TITHES AND OFFERING SCRIPTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

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Offering scriptures

You may have heard about the concept of “giving tithes.” During a church service or in conversation with other Christians. In the Old Testament, God asks His people Israel to give ‘tithes’ – 10% of their income. Do Christians still need that now?

Tithes and Offering Scriptures in the New Testament

Matthew 23: 23

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, for you give tithes of the coin, the dill and the cumin, and you have neglected the most important of the law: judgment and mercy and loyalty. One had to do this and not leave the other.

1 Corinthians 9: 13,14

Know ye not that they that serve in the sanctuary eat of the sanctuary, and they that minister the altar receive their portion from the altar? So the Lord has also set the rule for those who preach the gospel that they live on the gospel.

Hebrews 7: 1-4

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham on his return after defeating the kings and blessed him, to whom Abraham also gave a tenth of everything, is first and foremost , according to the interpretation (of his name): king of righteousness, then also king of Salem, that is: king of peace; without father, without mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, and, assimilated to the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

What conclusions should we draw from this?

There are two options:

1. Two tenths were levied in Israel: 

A. For the temple service to support the priests and the Levites, but also for the widows, the orphans and the strangers. This tithing was brought to the temple for two years, the third year distributed in his own place of residence.
B. For the king and his household.

2. Three tithes were levied in Israel: 

A. For the temple service to support the priests and the Levites.
B. For the widows, the orphans and the strangers. This tithing was brought to the temple for two years, the third year distributed in his own place of residence.
C. For the king and his court.

In both cases the following applies: 

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There are no indications in the New Testament that God is content with less than one tenth. In our opinion, the first tenth is still the property of the Lord.
It could be argued that, at least in part, the last two tenths have been replaced by taxes and social contributions.

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However, this does not release us from the duty to support the less fortunate people of the earth to the best of their ability.

7 reasons to give your tithing

1. It is a spontaneous expression of love

Giving my wife a kiss: no one  needs  that. God won’t get angry if I forget that one day. And yet it is good to do. Why? Because it is a  natural expression  of love. Perhaps that is also the case with the tenth. I should suppress something in myself so as not to kiss my wife regularly. Should it not also be the case that if I really have a heart for my loved ones, it would be completely unnatural not to give those tithes? Shouldn’t I have so much love that giving tithes just happens automatically?

2. You practice yourself in releasing

Nobody says you go to the gym  needs . You are not a bad and sinful person if you don’t do it. However, you will become a healthier and freer person if you go anyway; whoever trains his muscles can do more with his body and has more freedom in his movements. Giving tithes is a gym for the mind. It must be from nobody. But just as you exercise yourself in the gym to overcome gravity, so you practice yourself in giving the tithes in overcoming the power of money.

3. You investigate and  catch yourself

It is a great opportunity to catch the ‘stubbornness of your heart’ in the act. Because suppose you feel that you want to do it. But then the objections begin to stir, the yes-but. There are so many other fun things to do. You must also save. I’m sure the money will not end up properly. It is a law and as a Christian you live in freedom, and so on.

A great opportunity, because there you have it on a silver platter, that ‘stubbornness of your heart’! Your heart will always have an objection ready. And the objection will sound sober, sensible, and even Christian. But they will sound suspiciously like someone who has invented another pious excuse not to go to the gym …

4. You do not need more than 10 percent

I fear that it is not very Christian of mine, but I also think that ten percent is a reassuring idea: at least it does not have to be even more. With that I do not follow ‘the saints have preceded me’. Rick Warren, for example, turned it around and gives away ninety percent. John Wesley earned 30 pounds as a bachelor, 2 pounds of which he gave away to the poor.

However, when his income rose to 90 pounds, he still kept only 28 pounds for himself. And when his books became bestsellers and he earned £ 1,400 a year, he still gave away so much that he lived on the exact same amount. But still, I find that ten percent pleasantly clear.

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5. You learn to realize that your money is not yours.

Tithing is also a form of learning to deal with God in adulthood. Maybe you sometimes wonder if you can give too much. Then the fear arises in you: but what is left for me then ?! You suddenly notice that you could not do this, not that, sister and so on. A small, tragic child comes loose in you and screams: it’s mine, mine, mine! The issue, of course, is that nothing can be left for me, because it wasn’t mine at all. My salary is from God. It is nice if I have some left of it myself, but it is from God.

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6. Giving is an exercise of trust.

The practice of middle-class families is to first arrange family finances, possibly save some, and then give away what remains. There is a certain wisdom in that habit. But underlying is a fear of tomorrow. We first seek security for ourselves and then the kingdom follows. Jesus says exactly about this:

“So don’t worry:” What shall we eat? “Or” What shall we drink? “Or” With what shall we dress? “- these are all things that the Gentiles are chasing. Your Heavenly Father knows you need all of that. ”

7. Giving is (yes, really) fun

We shouldn’t make it any heavier than it is: giving is just fun too! “It is happier to give than to receive,” Jesus said.  Imagine if all members of the EO went massively from that meager two percent to ten percent – that would be roughly  one hundred million a year  euros. More than the whole of the Netherlands is gathered together for any TV campaign. That it is just possible, isn’t that a very nice idea?

What does it actually say?

One pastor talks about it almost every week, in your church perhaps no one has ever heard anything about it. This is how the Old Testament speaks of giving tithes.

“Of the yield of the land, both the crops in the fields, and the fruits of the trees, a tenth is for the LORD’s blessing.” (Leviticus 27:30)

‘Every year you have to pay the tenth part of the income from your fields. Of the tithes of your corn, wine, and oil, and your firstborn oxen, sheep, and goats, you shall set up a feast in the presence of the LORD your God in the place that he shall choose for his name to dwell there. In this way you learn to live again and again in awe for the LORD your God. In case you are not able to take your tithes and your offerings with you that whole distance – especially when the LORD has blessed you richly – because the place he chooses is too far away, you must cash in your payment and that money goes in a pouch to the place of his choice. ” (Deuteronomy 14: 22-25)

“As soon as this order was issued, the Israelites generously handed over fruits of the new harvest, of their grain, wine, oil and fruit syrup and all other produce of the land, and generously handed in one tenth of their harvest.” (2 Chronicles 31: 5)

In the Old Testament several ‘tithes’ are required: 1. for the Levites 2. for the temple + the associated festivals and 3. for the poor. In total it has been calculated that this amounts to around 23.3 percent of their entire income.

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Okay. But what should I do with it now?

In the New Testament there is hardly ever talk about the obligation of tithes, but now and there is written about the concept of ‘give’. Paul writes in his letter to the congregation in Corinth: “Let everyone give as much as he has decided, without reluctance or coercion, because God loves those who give cheerfully.” (2 Corinthians 9: 7)

In some churches there is a strong incentive to donate 10% of the income to the church. In other Christian circles this is not seen as an obligation. Eva, the women’s magazine of the EO, had two women with different opinions talk to each other. One finds that if it is written in the Bible, it is something good to do anyway. The other believes that this is no longer applicable at this time and that, in addition to giving money, it should also be about time and attention.

I want to think about giving

It is difficult to give a real answer to the question whether tithes are compulsory. This was legally established for the people of Israel, not for us. It therefore seems to be primarily a personal choice that you can make in consultation with God.

These are some tips if you want to think about giving: 

1. Realize that everything that exists is from God, including your money

2. Give only if you can do it with a happy heart

3. Do you notice that you are stingy? ( You are not alone. ) Ask God if he wants to change your heart.

Do you want to give (more)? Here are some tips:

1. Make sure you have an overview of income and expenses

2. Give goals / people you are enthusiastic about

3. Do not give your leftovers, but put money separately at the start of your financial month
(If necessary, create a separate savings account to which you put an amount each month. You can determine later on what you prefer to give money to.)

 




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