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I have heard many argue that tithing is strictly an Old Testament regulation that is no longer required for New Testament believers in the church. In a nutshell, here are some reasons I believe that a person should tithe today.
1) Tithing pre-dates the giving of the Law.
Abraham and Jacob both committed to the tithe. This renders the argument that tithing is just a Jewish law that is no longer binding to Christians a moot point. (Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7:6; Genesis 28:22)
2) The purpose of tithing is worship.
Deuteronomy 14:23 “The purpose of the tithe is to teach you always to fear the Lord your God.” All of God’s commands are based in his love for us. While we do not keep the Ten Commandments to earn salvation or to merit God’s love, we still are to follow those principles. No one would argue that just because we are in the New Testament age of grace that it is OK to murder someone simply because that command was given in the Mosaic Law. The point is that there are blessings when we obey God’s Law and there are consequences when we disobey it. This is true of tithing and putting God first in our finances.
3) Without the tithe there is no furtherance of the gospel.
Malachi 3:10 “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house…” This indicates that one of the main reasons to bring the tithe into the Temple (OT picture of the NT church) is so that “there may food in my house.” Food represents Jesus and the gospel. (Jesus is the bread of life, spiritual food, etc.) Without the generous giving of God’s people there will be no food on his house and the gospel and missions will not go out. In addition there will be no fresh bread for God’s people when they come to church
4) Without the tithe the church rejects one of God’s gifts to the church and members hinder their spiritual growth.
In Ephesians 4 God clearly shows us that he gave the church gifts. Not spiritual gifts but gifts for the betterment and growth of the members of the body of Christ. Pastors and teachers are a part of that gift. 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 also seems to validate that point by comparing the food in the Temple (pay for priests) to food in the church or pay for pastors.
5) Jesus affirmed the need for the tithe.
Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” (Also Luke 11:42)
6) 2 Corinthians 8-9 deals with the need for generous giving in the entire two chapters.
7) The New Testament standard is higher than the tithe.
If a person argues that the tithe is not a NT standard that a person should give then they must look to the NT standard, which is quite a bit more. In Acts 2:41-47 and 4:32-37 the Christians literally sold much of what they owned and gave to the church. Although there is no exact percentage, selling what you owe and having all things common means that it was almost communal and that would be WAY more than 10%. Also, throughout church history Christians have practiced and believed in the tithe.
8) Generosity and giving are vital to the Christian life.
There is no arguing that giving and generosity is commanded in the bible. God so loved that he gave. (Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7:6; Genesis 28:22; Leviticus 27:30-32; Numbers 18:21–28; Deuteronomy 12:5, 6, 11, 17; 14:22, 23; Proverbs 3:9-10; Proverbs 19:17; Proverbs 22:9; Proverbs 28:27; John 3:16; Acts 2:41-47; Acts 4:32-37; 2 Corinthians 8-9)
9) The tithe allows for an objective standard.
The problem I have with people who say tithing is not really required is that they ALWAYS give less. There are very few exceptions to this. As a result, they are giving less to the furtherance of the gospel, less to plant churches, less to missions, less to helping those in need, less to the church where they are being watched over, led, and fed spiritually. That seems to be the total opposite of what God has called us to do. Also, as human beings we tend to give ourselves WAY too much credit for the good that we do when there is no objective measurement. For example, God says he is to be first in our lives, our day, and our week. I can measure that. If I pray, read the bible, and go to church on Sunday that is something measureable. A tithe is measureable. If there is no objective standard then how do we know if we have given the right way? Look throughout the bible and see what God says to do in the way of helping the poor, managing your money, being generous, and giving so that there is food in his house.
10) Tithing show my faith in God and that he is in control in my life.
It ultimately comes down to faith and control. If a person actually believes, obeys, and trusts God it will be evident in their finances. Not tithing is a matter of the heart, worship, and control.
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