How about Tithing?


     Introduction: Tithing or the giving of a tenth is found in the Hebrew scriptures. Tithing dates back to the time of Abram when Abram (later Abraham) gave a tenth to Melchizedek (Gen. 14). Many religions teach that tithing is binding today.

I. Tithing under the Law of Moses.

  A. Tithing under the Law of Moses was somewhat tedious and demanding. The Jew was to give a tenth of his crops and a tenth of his flocks (Lev. 27; Deut. 14).

  B. A tenth, it appears, was to be paid to the Levites (priests, Num. 18: 21-32).

  C. All things considered, the Jew under the law appears to have been required to give anywhere from 20 to 38 percent of his income.

  D. The laws regulating giving under the law were very exacting (Lev. 27; Deut. 14).

II. Giving, as taught in the gospel.

  A. When one comes to the Covenant or Testament of Christ, one finds a total absence of teaching regarding tithing.

  B. Instead of tithing, one is to give into the treasury of the local church as "he has been prospered" (I Cor. 16: 2).

  C. Giving is to be based on first having given oneself to the Lord and in proportion to love (2 Cor. 8: 5, 8).

  D. There must be a willing mind, as purposed in heart, and cheerful and liberal (2 Cor. 8: 12; 9: 7; 6).

  E. Giving to the truly needy is also taught (Eph. 4: 28).

III. The subject of tithing, as observed, pertained to the Jews and the Law of Moses.

  A. That system or law has been "blotted out" and "nailed to the cross" (Col. 2: 14).

  B.The New Testament, Jesus' law and covenant, does not stipulate the amount to be given, but provides principles to guide the Christian in his giving.

  C. The gospel also contains the ultimate example of giving: The Father gave his Son and Jesus divested himself of heaven's glory and died on the cross (2 Cor. 8: 9). In urging giving we read, "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift" (2 Cor. 9:15).

     Conclusion:  Since the Christian is governed by the law of Christ, the New Testament, the Christian is to give according to the teaching of the perfect law of liberty (Jas. 1: 25). The principle of love and ability regulate giving and not a certain percent as was the case with the Jew under the Old Law.