Why should a Christian give tithe and gifts?
For the first time we encounter "tenth", is in Genesis 14:17-20. Therefore it is Biblical giving.
Despite that we do not read anything before Genesis 14 about giving tenth, from the above verses it is clear that the giving of tenth was a habit, here in Genesis 14:18 to the priest of the most high God.
The commandment to give tenth, we find in Numbers 18:21.
Questions and answers about the tenth:
- Primary it is a command of the Lord God
- For the workers of God: over here the Levites (who in their turn gave their tenth to the priests)
- Why a tenth? For the service and maintenance in the tabernacle
Continue in the Old Testament:
The tenth were intended for the livelihood of God's servants (the Levites and priests) as well as for the construction and maintenance of the Tabernacle and later the temple. But it did not only remained at the tenths, on top of all this came the gifts.
Questions about donations
There were also the obligatory gifts for the first child, the firstborn of the cattle, the harvest, etc.
All this served for the construction and maintenance of, and the livelihood of the servants in the Tabernacle and later the temple.
Follows a little extract of
Andrew Wommack:Today I am going to continue with the education about financial stewardship. And today I am going to talk about the tithe. And we are going to talk about what Scripture has to say about tithing. Again, my approach is different than how I have heard about other people Sermon. Therefore I would like to give you some background information. I was raised under the doctrine that the tithe was a liability. Me is, in fact, learned that the tithe is something you owe God, and that you are cursed with a curse if you don't tithe, as in Malachi 3.
Let me just read a section from the New Testament, from 2 Corinthians 9 verse 6 and 7 where it says: 'Remember this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.'
Most of us are familiar with that last phrase in this verse that God loves a cheerful giver. But the first part says that you should do following your heart has told you to do, not reluctantly or forced.
Let us look up Malachi 3 verse 8. For many of you this will be a familiar part. It says here: Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, said the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
This verse 8 says: "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." I am sure many of you have heard it said this: "You robbing God if you do not pay your tithes."
I heard someone say - I have never personally verified - that all those sacrifices you searched, had to bring the different sin offering, the parties, peace offerings and all those things, and if you already have the tithes and the sacrifices were prescribed by the Old Testament law, counted together, then came this amounts to 33%. If someone so Malachi 3:9 will use to say 'you are cursed with the curse if you don't tithe gives' then it would be scripturally correct if you still count offerings to a total of 33%! Then you would have to say that if you are not at least 33%, then you are cursed.
But if you give them with the thought process from Malachi 3, like: 'I've got the tithing, because otherwise, the wrath of God on me', that does make your gift completely useless! Once again, I refer to the Scripture that I have already used from 1 Corinthians 13:3 that if you give everything you have to feed the poor or even your body gives to be burned, but not out of God's love or mercy, then does it profit you nothing. The motive behind your gift is more important than the gift itself. If you give out of guilt, or forced, out of necessity or obligation, then you make your gift unusable!
So it is a case of the Old Testament? No, it continues in the New Testament.
THEREFORE the giving of tenth is still valid for TODAY !!!
Why is giving of tenth a necessity?
- The Sermoner (deacons and elders in large churches) need a salary to take care of the church members (home visits, hospital visits, visits in prisons etc.).
- The pastor should prepare for his sermons, Bible study, prayer meetings, organizing evangelism campaigns, etc.
- The salary of the people in Sunday school, they should prepare for, the toys and stuff in the Sunday school classrooms (television, DVDs).
- The rent or mortgage of the church building.
- The material to evangelize, the folders in colour printing (black and white today no longer meets).
- The maintenance of the church building, church pews, cleaning, energy and water, telephone, sound system, musical instruments, visual material, etc.
- Maintenance of missionaries (salaries, pension, the material what they need on the mission field) of the church.
- Performances during Easter and Christmas and other occasions.
- Proclamation of the Gospel among the Jewish people.
Just as in the Old Testament, on TOP of the tithe, the believers in the New Testament need to add their gifts:
Romans 15:16 that I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Romans 15:25-27 25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
The Apostle Paulo urges the believers to give gifts to a for the maintenance of the Church in Jerusalem. Translates to our century:
- For the maintenance of the missionaries in Africa, Asia, China, and other countries/areas
- Social projects
- Semi boarding schools for children and youth in missionary countries (financial adoption such as the BEM)
- Projects for street children (India, Pakistan Philippines, Rio de Janeiro, etc.)
- Evangelical bookstores in United Kingdom and missionary countries
- Evangelical projects
Today we live close to the Rapture of the Church, rest us little time (days, months, maximum 15 years?) to reach people with the Gospel. We live in a century in which everything is visually and internet, television, camera in 4K, projections, cinema, games, and mobile phones. These are very expensive businesses and the church cannot stay behind. We must also use these means of communication and presences.
For example, the EZBB is working on a project in 8K (cinema screen quality). That is the future, but very expensive!
Remember that the Lord Jesus Christ left all his glory and his Divine Power in Heaven, to come and live as a simple man on earth. To suffer and to die on the cross of Golgotha. He has paid a huge sacrifice to save and liberate men from sin. Now it is up to us believers to grow in knowledge of the Bible, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be obedient to the New Testament rules (church attendance, Bible study, Christian living). And it is up to us believers to dedicate our time and money to rescue unbelievers (evangelism). Today that is NOT cheap!
No believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is excluded to pay its tenth and his/her gifts. The command of the Lord Jesus Christ is true for EVERY BELIEVER in Matthew 28:19-20:
No believer escapes this command, every believer has his or her place in the body of Christ: one to evangelize, the other to teach the Bible, another as Sunday school teacher, but all are responsible for the maintenance and cost: the tithes and donations. One can pay more than the other, a rich can give more. But for God is every one equal.