Last updated: July 26, 2017 at 4:39 am
Tithing is a part of Christian doctrine which teaches that believers should give ten percent of their earnings to God. This is done by giving it to the church. The word “tithe” means “tenth”. So, tithing means giving a tenth. But giving exactly ten percent is not exactly the mark of the cheerful giver. We are therefore encouraged to give a little or a lot more than exactly ten percent, knowing that whatever we give to God, He gives us back. Hence the expression “tithes and offerings”.
In this article, I wish to give followers of Christ, and the world in general, a little bit of guidance when it comes to paying tithes to God through the church.
God Doesn’t Need Your Money
Before we go any further, I’d like to state very clearly here that “God doesn’t need your money”. God is the owner of the entire world. All the coal, diamond, gold, silver, bronze, platinum, oil and everything which you can and cannot imagine belong to God. God is absolutely free of all needs. So then why does the church require tithes of Christians? The answer: it doesn’t. And this brings us to….
Tithing: A Privilege, Not A Requirement
I’ve heard that some pastors insist that in order to be a member of a church, the individual must pay tithes based on his or her earnings. This is not biblical. Even in the time of the law, no one was punished for failing to pay tithes. That is, it is not an offense punishable by the laws of men. However, by the law of God there are divine consequences for people who intentionally choose to forget God. The bible makes this very clear in the old testament, the book of Malachi “you are cursed because you have robbed God…in tithes in offerings”. Therefore, Christians need to understand that paying tithes is a way of releasing God’s blessings in their lives. It is a privilege of the highest order. But no one should hold you to account, except God if He chooses to, if you don’t wish to pay tithes.
Tithing: Did It End With Law?
Christians no longer live by the law of Moses but are saved by grace through acceptance of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus says “I have come to fulfill the law…and it shall not pass away until it has been fulfilled”. Jesus was the only Man able to keep every commandment of God and remain free of sin until His crucifixion. In this sense, He fulfilled the law. But the law of the prophets was to end with a Messiah who would save His people from their sins. Jesus was this Messiah as well. So Jesus fulfilled the law in every sense of the word. Since the law has been fulfilled, it has now passed away. We know that tithing is a doctrine which started in the old testament, but does it carry through with Jesus’ new system of grace? Absolutely!
The Law Magnified
Isaiah prophesied that God “will do a new thing”. He spoke of a Messiah who will “magnify the law”. Indeed, Jesus did magnify the law. He says “Moses told you eye for eye, but I say love your enemies”. Jesus therefore magnified the law by making it far more powerful. He gives Christians a much higher and Godly standard to live by. In the old testament we are told by God “prove me in tithing, and see if I don’t open the windows of heavens and pour you out a blessing, so that the whole world rise up and call you blessed”. But Jesus magnifies even this. He says “there is not one who will give you even a cup of cold water, because you are of Me, and will not receive his reward from Me.”
All Power Is Given To Him
When Jesus rose from the dead, He told His disciples “all power has been given to me in heaven and in earth”. Indeed, Jesus is God’s beloved Son in whom the Father is well pleased. He is God’s Viceroy to earth. He is God in the Flesh. Jesus makes tithing much more powerful than it once was. He promises to bless us not only if we give ten percent, but even if we give to His church a cup of cold water. You can imagine how blessed Christians will be when they pay tithes to God.
Tithing: An Expression of Faith
So if God doesn’t need our money, why pay tithes? The answer: for our own benefit. God set the tithing system up give us an opportunity to express our faith. Tithing is an expression of faith in God. By tithing, we acknowledge that we of ourselves are nothing: that we are entirely reliant on God, our creator, and that we trust Him for all good things. The more you give to God, the more He gives you back, and you can grow your faith by tithing, giving more and more and receiving more and more of His grace, blessings and mercies.
The Dangers Of Forgetting God
Often, when Christians have received enough of God’s mercies, they tend to forget God. Greed steps in and they become tightfisted. David warned of this in the book of Psalms. The consequences of forgetting God are dire. We are no longer sheltered by His wings of grace and mercies. The good news is that God’s mercies are ever-abounding. He is always waiting for us to return to Him.
Tithing when done generously with offerings will release God’s grace, blessings and mercies in all areas of your personal and financial life. It is not required of you by the church. It should not be. This has to be your personal decision. You do it for your own benefit. And if you choose not to, you are still free to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in any church.