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Summary: A Scripture study on the idea of "tithing" in the New Testament. A response to an elder who said Christians need not tithe.

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IS TITHING COMMANDED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT?

MATTHEW 6:1-4= We find Jesus talking about doing “acts of righteousness.” Among these various acts, we find that Jesus talks about giving to the needy. He talks, in general, about giving and the manner in which it is to be done. Giving to the needy is indeed a righteous act and should be done as “in secret” as possible as to avoid the praise of men. The reward for giving will come from our Heavenly Father. If one gives and wants the praise of men, hand claps, and standing ovations—this is the reward he receives. Yet, if giving is done “in secret” the reward will be greater and will have eternal results.

MATTHEW 22:15-22 (paralleled in Mark 12:14-17 and Luke 20:20-26)= All three of the Synoptic Gospels record the account of Jesus talking about paying taxes to Caesar. The Pharisees often tried to trap Jesus and this was one such occasion. In the end, His witty response was “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God’s what is God’s.” It occurs to me that Jesus is affirming that giving back to God is still admirable and a command of God. God is the Giver of All Things and we ought to be able and willing to give back to Him.

2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-15= Paul is instructing the Corinthians about giving. Paul lays down several principles that aid in thinking about giving. One, Paul teaches that a person should give “what he has decided in his heart to give.” Two, God will take care of the giver and will see that his needs are met. Three, we are also advised to give generously because the returns on the giving will be generous as well. Our giving is an expression of thanks to God. Four, the giving needs to be done with a joyful heart and with thanksgiving.

GALATIANS 6:7-10= This verse follows the “reaping and sowing” symbolism of 2 Corinthians and counsels the Christian to not grow weary about giving. We should continue in giving good gifts to people as many opportunities as arise.

I. In the New Testament, the words “tithe” and “tithing” appear only eight times and all of them refer to the Old Testament use and to the Jewish practices of the day. No where does the New Testament express the command that Christians are to “tithe”.

II. However, Christians are to follow the example and command of Jesus in giving. Jesus did not come to “abolish the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them” (Mt 5:17). Jesus showed us by His example and Paul by his example and writings—that giving for the Christian goes past mere tithing. Tithing is the least one can do. Giving is so much more than that. Giving is so much more full than that. It is true, Christians are never commanded to tithe in the New Testament, but are commanded to give (which is more than tithing).

III. Giving should be voluntary, willing, and cheerful because one feels thankful to God for His blessings. Christians should recognize that all they have comes from God and should be faithful stewards by sharing it with others.

IV. In summary, Christians are asked to be givers, which is much more than just tithing. Tithing is only the minimum that a Christian can do. Giving is so much more.


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Talk about it...

Jack Slawter

commented on Apr 29, 2015

"In summary, Christians are asked to be givers, which is much more than just tithing..." Where does the Bible say that giving is much more than tithing? Also, "asked" and "commanded" is the same thing?

Troy Borst

commented on Apr 30, 2015

This was perhaps one of the first sermons I ever preached 17 years ago when I got in ministry. "Giving is more than tithing" is not anywhere in Scripture, though there does seem to be a difference between "tithes" and "offerings" and "gifts" as I have looked over various passages. "Asked" is not the same as "commanded." I would use the word "commanded" today were I to re-preach this sermon.

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