Summary: Tithing was a practice among believers before the Law of Moses, as well as during the time of the Law. Jesus reaffirmed the validity of paying tithes in the New Testament. God's word says that "the purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives" (Deuteronomy 14:23, TLB).
Acts 20:33 [The apostle Paul said] I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold.
•• It is never our intent at South Valley Church to covet your finances.
•• But there is an area of finances that we do covet — that is, that the Lord receive our tithes and offerings.
•• Leviticus 27:30, 32 A tithe of everything from the land ... BELONGS TO THE LORD... The tenth (ten percent) of our gross increase belongs to the Lord. Let's first take a broad look at tithes in the bible.
• An OVERVIEW of tithing in the Bible:
•• Wealthy Abraham, the first great patriarch of Israel, gave tithes centuries before Moses’ Law (Genesis 14).
•• Poor Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, gave his tithes, also before the Law — Genesis 28:22“And of all that you give me I will give you a TENTH.”
•• In the Law that God gave through Moses to God’s people, there were clear commandments to give tithes —
• Leviticus 27:30, 32 A tithe of everything from the land ... belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the Lord. ... The entire tithe of the herd and flock — every tenth animal ... — will be holy to the Lord.
• Ten lambs born? They gave the Lord one. Ten bushels of wheat harvested? They gave the Lord one. They tithed — that is, they gave ten percent — on the gross increase, not on the net. I personally believe that these verses answer the question "Should I tithe before or after taxes?" An "entire tithe ... a tithe of everything ... of all...I will give you a tenth" would seem best fulfilled by tithing on the gross before taxes. That's what I practice, and that's what I recommend.
• People ask: What is a tithe? How much should I tithe? The pattern from the beginning was a tenth of the gross increase.
• My tithe “belongs[not to me, but] to the Lord.”
• 1,500 years after Moses received the Law, Jesus REAFFIRMED in His day the validity of tithing:
Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
•• Later on in the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians, ch. 9, the apostle Paul teaches on the financial support of the work of God and uses commands from Moses’ Law as guidelines — 1 Corinthians 9:8"Doesn’t the Law say the SAME thing?" (referring to how, under the Law, the priests lived on the tithes and offerings). Paul brought the principle of the Levitical tithe — "the SAME thing" — over to the support of New Testament ministry.
• Should Christians tithe? The words of both Jesus and Paul seem clearly to bring tithing into New Testament times.
•• In the history of the New Testament Church since the first century, biblical tithing has been commonly, although not universally, taught and practiced.
WHY I BELIEVE IN TITHING:
1. As we have just seen, tithing is a Bible doctrine with CONTINUITY in the Scriptures, before, during, and after Moses’ Law.
3.2 Chronicles 31:12 Then they FAITHFULLY brought in the contributions, tithes and dedicated gifts.
•• The giving of tithes and offerings is an indicator of our faithfulness. It’s a weekly, semimonthly, or monthly opportunity to demonstrate to God your faithfulness and commitment to His work on earth.
4.2 Chronicles 31:5 As soon as the order went out, the Israelites GENEROUSLY gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a TITHE of everything.
•• Giving "the tenth" is an indicator of our generosity. And God takes notice of the attitude of generosity: “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7) and “A generous man will himself be blessed” (Proverbs 22:9).
Malachi 3:8-10 "Will a man ROB GOD? Yet you rob me.” But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In TITHES AND OFFERINGS. (9)You are under a curse — the whole nation of you — because you are robbing me. (10) Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
6. Why do I believe in tithing (and giving offerings also)? I wouldn’t want to take a chance on God considering me a ROBBER!
7. Why do I believe in giving tithes and offerings? Because God says He wants His “house” to be abundantly supplied.
8. Why tithe? Because God says if I am faithful in tithes and offerings, He will open the windows of heaven and pour me out abundant blessings.