Tithing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. John E. Russell Sr   

Text: Matthew 28:18-20

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:18-20, NASB

Introduction: Billy Graham writes,

There are clearly two philosophies about money. The first is Satan's. He says to everyman as he said to Christ, "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me" (Matthew 4:9. KJV).
The second philosophy is Christ's. "Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor . . .and come, follow me" (Luke 18:22, KJV).
The first is motivated by selfishness; the second, by unselfishness. (Billy Graham, Are You Robbing God?  5)

We are stewards of material goods. But, more importantly, we are stewards of the Gospel. By giving to God's work, we are helping proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

1. Old Testament Teaching

1.1 Abraham tithed:
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." He gave him a tenth of all.
Genesis 14:18-20, NASB
1.2 Moses taught tithing:
'Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S; it is holy to the LORD.
Leviticus 27:30, NASB
1.3 Solomon taught that generous people would be blessed:
Some people spend their money freely and still grow richer. Others are cautious, and yet grow poorer. Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped.
Proverbs 11:24-25, GNB
1.4 Malachi warned against robbing God of his tithes. God promised to bless those who pay tithes to him:
"I ask you, is it right for a person to cheat God? Of course not, yet you are cheating me. 'How?' you ask. In the matter of tithes and offerings."A curse is on all of you because the whole nation is cheating me. Bring the full amount of your tithes to the Temple, so that there will be plenty of food there. Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good things."
Malachi 3:8-10, GNB

2. Jesus' Teaching

2.1 Jesus affirmed tithing:
"How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You give to God one tenth even of the seasoning herbs, such as mint, dill, and cumin, but you neglect to obey the really important teachings of the Law, such as justice and mercy and honesty. These you should practice, without neglecting the others."
Matthew 23:23, GNB
2.2 Jesus warned against making an idol out of money:
"Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. For your heart will always be where your riches are. "The eyes are like a lamp for the body. If your eyes are sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eyes are no good, your body will be in darkness. So if the light in you is darkness, how terribly dark it will be! "You cannot be a slave of two masters; you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
Matthew 6:19-24, GNB
2.3 Jesus warned against greed and covetousness:
15 And he [Jesus]went on to say to them all, "Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be."
Luke 12:15, GNB
2.4 Jesus taught to pay taxes and tithes:
Some Pharisees and some members of Herod's party were sent to Jesus to trap him with questions. They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know that you tell the truth, without worrying about what people think. You pay no attention to anyone's status, but teach the truth about God's will for people. Tell us, is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor? Should we pay them or not?" But Jesus saw through their trick and answered, "Why are you trying to trap me? Bring a silver coin, and let me see it." They brought him one, and he asked, "Whose face and name are these?" "The Emperor's," they answered. So Jesus said, "Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God." And they were amazed at Jesus.
Mark 12:14-17, GNB
2.5 Jesus taught that God would abundantly bless the giver:
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Luke 6:38, NIV

3. Paul's Teaching

3.1 He taught us to give systematically, according to our ability:
On the first day of the week, each of you should set aside and save some of your money in proportion to what you have, so that no collections will have to be made when I come.
1 Corinthians 16:2, GNB
3.2 He taught us to give because we wantto give. Paul then uses the analogy of the farmer sowing seed and receiving a large crop. As we obey God by tithing, he will bless so we can give more:
Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you must give what you have decided in your heart, not with regret or under compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. Besides, God is able to make every blessing of yours overflow for you, so that in every situation you will always have all you need for any good work. As it is written, "He scatters everywhere and gives to the poor; his righteousness lasts forever." Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread to eat will also supply you with seed and multiply it and enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
2 Corinthians 9:6-10, GNB

I [Paul] have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Acts 20:35, KJV 

Conclusion: Let us determine to give cheerfully according to our ability in order to help fulfill the Great Commission. The LORD will lead us in giving offerings above our tithing. There is joy in giving! God will bless us for giving!

©John E. Russell 2004, 2014

In Essentials: Unity; In non-essentials: Liberty; In all things: Charity—Peter Meiderlin 1626.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 20 November 2014 01:18