The question has risen as to whether Christians are required to tithe 10%. I have listened to some pastors preach on this and vehemently state that we are, as well as, if you do not, you are outside the grace of God. The ďgive till it hurtsĒ dogma has driven many a lost soul away from churches where they can hear the Gospel. At many churches, this subject is brought up time and again more so than preaching the Gospel. Further is, that the prosperity preachers falsely teach you can give and expect that God is bound to do something for you in return. Let me say on that, you canít strong-arm God, and if you give expecting something in return, you are not giving out of love. Thatís what God is after, because He doesnít need you to give Him your money, He already owns it! The command to give 10% is found in the Old Testament, and was part of the Law given toÖ. Israel. We are not Jews, living under the Law 2000+ years ago. We are under grace. The Law cannot save you, only reveal sin and manís inability to save himself. Grace is what saves us as we see in this verse.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
The problem with preachers and teachers, who choose to continue to demand 10% tithing due to their lack of correctly studying Godís word, is that they are causing those who listen to choose the Law over grace. No man was ever able to live up to the Law and hold them. See, if you pick and choose one Law, you must choose the other 600+ as well, and you will fail every time. Thatís why Jesus came. He came to fulfill it FOR us since we cannot, and by accepting and trusting in Him, He will make us righteous rather than us trying to with our works which will fail. He didnít destroy them because those that do not accept His grace will be judged by the Law.
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
choose grace or the law, you canĎt have both. And if you try to
carry over one law and break it even one time, you are guilty of
every single one of them.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
But, that doesnít give us a right to sin, it means Godís holy laws are written on our hearts and we then should live righteously. It means that His holy ways are infused within us through the holy spirit so that we will act accordingly to what He wants in our choices in this life.
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
2nd Corinthians 3:3
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
Now, although it is crystal clear by Godís word that we are not bound by 10%, it does not mean we are not supposed to give. We still need to give our best, but to do it with love and zeal for the Lord. Maybe thatís 10% for you, or 15%, or even 5%. Maybe itís not a percentage, but a dollar figure you have been led to give. What I can tell you, is when budgets get tight; the last place to cut back is what you give the Lord. He will certainly bless you when you give, not by dollar amount, but with us trusting Him, that we will give Him what we feel led, and He will help us in times of trouble. He does not want you to give begrudgingly, or be forced by a greedy preacher into a higher dollar amount than what you feel led to give, but He also doesnít want you to try and take advantage of there being no percentage to try and ďget overĒ on Him.
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
When we look through the New Testament, we see many examples of the Body of Christ giving. They show no value of how much to give, but rather that people give as to what God sets on their heart.
1st Corinthians 16:2
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
In fact, if you will read Acts 4:32-5:10, you will see a story where the believers gave what was on their heart, which was everything, but two of them, Ananias and Sapphira, got greedy and kept some back. Their death proves that God doesnít care about how much you give, but does not want you to give begrudgingly or to try to take away from what you have promised Him. In the New Testament, we find three commands about or giving, and none with a set value. First, be cheerful and glad in what you give to the Lord, knowing that He has blessed you with what you have, and can take it away.
2nd Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Second, we are to give to those who are in the ministry of the Lord teaching us and ministering to us. This means both the church as a whole for its support and growth, as well as for the pastors who toil in the word to teach us.
1st Timothy 5:17-18
17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
18 For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
Lastly, we are to give and help the weak, lame, poor, and widowed. We are not to be judgmental in how or who we give to either, so those who say they wonít give to someone they view as a drunkard, you need to check yourself. God sent you their way. What they do with what you give is between them and God, NOT them and you. You donít have a right to say no.
1st John 3:17
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into
everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
See itís not that God needs our money, itís His already. Itís an act of obedience. Tithes are what you would normally give at church, which is not necessarily 10% as many have falsely taught. Offerings are those things and money you give to places and people outside of your tithe. All is given to the Lord and His kingdom, so there is really no tithe and offering difference. In fact, correctly stated as Paul did in 1st Corinthians 16:2, it is what you lay up in store to give.
In His Grace,
Mike Harris Jr.
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