TITHING 2 – 14th July, 2019.
1. TITHING BEFORE THE LAW – Instances of the use of tithes are found prior to the appointment of the Levitical tithes under the law. In biblical history the two prominent instances are – a) Genesis 14:20 – Abram presented the tenth of all; everything, or rather of the spoils of his victory, to Melchizedek (Cf Heb 7:2, 6).
b) Genesis 28:22 – Jacob, after his vision at Luz, vowed to devote a tenth of all his property to God if he returns home safely.
The two accounts clearly show that tithing was done in acknowledgment of divine blessings.
2. TITHING UNDER THE NEW TESTAMENT – The New Testament mentions tithe in four places only – a. Matthew 23:23 b. Luke 11:42 c. Luke 18:12 d. Hebrews 7:2-9
A careful study of these passages will show that the New Testament never mentioned tithing as an obligation for Christians. So, should Christians TITHE? The answer is NO. Reasons:
a. Tithing as stipulated under the Law is not for the Christian since the Christian is not under the Law (Gal. 3:24-25).
b. The Christian should not tithe because to whom much is given, much is expected (Lk 12:48). To understand this point fully, study these passages and compare God’s dealings with the Old Testament believers, with His dealings with the New Testament believers (Christians). Ex 20:26; 21:15-17; 23:10-11; 15; 29:38-41;30:12; 31:14; Lev 7:22-23; 11:1ff; 12:1-6; 13:1-14:1ff; 15; 16:2,17; 19:9-10, 28 (Cf 21:5); 21:16-23; 24:19-20.
All who practiced tithing in the Old Testament did that in anticipation of divine redemption. They operated under many regulations that never fully addressed reality (Hebrews 9:10; 10:1-3; 11:13, 39-40), thus had to be doing it year in, year out. The physical things that render them unclean and thus cannot approach God are something else (e.g., any form of body discharge; not to talk of animals they cannot eat but are well celebrated today e.g. dog, pig, rabbit etc.).
How could those who had such regulations give 10% in appreciation to God, then you and I who enjoy all things in Christ, also operate under 10%? Child of God, for what God has done for you, you should be appreciating Him by practicing more than tithe (10%).
The Old Testament law of tithing is not binding on the Christian Church, nevertheless the principle of this law remains, and is incorporated in the gospel (1Co 9:13, 14); and if, as is the case, the motive that ought to prompt to liberality in the cause of religion and of the service of God be greater now than in Old Testament times, then Christians ought to go beyond the ancient Hebrew 10% in consecrating both themselves and their substance to God.