chain store like Best Buy, for example, it must earn a certain amount of money to support it’s existence, to pay for the land whether owned or leased, support and maintain the building, pay taxes, pay stock holder dividends (if any), support upper management, lower management, salaried and hourly employees, and finance community projects and other altruistic endeavors.
I’m sure there are many more categories of expenses involved in keeping just one store open in a given city that is placed according to the the demographics of that area with the belief or hope that it will continue to show the right amount of people who can and are willing to help support the store through their regular purchasing. I’ve seen a number of these stores close in our area because the demographics had changed due to the economy.
Our churches in theory are similar to large chain stores found in each of our local areas. They may not have to pay taxes, but they have similar expectation in order to keep their doors open. They can have the same building and land expenses, pastor and associate pastor incomes, full-time leadership incomes, full-time and part-time office employees and general expenses such as building upkeep and maintenance, supplies, giving to the poor or community as a whole, supporting missions, helping church members in need and the list continues.
You can see that logically a church will go “out of business” if it doesn’t get the support it needs. If the demographics no longer support a church’s existence, it will be forced to close. Yet many Christians have the attitude that the Christian church can support itself. I’ve heard Christians say, “pastors are so greedy to expect money for doing God’s work.” Well, unless they’re like many of the greedy televangelists, they’re a part of God’s Kingdom and they have the right to expect an income in return for their hard work to support their families and live well like everyone else. However, instead of getting paid by a corporation entity, those of us who attend church must be the one’s to provide the financial support needed. New Testament tithing is the means in which our churches can remain alive and ready to serve!
New Testament Tithing Studies
There are many studies on this subject, and I encourage you to take them in order to educate yourself on one of the most important areas of a Christian’s life. It’s important because God desires for us to be generous and cheerful givers into the kingdom. However, I hope to give you a better understanding in this article about New Testament Tithing to help you become obedient to God in giving God’s way.
The Importance Of Teaching New Testament Tithing In Our Churches
What pastors must do in order to secure their churches ability to remain in service to God is to teach their congregations about New Testament tithing. There are three or four verses that mention tithing in the New Testament.
Matthew 23:23 23. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
Luke 18:12 12. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
Luke 11:42 42. “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
In the verses mentioned, Jesus was acknowledging that the Pharisees were very careful about tithing, Luke 18:22. He was telling them that they should take their giving to a higher level; see Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42. Tithing, like other old covenant rules and rituals, was a law at the time Jesus spoke because until Jesus died on the cross, the Old Covenant was still in force.
Jesus wasn’t criticizing the Pharisees for tithing, but for treating tithing as more important than mercy, love, justice and faithfulness. These are things which need to be a part of our lives in order to receive God’s blessings of obedience and the qualities that should motivate us for giving. The only other mention of tithing in the New Testament is in Hebrews.
Abraham was blessed by and paid tithes to Melchizedek which illustrates the superiority of Melchizedek and Jesus Christ over the Levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7:1-10). In verse 12 it says that “when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.” Because there was a change of the priesthood from the Levites to Jesus Christ, this implies a change in the law that assigned the Levites to be priests. Hebrews says that the old covenant is obsolete. The “laws” that commanded tithes to be given to the Levites is obsolete. So this brings us to tithing today. Our New Testament tithing should honor God by giving from our hearts cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
As we voluntarily give to God through the blessings He gives to us, we continue to prosper through our support of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no longer a percentage required that was a part of the law of the old covenant (10%). Our giving today is a part of God’s plan to support is Kingdom through individual churches, church clusters and evangelical and mission endeavors to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and help one another with our needs. If we don’t support our churches, then who will?
God is waiting to bless us with the windows of heaven blessing from Malachi 3:10 so that we will always be greatly blessed in order to be great blessings. People who give their lives to Jesus Christ in faith do not worry about whether tithing is commanded in the New Testament. People who are being transformed by Christ to be more like Christ are generous.
They want to give as much as possible to support the gospel and to support the poor. Christians should give generously — but giving is a result of their relationship with God, not a way to earn it. In other words, we can’t buy God’s love and blessings. We are given grace through faith, not through tithing. So when we give, we trust that our giving will do the work of the Lord and, as our provider, God will take care of us in every way including financial.
According to Malachi 3:10 God will bless us so that there will not be room enough to receive our blessings. Just because we’re free to give outside of a “law” or without a “percent” doesn’t mean that we are liberated to use our blessings for ourselves only.
We receive our blessings by having the right attitude before God and desire first to give rather than to have blessings only to accumulate more money and things for ourselves. Christ has liberated us from the curse of the law to give us freedom to have more time to serve Him. He frees us so we can have faith instead of selfishness.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15 (ESV) The Cheerful Giver
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
9 As it is written,“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.
13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others,
14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.
15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
When it comes to money, we need to ask ourselves the following: Is our heart in the gospel of Jesus Christ? Are we putting our money where our heart is? We can tell where our heart is by seeing where we are putting our money.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” When God took away the “stony heart” from man once Jesus was resurrected, we became a people of God’s love. We’re able to love others through Jesus and be a blessing to others in His Name.
Even our good stewardship comes from our hearts by our choosing to take care of what God has given us. We now have hearts that were made to be loving and generous for the Kingdom of God. We should desire wealth to help others. When we do, we gain “treasure in heaven” as well as here on earth. However, our treasure in heaven is everlasting.
New Testament Tithing and You
If you find this article about New Testament tithing not valid because you believe the scriptures lead to tithing 10% of our income, I pray that you won’t be offended, but that instead you’ll give your tithes through Jesus Christ with love, reverence, joy and gratitude for all that God has given you and will give you throughout your life.
Keep a generous heart and over time, perhaps your tithe will grow to over 10% if it hasn’t already. The same for giving tithes for any amount. We should always expect to grow our tithes so that over time, we will be at a place of having more time to serve the Lord.
Learn More About Tithing, Giving and Becoming Financially Strong For God’s Kingdom
For more information on the subject of New Testament tithing and financial increase God’s way for inner growth as well as financial growth, my Christian Money Growth Series and references will help you learn how to get in position with God for receiving His blessings to become a blessing by being a good steward.
This is an exciting study that teaches more than money growth, but also a lifestyle that yields God’s best in areas of life that go deeper than financial. It includes a comprehensive Bible Study on Christian financial growth with reference books that teach how to give in a way that will open the windows of heaven blessing for you, even if you have little or no money to give. Click here for more information.
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