What We Teach about Tithing

This article reviews the origin of tithing before the establishment of the Old Covenant, explains the purpose of tithing and shows that tithing is still necessary and expected for Christians today.

We teach that tithing is an act of faith and worship to our Creator who gives us life and provides for our every need. Throughout the Bible, God directed His people to give contributions to His ministers so they could carry out His work, therefore, Christians should give tithes and offerings to the Church to accomplish the Great Commission given by Jesus Christ.

We are indebted to our Creator for each and every second that we exist in His universe. God created every molecule of air that we breathe, every drop of water we drink, and every atom in the food that we eat. Every heartbeat that we enjoy is gift from God.

So, all of us should be deeply grateful to God for everything that He has done for us. Moses told the children of Israel, “You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deut 8:18).

The Bible teaches that we should express our gratitude by giving God a portion of our material blessings. Proverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”

From the beginning, God’s people have given tithes and offerings to God as an expression of faith and worship. Tithing involves setting aside a tenth of one’s income to financially support God’s work.

The practice of tithing existed during the time of the Patriarchs, long before Moses and the Old Covenant. In Genesis 14:18-20, Moses wrote, “And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.’ Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered” (NLT).

Tithing is God’s method for financing His work in this world; it is His way of providing for His servants as they serve the spiritual needs of His people. In Numbers 18:21, God said, “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting” (NIV).

So, tithing represents a quid pro quo. God’s ministers serve God’s people in spiritual matters, and in return, God’s people give contributions to God’s work to meet the material needs of His ministers.

This principle began during the time of the Patriarchs and continued throughout the Bible down to the New Covenant. In 1 Corinthians 9:13-14, Paul wrote, “Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.”

Paul clearly taught that the same principle of giving tithes and offerings to support the Levitical priesthood applies specifically to the ministry of the church. According to Paul, this is what the Lord Himself commanded the church to do. In Galatians 6:6, Paul also said, “Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.” Therefore, Christians in each congregation have a responsibility to make sure that the fulltime ministry receives a decent salary that is comparable to what they are earning.

So, the Bible clearly teaches that tithing is an act of faith and worship to our Creator. Tithing is also God’s method for financing His work; therefore, Christians should give tithes and offerings to the Church to provide for the material needs of the ministry as they proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.




Scriptures are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.



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