NO questions were submitted this week, so I’m re-posting this one from 2007:
Last Friday’s post got piqued some interest on the subject of tithing – here’s today’s question: “A lot of people feel that tithing was something that was done in the Old Testament and we don’t really have to tithe anymore. Can you give me some scriptures in the New Testament that shows that we are still obligated to pay tithes?”
Such a great question. Like you, I’ve heard all those comments, and I know good people who’ve bought in to that error, and thus miss out on God’s promised blessings. Here are a few New Testament Scriptures regarding tithing:
- Matthew 23:23 – notice that our Lord Jesus Himself said about tithing, we “ought” to do. That’s a strong word – tithing is something we are morally obligated (ought) to do!
- 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 – here is the New Testament pattern (Paul was teaching all the churches to do this) – their giving was to be done “in proportion” to what they had received. That means they were to give a set percentage of their income. What would that percentage be? Obviously, the entire Old Testament had prescribed 10%, so there was no need for Paul to repeat that information again – they already knew that!
- Hebrews 7:7-15 – please note that Paul speaks of tithing in the present tense (‘we pay tithes’) which means tithing was still being practiced in the New Testament Church and his argument is that Melchizidek never died, so he’s still receiving tithes. (Since Melchizidek is a type of Jesus, you could say that Jesus is receiving our tithes!)
Matthew 5:17-22, 27-48 addresses that whole argument better than anything. Whoever says that we are not under the law anymore obviously doesn’t understand – Jesus didn’t come to destroy or contradict the law; He came to fulfill it!
Would any Christian today commit murder and then say, “well, I’m not under the law anymore, so it’s ok for me to kill someone.” NO! Would any believer commit adultery and then say when confronted, “I’m not under the law, so I don’t have to live by that commandment anymore” - Of course not.
In fact, as you notice in those verses from the Sermon on the Mount, while the law of Moses had imposed several requirements on God’s people, Jesus emphatically added more – instead of “don’t kill”, in the New Testament, it’s “don’t hate”; instead of “don’t commit adultery”, in the New Testament, it’s “don’t look with lust”; in other words, in this New Testament time of grace (remember grace and truth came by Jesus Christ – John 1:17), Christians do more than the minimal requirements of the Law.
When people tell me that they’re not under the Law and don’t have to tithe, I say, “oh, so you give more than 10% out of love for what God has done by His grace”!
The real issue behind those objections and arguments is a lack of trust in God’s Word and/or a stronghold of mammon. I don’t have time in this post to develop that further, but the truth is, we don’t tithe to the Lord because we have to, we tithe our income to the Lord because we want to honor Him for what He’s done for us! (Prov. 3:9-10; Exodus 13)
Hope that helps. Now, what would you like to Ask the Pastor?