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 You're here: oChristian.com » Christian Finance Index » Money Management » Giving to God and Tithing

Giving to God and Tithing

THERE ARE FEW subjects on which Christians are more confused than on the subject of giving. Many churches teach that Christians should tithe one tenth of their income to the church they attend. All churches teach that Christians should give of their income to God. What's the difference between giving and tithing?

What does the Bible say about financial giving?

Under Mosaic Law, tithing was instituted and commanded as part of the Law. The main purpose of the tithe was to support the Levitical priesthood. The priests, especially the high Priest, was the mediator or intercessor between Yahweh and the people. Priests were not allowed to own land, and therefore had no source of income, other than the tithes of the people.

"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the Lord, even a tenth part of the tithe" (Numbers 18:25, 26).

Since the cross, we are no longer under the law as Jesus is our intercessor. Tithing is not applicable to the church, but giving certainly is.

"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:6,7

On the question of giving in the New Testament, nowhere does Paul or any other apostle mention a required amount. The necessity of giving is mentioned but only with the right attitude, to help and support others. As a member of the Body of Christ, each is to determine in his own heart how much he gives and where he allocates his resources among his brothers and sisters in Christ. However, 2 Corinthians 9:6 makes it clear that the more we give, the more blessings we will receive. One is free to give ten percent if he chooses, but we are not commanded to give any particular percentage or amount, but down deep in the heart of every Christian there is undoubtedly the conviction that he ought to give.

Where is your motivation in giving? Is it of legalism, by law, or from the heart. We must realize that everything that we have belongs to the Lord, so we give because God has given to us, and that He promises to bless us back for what we give. We are simply stewards being obedient to God. Giving is simply the basic starting point in our Christian financial commitment.

Will giving save us?

Emphatically, NO. Giving will not save us. Some teach tithing is the only way the local church is to be supported and tithing to the local church determines a person's spirituality, some have gone as far as to suppose that tithing is a requirement of salvation. If one does not give ten percent they are not a true Christian. One must realize that tithing will not purchase eternal life. Peter stated:

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Peter 1: 18-19).

How then should we give?


Our giving is to be voluntary, willing, and cheerful. Giving to our church, missionaries, wherever we think the need is greater or where the Holy Spirit may put on our heart. In principle, ten percent may be a good goal; some may be able to give much more, some less. One should not be made guilty for whatever amount they give. Certainly we are commanded to give, but the only requirement in the New Testament is to give cheerfully and willingly.

The Christian should give for the very same reason he keeps all the other commandments of God, not because he must do so, but because he desires to do so.

Under the conditional covenant of the Old Testament tithing was a necessity. It is not a command in the New Testament, it is a principle - we give out of love, from the heart because we are under a new unconditional covenant not the Old Testament law. Make it a matter of definite prayer to God to guide you in the disbursement as to where He would have you use the money that belongs to Him. And God is ever faithful - He will honor us if we honor Him faithfully with our substance.

Under the Holy Spirit's direction, you can increasingly become the kind of cheerful and grateful giver that delights God. He's always been faithful to you. By your generosity, you can be increasingly true to Him.

For further reading:

Christian Money Management
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Finding God's Best in Managing Your Money
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Teaching Your Kids Gods Money Principles
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