What does the Bible Teach in Regard to Paying Tithes?

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What does the Bible teach in regard to paying tithes?

Photo of a Collection Plate

The argument on the issue of tithes is widespread and is a source of confusion for many Christians. The church leadership chooses to stay quiet on the matter to avoid the unnecessary negative criticism.As they are targetted for asking for money for their own personal benefits and not using it honestly. The Bible does teach us about paying tithes.A Christian can give to the church with talent, time and financial contributions (tithes and offerings). The first occasion when tithe is mentioned in the Bible is ;
Genesis 14:17-20
"17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,
19 and he blessed Abram, saying,
"Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything""

Hebrews 7 sheds more light on Melchizedek. Here he is called the priest of the Most High God. He was the only one qualified to receive tithes from Abraham. All this happened before the law was established. There is no record of Abraham, who at this time was still called Abram, being told to give tithes to God. Nor is any explanation given for Abraham’s paying of tithes. It seems as if the tithes were a free will offering that Abraham instinctively knew he should give. He did it willingly. He was not paying a financial debt but offering a gratitude of praise and thanks to God with his tithes. Abraham was moved to give tithes not compelled.Another reference for this ;

Genesis 28:22
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."

Here Jacob was following a family tradition. Paying of tithes was an act of gratitude and acknowledgement of God’s blessings. Giving was and still is an act of worship.

But what does the New Testament say about tithes?

Not a lot. In fact the only references to tithing in the New Testament are Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42, Luke 18:12 and Hebrew 7: 5 – 9.

So where does this leave tithing? The answer is - where it began.
Tithing started as an instinctive offering of gratitude by Abraham.

Should we negate tithing because it was made mandatory in Law of Moses and not related to New Testment Christians? No.
The law was given to make things clear. Without the law we would not understand sin. Sin was around before the law but the law exposed it.The giving of tithes was also around before the law. Again the law helped in the establishing its importance and relevance. The law did not invent tithing, it only exposed it. We could say the same of sacrifice and obedience.
The need for tithing in the Household of God has not ceased. Remember tithing fulfils three needs in the Kingdom of God.

  1. Supporting the work of God – Acts 4:32 – 35
  2. Providing for the laborers and the work of the kingdom – 1 Corinthians 9:14, Galatians 6:6
  3. To support the disadvantaged (strangers, homeless, fatherless e.t.c) – Romans 15:26, 1 Corinthians 16: 1-2, Acts 11: 27 – 30
  4. The payments for church workers including priest also goes from your tithes.

Giving is not the issue. Most Christians, like Abraham, know instinctively that they should give to the work of God. The law of tithing shows us where to start.

2 Corinthians 9: 6 – 8;
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times

How much you should give each month?

The Bible sets a criteria of tenth of your whole income/earning.Apostle tells us;
2 Corinthians 8:12
12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

It is better to follow the Biblical criteria for giving yout tithes,that is the tenth of your whole income.
The tithes belong to church only,it should NOT be given to any NGO/charities/poor. you should give it in a church/put it in oftary bag or hand it to the priest telling him its your tithe.

And lt Many people like to argue at this point that we do not trust our church leaders/priests.we don’t know if they use our money honestly or not? Here the logic is simple: we as believers need to do as we are told, we give as per our belief and faith,our work is done by giving only, our worship is done,our job is not to question what was done with your tithe money, for this your church leadership is answerable to God

If you want to give money in charity,to the poor or NGOs, then it should be given from the other 90 percent left NOT from the tithe amount you have set aside to give in church. Be honest and fair in your tithe givings. No church is in position to compell the congregation to give tithes, its all a matter of awareness of the Bible teaching and the matter of your heart towards God.

Malachi 3:
3 - 12 gives God's mind with regards to paying tithes "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. 12 "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty.

Tithing started before the law. It was an act of worship and dedication to God. Godly men and women tithed as they were led. The law made the need for tithing obvious. Malachi highlighted some of the blessings associated with tithing. The New Testament teaches us to give. Tithing tells us how.

Become a shareholder in the work of God’s ministry here on earth. Start tithing.