Do Christians have to tithe? Should I give a 10% tithe to my church? Did Jesus say we should tithe in the New Testament?

The Bible Says

Should Christians give 10% of their income to God, or was tithing an Old Covenant law that was hung on the cross? What does the Bible say about New Covenant Christians giving a full 10% tithe of their income to God? Why should they do it? What does God say about tithing?


bible says

"Behold the days come saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord." (Amos 8:11)

A group of scientists decided that mankind had advanced far enough that they no longer needed God. So they drew straws, and the loser went to find God.

When he found Him, he said, "Look God, We've mastered space exploration, we can cure any disease, we can talk instantaneously around the world, we can clone human beings, basically, we don't need you any more."

God listened patiently. Finally He spoke.

"Tell you what," He said. "We'll settle this with a man-making contest. Each of us will make a man, and the first one to finish wins."

"Sure," said the man, who headed off to consult with his colleagues.

"Wait a minute," called God.

The man turned.

"We're going to do this the real way, the way I did it in the beginning."

"No problem," responds the man, bending down to grab a handful of clay.

"No, no, no," says God. "You get your own dirt."

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Imagine that there is a jar of earth sitting in front of you, full of dirt, rocks, and minerals. Do you know what you actually see in this jar?

You see a mechanic's wrench, a carpenter's hammer, a doctor's stethescope, and a teacher's chalkboard. You see a chef's stove, a farmer's plow, and a fireman's hose. This jar contains everything anyone can use, on any job, anywhere in the world. It is the earth. It's dirt and iron and copper and carbon. It's clay and sand and nickle and magnesium. It's everything that has ever physically existed that helps you earn an income and it all comes from what's inside this jar!

Do you know who owns all of this? God! God owns it all!

The Bible says in Psalm 24:1, "The earth is the LORD's and all its fullness."

God says in Job 41:11, "Everything under heaven is Mine".

Again He says in Exodus 19:5, "for all the earth is mine."

The Bible goes even further and says this:

Leviticus 27:30, "All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's. It is holy to the Lord".

The Bible says the tithe is holy. It is set apart for God. Where did God get the right to claim this ten percent of everything produced by YOUR hard work as holy? It's simple. God owns everything you use to earn your income! Without His raw materials you can produce nothing! The tithe is simply the way God expects you to acknowledge that He owns everything, and, He gives you everything you need. All God asks from you is ten percent of whatever you produce from all the materials He provides. If something is holy, it means it is set apart for God. The tithe of your income is His, not yours!

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What exactly is a tithe? It's an old English word that simply means tenth. It does not mean whatever you want to give. It does not mean whatever you think you can afford to give. God does not give you a choice concerning the amount you should give. You simply have to decide whether to obey Him or not.

A tithe is ten percent of your total income before taxes. You tithe on the gross because you personally use the taxes you pay to Uncle Sam. You receive an actual benefit from those tax dollars whether it is the roads you drive on, the parks you play in, the public schools your kids attend, the fire department that saves your house, or the military that protects you.

Wait a minute. Aren't you a New Covenant Christian? Tithing doesn't apply to you does it? Wasn't tithing part of the Mosaic law that was hung on the cross? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Don't believe anyone who tells you this! Believe what the Bible says!

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While tithing was written into the Mosaic law, it always has existed and always will exist for those who love God. Tithing can be traced to Genesis. This was long before Moses ever wrote God's commands into the law of the Old Covenant. The Bible says Abraham tithed on the spoils of the war he fought with four kings.

Genesis 14:18-22, "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all."

Abraham gave a tenth to Melchizedek, the "priest of the Most High God." Consider what the New Testament says regarding this.

Hebrews 7:1-4, "For this Melchisedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils".

Even though there was no Old Covenant law that commanded it, Abraham gave a tenth to God's high priest. Who was this High Priest? If you look at the words in bold above you will see that Melchizedek was in all likelihood the Second Person of the Trinity who became Jesus Christ. The Bible says Jesus Christ is still in this priestly position today. When you tithe, you show Jesus the same appropriate honor and respect as did Abraham.

Hebrews 6:20, "...even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." (NKJV)

The Bible also says Jacob tithed to God. Again, this was long before Moses and the Jewish Law was written. Jacob said this.

Genesis 28:22, "of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You"

There's that ten percent again. Where did Abraham and Jacob get this idea to give a tenth to God? Why not give five percent. Why not give twenty percent? Why not give fifty percent? The answer would seem obvious when you see that God told Moses to write the ten percent figure in God's law. Remember, tithe means tenth.

Deuteronomy 14:22, "You shall truly tithe (tenth) all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. "(NKJV)

Leviticus 27:32, "And concerning the tithe (tenth) of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord." (NKJV)

God spoke directly to Abraham; however, all of their conversations are not recorded in the Bible. The simple answer is God told Abraham about His tithe, and Abraham passed down this ten percent number to his children and to his grandchild Jacob. Eventually Moses codified this figure into the Law given to Israel as directed by God. Ten percent of your income is holy to God.

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The Bible says the New Testament Church is built on the Old Testament scriptures. What occurred back then is recorded for your example. You are to learn from the Old Testament teachings. Tithing is one of those teachings.

Ephesians 2:20, "Now therefore ye are ......of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets......"

Romans 15:4, "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. "(NIV)

1 Corinthians 10:11, "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. "(NIV)

Many people tend to believe their own physical efforts produce what they earn. You may think you actually create your income rather than recognizing that it is all from God. God warns His people about this belief. You are told to remember who gives you everything.

Deuteronomy 8:17, "then you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth'". (NKJV)

Deuteronomy 8:18, "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth...."(NKJV)

Unfortunately, some who claim to be Christians don't believe what the Bible says. Some people who say Jesus is living in their heart don't trust Him. They would rather steal from God than trust Him to provide all they need. The Bible says in Malachi 3 that failure to tithe is robbing God! Listen to these strong words from God.

Malachi 3:8-9, "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation." (NKJV)

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians that thieves WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

1 Corinthians 6:10, "nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God."(NKJV)

If Jesus is living in our heart you will WANT to tithe and not steal from God. If you find yourself wanting to keep what belongs to God, then maybe it's time to examine your hearts and see if Jesus is really living there.

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Tithing is between you and God, not you and your church. The Bible does not give you the authority to withhold any portion of God's tithe even when you don't agree with others at church. Tithing should never be influenced by who the pastor is in a church. Tithing should never be affected by how money is spent or not spent in the church. Tithing should never be influenced by changes in music, ministries, or missions in a church.

Tithing is a matter of trust. There are no loopholes for tithing! You either trust God or you don't! You need to keep tithing and trust God to inspire and direct all that is done in his church. If you base your giving on any other factors such as staff, music, ministries, or missions, then you don't understand to whom you are giving the tithe.

When you give the tithe to your church, you are actually giving it to God. If the church misuses it, if church leaders spend it frivolously, even if they steal it for themselves, it's between them and God. He will deal justly with those who abuse His tithe. Your responsibility for the tithe ends the moment you give it to God. You don't need to worry about it. God is in charge!

Did Jesus have anything to say about tithing in the New Testament?

Matthew 23:23, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." (KJV)

The New Living Translation, written in modern English, makes it very clear that tithing is the Lord's law for Christians.

Matthew 23:23, "How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you ignore the important things of the law - justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things. "

Jesus plainly stated tithing should not be left undone. Some will point out that Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees who were under the law, and although tithing was required of them by the law it doesn't apply to Jesus' followers. Here was Jesus' perfect opportunity to teach His disciples that tithing was no longer required of them. This was His chance to clearly explain tithing was no longer applicable to His followers. Jesus didn't do that.

Remember, tithing predates the law these Pharisees were under at the time. Melchizedek had received tithes from Abraham and Jacob who were not under the Mosaic law. Jesus was teaching a timeless principle that had existed long before the Old Covenant law. Rather than doing away with tithing, He strongly reinforced His teaching. Jesus taught tithing should be practiced right along side the Christian values of "justice, mercy, and faith."

Jesus is your personal High Priest, and if you love Him, you will want to give Him His tithe. You will want to give to God what belongs to Him.

There are some Christians who honestly believe they can't afford to tithe. Do you know why they can't afford to tithe? It is because they don't tithe! They really can't afford to tithe because they have not been tithing and receiving God's blessings.

How can some Christians honestly expect God to bless His ten percent they refuse to give him? Why should He help them with their finances, or give them a better job, or save them from some monetary loss if they choose to keep the entire one hundred percent for themselves? Some Christians have not benefited from God's abundant blessings that He promises to those who tithe. God promises in Malachi 3 tithing will result in a blessing so great they will not have room enough to receive it.

Malachi 3:8-10, "....Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the Lord Almighty, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you! " (NLT)

This is a challenge from God to test Him. He wants you to prove Him by stepping out in faith and tithing even when you can't afford it. Sometimes His blessings will be financial. Other times they may be a miraculous healing. His blessings may spare you from a job layoff, storm damage to your roof, or an auto accident He prevents. Many times you never even know the amazing blessings you receive from God for faithfully tithing.

What if someone decides to tithe for the wrong reason? If he doesn't do it out of heartfelt love for God then he shouldn't expect a lot to happen. God loves a cheerful giver. He doesn't need or want the tithe given with a bad attitude!

Even if someone decides to tithe for the right reason a time of testing will certainly come. It always does. God will try his heart to see if he is faithful in tithing even in tough economic times. Tithing can be very hard in the beginning. People will be tempted to stop tithing when finances get tight. They will probably need a tighter budget and a lot of prayer to help them through this time of faith testing.

The Bible does not give anyone the authority to keep any of God's tithe for any reason! Everybody has financial problems at some time in their life. God never promised you a trouble free life. He did promise to help you through all your trials and tribulations. This includes money problems, as long as you put Him first. YOU have to trust God!

Look at the first two chapters of the Book of Job in the Old Testament if you want to see an extreme example of a test of faith for a righteous man. Testing will come, sometimes more than once, and sometimes for a long time. Anyone who tithes can attest to this. When you have passed the test, it's a whole new story.

Job 42:10, "the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before."

God will get you through your financial difficulties. He will pour out His blessings as he has promised in His own way and in his own time. God is faithful! He will provide your every need (not your every "want") as long as you trust Him and continue to put Him first no matter how much or how little you earn. You never know how God will bless you. Tithing is all about trust. It's a measure of how much you trust God. Tithing proves your willingness to surrender to Jesus and to really let Him in your heart to control your lives.

Make God your partner, and He will take care of you. God will provide your needs just as he promised.

This is what the Bible says!

Do Christians have to tithe? Should I give a 10% tithe to my church? Did Jesus say we should tithe in the New Testament?