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What does the Bible say about Christian tithing?

The Bible contains many promises — and curses — connected with giving tithe. Malachi 3:8-12 is perhaps one of the best known:

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye [are] cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, [even] this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it]. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Why would God say all this in the last book of the Old Testament and then turn the page to the book of Matthew and say you don’t need to pay a tithe anymore?

When God makes a law in the Old Testament and we wonder if it still applies to us today, we need to ask whether the law was ceremonial. The ceremonial laws were built around the sanctuary during the Exodus, regarding the sacrificial system. Those laws were nailed to the cross, and we no longer needed them because they found their fulfillment in Christ.

In that regard, it seems that tithing is a principle that God calls on us to practice today. It goes back further than the ceremonial system. It goes back to the very beginning, before Moses. Abraham paid tithe. Jacob paid tithe. They were blessed for their faithfulness.

What about the New Testament? Paul writes about the tithe, and he never indicates that it is something we should not do anymore. No New Testament writer suggests that. Paul adds, “You should not muzzle the ox that treads the grain” (1 Timothy 5:18). And he appeals to the Old Testament laws in connection with tithing, even though he doesn’t explicitly call it tithing. He says, “Those that preach the gospel should be sustained by the gospel.” That was the Old Testament principle. He never says that tithing is nothing, unlike circumcision.

In Matthew 23:23, Jesus’ answer reveals His belief about tithe: “Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you pay Tithe of the mint and anise and cumin but you’ve omitted the weightier matters, justice, mercy, and faith.” Finally, he adds, “These you ought to have done, and not leave the other undone.” The “other” is paying the tithe. He’s not saying not to pay the tithe. Pay the tithe, He explains, but don’t forget about justice, mercy, and faith.

The principle of tithe has always been to support the ministry. Does the Christian church still have a need for that? Absolutely. We still need missionaries and pastors and teachers. That’s what a church should use its tithe for.

The Bible says that everything we have, 100 percent of it, really belongs to Him. He asks us to acknowledge that by returning just one tenth of our increase. In the same way, 100 percent of our time and our life belongs to God, and He asks us to acknowledge that by returning one day in seven as holy unto Him.

We are accountable to God for our time and our resources, yet He only asks for a small percentage to keep that in our minds. But it is also a reason for rejoicing! When you are faithful in paying tithe, you are helping others learn about and grow in Christ. But God also promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that you’ll not have room to receive it. Test the Lord on this. You won’t be disappointed.
 
 
 
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