Tithing, Required or Optional?

Question: “Is tithing still required and if so, how much are we told to tithe?”

Bible Answers

The Hebrew word for “tithe” (ma’ser) literally means, “a tenth part.”  At the heart of tithing is the idea that God owns everything. (Ex 19:5, Ps 24:1).  That we owe God for every breath we take (Ge 1:26-27, Ac 17:28). Tithing is simply giving back 10% of what God has given us.  

There are numerous examples in the OT about the Jews being expected to tithe and examples of the Jews selfishly holding on to their money and not tithing. Haggie 1:3-6 warned them that they were suffering financial hardship because of their failure to tithe. In Mal 3:9-12, God was judging

His people for refusing to bring in the tithe.  God says, You are under a curse … because you are robbing me. Can we expect to receive all of God’s blessings when we are not blessing God by obeying and trusting Him with our tithes?

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin.  But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former (Matthew 23:23).  Christ makes it clear, without neglecting the former, that the tenth was still expected.  

We must decide what is most important in our heart, God or money (Mt 6:19-24, 2 Co 8:1-5).  The Bible clearly states that greed is a form of idolatry (Col 3:5) , but that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7).  A cheerful giver is not a greedy person.

God’s financial advice: 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).  

Our giving should be voluntary and generous, we should not hesitate to give sacrificially (2 Co 8:1-5, 11-12) for that is the spirit in which the Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself up for us (2 Co 8:9).

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