I’ve been studying the bible about what the scriptures say about tithes (tithing to God). The word “tithe” means “tenth”, “tenth part”, or “payment of a tenth part”. In the following article, we’ve searched and compiled the bible verses relating to tithing, and these are divided into five sections:
(1) Old Testament scriptures about tithing that appear before God gave the law to Moses at Mount Sinai a few months after bringing the people out of Egypt;
(2) Old Testament scriptures about tithing that are in the law given to the Israelites by Moses;
(3) Old Testament – what God said about tithing after Moses introduced the law
(4) New Testament scriptures – what Jesus said about tithing
(5) New Testament scriptures – what the Lord said about tithing through the writers of the New Testament
(6) Old Covenant versus New Covenant
We have also referenced scriptures about the old and new covenant, specifically regarding the law. The reason is for this is because some people have said that we are no longer under the law.
This is quite a lengthy article. If you’re interested in the bottom line – the summary – please scroll down to the bottom of this article!
(1) OLD TESTAMENT – BEFORE THE LAW WAS INTRODUCED
The subject of tithing starts right away with Adam and Eve’s children. So, the subject of tithing was practiced 430 years before the law of Moses.
Cain & Abel
Genesis 4:2-8 NLT
Adam and Eve initially had two children, Abel and Cain. 2 When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. 3 When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift [offering, tribute, present] to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.
6 “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” 8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.
[NOTE: The Hebrew word “minchah” means offering, gift, present, tribute. This is similar to the Greek word “prosphora”, which means offering, gift or present. Prosphora is used in Ephesians 5:2, which says “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”]
Genesis 4:7 (AMP)
7 If you do well [believing Me and doing what is acceptable and pleasing to Me], will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well [but ignore My instruction], sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you [to overpower you], but you must master it.”
[Comment: Who taught Adam and Eve’s children to give to the Lord the first part of what they’ve earned – their harvest? We often assume the first commands by God were given to Moses at Mt. Sinai, but this is evidently not the case, as God gave his commands, or at least some of them, to Adam and Eve and their children and it’s apparent from the narrative that Abel obeyed those commands, but Cain did not. God tells Cain that he can overcome this; all he has to do in the future is do what is right, and all will be well. But Cain does not repent, instead he allows his anger to fester and it results in him killing his brother, Abel.]
Exodus 23:19 (NLT)
“As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God.
Now, there are scriptures in the New Testament that reference this situation. After all, what does it mean that Cain did not bring an acceptable sacrifice? Let’s take a look:
AMP – 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which it was testified of him that he was righteous (upright, in right standing with God), and God testified by accepting his gifts. And though he died, yet through [this act of] faith he still speaks.
TLB – 4 It was by faith that Abel obeyed God and brought an offering that pleased God more than Cain’s offering did. God accepted Abel and proved it by accepting his gift; and though Abel is long dead, we can still learn lessons from him about trusting God.
[Comment: In Exodus 23:19 and 34:26, it says, “As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God.”]
[Comment: Abel gave the right kind of sacrifice, which was (1) he gave his sacrifice in faith, and (2) he gave the Lord the right kind of sacrifice – one in which he gave the best of what he had. One could say that it is a heart issue. Abel’s heart was in the right place, as he loved the Lord and therefore, gave the Lord the best of what he had as an offering.]
Genesis 14:14-24 (NLT)
14 When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them at Dan. 15 There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer’s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Abram recovered all the goods that had been taken, and he brought back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives.
17 After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
18 And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
20 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.
21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.”
22 Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.”
[Comment: Abraham recovered what was stolen. He recovered not only his nephew Lot and his family, he recovered all of Lot’s possessions – items that Lot already had before he was captured. Therefore, when Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of what he recovered – he was giving God a tenth of the possessions as a thank you gift to God for defeating Abraham’s enemies. Abraham only had 318 men with him, and God orchestrated the victory. Abraham gave a thank you gift to God.]
[Comment: Melchizedek is mentioned in other New Testament passages as referring to Jesus. See Hebrews 5:1-10, Hebrews 6:13-20, and Hebrews 7:1-28.]
[Comment: Abraham gave a tithe to God over 450 years before the law was given.]
Genesis 28:10-22 (AMP)
10 Now Jacob [Abraham’s grandson] left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed overnight there because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down there [to sleep]. 12 He dreamed that there was a ladder (stairway) placed on the earth, and the top of it reached [out of sight] toward heaven; and [he saw] the angels of God ascending and descending on it [going to and from heaven]. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above and around him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your [father’s] father and the God of Isaac; I will give to you and to your descendants the land [of promise] on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants shall be as [countless as] the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and the east and the north and the south; and all the families (nations) of the earth shall be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep [careful watch over you and guard] you wherever you may go, and I will bring you back to this [promised] land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and he said, “Without any doubt the Lord is in this place, and I did not realize it.” 17 So he was afraid and said, “How fearful and awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gateway to heaven.”
18 So Jacob got up early in the morning, and took the stone he had put under his head and he set it up as a pillar [that is, a monument to the vision in his dream], and he poured [olive] oil on the top of it [to consecrate it]. 19 He named that place Bethel (the house of God); the previous name of that city was Luz (Almond Tree). 20 Then Jacob made a vow (promise), saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and clothing to wear, 21 and if [He grants that] I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God. 22 This stone which I have set up as a pillar (monument, memorial) will be God’s house [a sacred place to me], and of everything that You give me I will give the tenth to You [as an offering to signify my gratitude and dependence on You].”
[Comment: Jacob gave a tithe to God approximately 300 years before the law was introduced by Moses.]
(2) OLD TESTAMENT – MOSES INTRODUCES THE LAW
Exodus 22:29 (NKJV)
“You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices.
Exodus 23:19 (NLT)
“As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God.
Exodus 34:26 (NLT)
“As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God.
Leviticus 27:30 (NLT)
One-tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy.
Numbers 18:21 (NLT)
As for the tribe of Levi, your relatives, I will compensate them for their service in the Tabernacle. Instead of an allotment of land, I will give them the tithes from the entire land of Israel.
Numbers 18:26 (NLT)
Give these instructions to the Levites: When you receive from the people of Israel the tithes I have assigned as your allotment, give a tenth of the tithes you receive—a tithe of the tithe—to the Lord as a sacred offering.
Numbers 18:28 (NLT)
You must present one-tenth of the tithe received from the Israelites as a sacred offering to the Lord. This is the Lord’s sacred portion, and you must present it to Aaron the priest.
Deuteronomy 14:22-29 (NLT)
22 “You must set aside a tithe of your crops—one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. 23 Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God.
24 “Now when the Lord your God blesses you with a good harvest, the place of worship he chooses for his name to be honored might be too far for you to bring the tithe. 25 If so, you may sell the tithe portion of your crops and herds, put the money in a pouch, and go to the place the Lord your God has chosen. 26 When you arrive, you may use the money to buy any kind of food you want—cattle, sheep, goats, wine, or other alcoholic drink. Then feast there in the presence of the Lord your God and celebrate with your household. 27 And do not neglect the Levites in your town, for they will receive no allotment of land among you.
28 “At the end of every third year, bring the entire tithe of that year’s harvest and store it in the nearest town. 29 Give it to the Levites, who will receive no allotment of land among you, as well as to the foreigners living among you, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, so they can eat and be satisfied. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all your work.
Deuteronomy 26:12 (NLT)
“Every third year you must offer a special tithe of your crops. In this year of the special tithe you must give your tithes to the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows, so that they will have enough to eat in your towns.
(3) OLD TESTAMENT – AFTER THE LAW WAS INTRODUCED
2 Chronicles 31:2-5 (NLT)
2 Hezekiah then organized the priests and Levites into divisions to offer the burnt offerings and peace offerings, and to worship and give thanks and praise to the Lord at the gates of the Temple. 4 In addition, he required the people in Jerusalem to bring a portion of their goods to the priests and Levites, so they could devote themselves fully to the Law of the Lord. 5 When the people of Israel heard these requirements, they responded generously by bringing the first share of their grain, new wine, olive oil, honey, and all the produce of their fields. They brought a large quantity—a tithe of all they produced. 6 The people who had moved to Judah from Israel, and the people of Judah themselves, brought in the tithes of their cattle, sheep, and goats and a tithe of the things that had been dedicated to the Lord their God, and they piled them up in great heaps. 7 They began piling them up in late spring, and the heaps continued to grow until early autumn. 8 When Hezekiah and his officials came and saw these huge piles, they thanked the Lord and his people Israel! 9 “Where did all this come from?” Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites.
10 And Azariah the high priest, from the family of Zadok, replied, “Since the people began bringing their gifts to the Lord’s Temple, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare. The Lord has blessed his people, and all this is left over.”
Nehemiah 10:37 (NLT)
We will store the produce in the storerooms of the Temple of our God. We will bring the best of our flour and other grain offerings, the best of our fruit, and the best of our new wine and olive oil. And we promise to bring to the Levites a tenth of everything our land produces, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all our rural towns.
Nehemiah 12:44 (NLT)
On that day men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the offerings, the first part of the harvest, and the tithes. They were responsible to collect from the fields outside the towns the portions required by the Law for the priests and Levites. For all the people of Judah took joy in the priests and Levites and their work.
Proverbs 3:5-9 (NLT)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
Malachi 3:8-12 (AMP)
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings [you have withheld]. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, this whole nation! 10 Bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it. 11 Then I will rebuke the devourer (insects, plague) for your sake and he will not destroy the fruits of the ground, nor will your vine in the field drop its grapes [before harvest],” says the Lord of hosts. 12 “All nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight,” says the Lord of hosts.
[Comment: In ancient times special storehouses were established in the temple to receive the tithes of the harvest. If the people were not faithful, the priests could not continue to serve and perform their duties. In return for their faithfulness God promised protection for their harvest.
(4) NEW TESTAMENT – WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT TITHING?
I’ve heard and read that other people say that the new covenant does away with the law of the old covenant. So, I’ve also included some scriptures about what Jesus says about the law.
NIV – [Jesus speaking] 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
NLT – [Jesus speaking] 17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 5:23-24 NLT
[Jesus speaking] 23 So if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and while there you remember that your brother has something [such as a grievance or legitimate complaint] against you, 24 leave your offering there at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come and present your offering.
Matthew 15:1-20 NLT (See also Mark 7:1-13 NLT)
[Jesus speaking] 1 Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, 2 “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? 4 For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 6 In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
8 ‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 Their worship is a farce,
for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ ”
10 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 11 It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”
13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, 14 so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”
15 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.”
16 “Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. 17 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. 18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”
[Comment: Children who did not want to support parents used this tradition described in verse 5 and 6 as an excuse to evade the law. They would enter into a deal with a priest for a small percent to dedicate things to God which should go to parents. Then, they could claim them to be God’s and not their own. Thus they would be free from any obligation to parents.]
Matthew 22:15-22 NLT (see also Mark 12:13-17 NLT and Luke 20:20-26 NLT)
15 Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. 16 They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. 17 Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin, 20 he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” 22 His reply amazed them, and they went away.
Matthew 23:23 NLT
[Jesus speaking] 23 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
[COMMENT: Some have taught that Jesus did away with the tithe since He did not specifically make it a part of His New Testament teaching. But in this instance, Jesus made reference to the scribes and Pharisees tithing and said that they were right in doing so.]
Luke 6:38 NLT
[Jesus speaking] Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
Luke 11:42 NLT
[Jesus speaking] 42 “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
Luke 16:10-13 AMP
[Jesus speaking] 10 “He who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little thing is also dishonest in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of earthly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12 And if you have not been faithful in the use of that [earthly wealth] which belongs to another [whether God or man, and of which you are a trustee], who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand devotedly by the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon [that is, your earthly possessions or anything else you trust in and rely on instead of God].”
AMP – [Jesus speaking] 16 “The Law and the [writings of the] Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God has been and continues to be preached, and everyone tries forcefully to go into it. 17 Yet it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for a single stroke of a letter of the Law to fail and become void.”
NLT – [Jesus speaking] 16 “Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in. 17 But that doesn’t mean that the law has lost its force. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest point of God’s law to be overturned.”
Luke 21:1-4 NLT (See also Mark 12:41-44 NLT; Luke 21:1-4 NLT)
1 While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. 2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. 3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”
(5) NEW TESTAMENT – WHAT DOES THE LORD SAY ABOUT TITHING?
Romans 2:29 (NLT)
29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.
Romans 3:30-31 (NLT)
30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. 31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.
1 Corinthians 9:13-14 (NLT)
13 Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. 14 In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 (NLT)
1 Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia. 2 On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.
2 Corinthians 9 (AMP)
1 Now it is unnecessary for me to write to you about the offering [that is to be made] for the saints [in Jerusalem]; 2 for I know your eagerness [to promote this cause], and I have [proudly] boasted to the people of Macedonia about it, telling them that Achaia has been prepared since last year [for this contribution], and your enthusiasm has inspired the majority of them [to respond]. 3 Still, I am sending the brothers [on to you], so that our pride in you may not be an empty boast in this case, and so that you may be prepared, just as I told them you would be; 4 otherwise, if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—to say nothing of yourselves—will be humiliated for being so confident. 5 That is why I thought it necessary to urge these brothers to go to you [before I come] and make arrangements in advance for this generous, previously promised gift of yours, so that it would be ready, not as something extorted [or wrung out of you], but as a [voluntary and] generous gift.
6 Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly [gives] will also reap sparingly [receives], and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed]. 7 Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift]. 8 And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity. 9 As it is written and forever remains written,
“He [the benevolent and generous person] scattered abroad, he gave to the poor,
His righteousness endures forever!”
10 Now He who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed for sowing [that is, your resources] and increase the harvest of your righteousness [which shows itself in active goodness, kindness, and love]. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous, and this [generosity, administered] through us is producing thanksgiving to God [from those who benefit]. 12 For the ministry of this service (offering) is not only supplying the needs of the saints (God’s people), but is also overflowing through many expressions of thanksgiving to God. 13 Because of this act of ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to the gospel of Christ which you confess, as well as for your generous participation [in this gift] for them and for all [the other believers in need], 14 and they also long for you while they pray on your behalf, because of the surpassing measure of God’s grace [His undeserved favor, mercy, and blessing which is revealed] in you. 15 Now thanks be to God for His indescribable gift [which is precious beyond words]!
2 Corinthians 9:13 NLT
As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.
Galatians 3:10-14 (AMP)
10 For all who depend on the Law [seeking justification and salvation by obedience to the Law and the observance of rituals] are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed (condemned to destruction) is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, so as to practice them.” 11 Now it is clear that no one is justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing] before God by the Law, for “The righteous (the just, the upright) shall live by faith.” 12 But the Law does not rest on or require faith [it has nothing to do with faith], but [instead, the Law] says, “He who practices them [the things prescribed by the Law] shall live by them [instead of faith].” 13 Christ purchased our freedom and redeemed us from the curse of the Law and its condemnation by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs [crucified] on a tree (cross)”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might also come to the Gentiles, so that we would all receive [the realization of] the promise of the [Holy] Spirit through faith.
1 Timothy 5:17-18
17 Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!”
Hebrews 7:1-28 (TLB)
[Jesus has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. (Galatians 6:20)]
1 This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him. 2 Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means “king of justice,” and king of Salem means “king of peace.” 3 There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God.
4 Consider then how great this Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, recognized this by giving him a tenth of what he had taken in battle. 5 Now the law of Moses required that the priests, who are descendants of Levi, must collect a tithe from the rest of the people of Israel, who are also descendants of Abraham. 6 But Melchizedek, who was not a descendant of Levi, collected a tenth from Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God. 7 And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed.
8 The priests who collect tithes are men who die, so Melchizedek is greater than they are, because we are told that he lives on. 9 In addition, we might even say that these Levites—the ones who collect the tithe—paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him. 10 For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s body when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him.
11 So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron?
12 And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it. 13 For the priest we are talking about belongs to a different tribe, whose members have never served at the altar as priests. 14 What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned priests coming from that tribe.
15 This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. 16 Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. 17 And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied,
“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
18 Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. 19 For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
20 This new system was established with a solemn oath. Aaron’s descendants became priests without such an oath, 21 but there was an oath regarding Jesus. For God said to him,
“The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow:
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22 Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God.
23 There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. 24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
26 He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. 27 Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins. 28 The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever.
[Comment: Read Hebrews chapters 6 through 10.]
(6) OLD COVENANT VERSUS NEW COVENANT
Habakkuk 2:4 (AMP)
Look at the proud one,
His soul is not right within him,
But the righteous will live by his faith [in the true God].
TLB – 30 Well then, what shall we say about these things? Just this, that God has given the Gentiles the opportunity to be acquitted by faith, even though they had not been really seeking God. 31 But the Jews, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping his laws, never succeeded. 32 Why not? Because they were trying to be saved by keeping the law and being good instead of by depending on faith. They have stumbled over the great stumbling stone.
GW – 30 So what can we say? We can say that non-Jewish people who were not trying to gain God’s approval won his approval, an approval based on faith. 31 The people of Israel tried to gain God’s approval by obeying the laws in Moses’ Teachings, but they did not reach their goal. 32 Why? They didn’t rely on faith to gain God’s approval, but they relied on their own efforts. They stumbled over the rock that trips people.
NIV – For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
AMP – For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. As it is written and forever remains written, “The just and upright shall live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)
NLT – 21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
AMP – 21 But now the righteousness of God has been clearly revealed [independently and completely] apart from the Law, though it is [actually] confirmed by the Law and the [words and writings of the] Prophets. 22 This righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ for all those [Jew or Gentile] who believe [and trust in Him and acknowledge Him as God’s Son].
Romans 3:31 (AMP)
31 Do we then nullify the Law by this faith [making the Law of no effect, overthrowing it]? Certainly not! On the contrary, we confirm and establish and uphold the Law [since it convicts us all of sin, pointing to the need for salvation].
Romans 4:3 (AMP)
For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed in (trusted, relied on) God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness (right living, right standing with God).”
Genesis 15:6 (AMP)
Then Abram believed in (affirmed, trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord; and He counted (credited) it to him as righteousness (doing right in regard to God and man).
Romans 4:13-25 (AMP)
13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through [observing the requirements of] the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 If those who are [followers] of the Law are [the true] heirs [of Abraham], then faith [leading to salvation] is of no effect and void, and the promise [of God] is nullified. 15 For the Law results in [God’s] wrath [against sin], but where there is no law, there is no violation [of it either].
16 Therefore, [inheriting] the promise depends entirely on faith [that is, confident trust in the unseen God], in order that it may be given as an act of grace [His unmerited favor and mercy], so that the promise will be [legally] guaranteed to all the descendants [of Abraham]—not only for those [Jewish believers] who keep the Law, but also for those [Gentile believers] who share the faith of Abraham, who is the [spiritual] father of us all— 17 (as it is written [in Scripture], “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the sight of Him in whom he believed, that is, God who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. 18 In hope against hope Abraham believed that he would become a father of many nations, as he had been promised [by God]: “So [numberless] shall your descendants be.” 19 Without becoming weak in faith he considered his own body, now as good as dead [for producing children] since he was about a hundred years old, and [he considered] the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 But he did not doubt or waver in unbelief concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and empowered by faith, giving glory to God, 21 being fully convinced that God had the power to do what He had promised. 22 Therefore his faith was credited to him as righteousness (right standing with God). 23 Now not for his sake alone was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also—to whom righteousness will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead— 25 who was betrayed and crucified because of our sins, and was raised [from the dead] because of our justification [our acquittal—absolving us of all sin before God].
[Comment: Justification by faith was evidenced by Abraham in the Old Testament.]
Philippians 3:9 (GW)
This means that I didn’t receive God’s approval by obeying his laws. The opposite is true! I have God’s approval through faith in Christ. This is the approval that comes from God and is based on faith.
Galatians 3:11 (AMP)
Now it is clear that no one is justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing] before God by the Law, for “The righteous (the just, the upright) shall live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)
Matthew 22:34-40 (AMP)
34 Now when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced (muzzled) the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 One of them, a lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law], asked Jesus a question, to test Him: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 And Jesus replied to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ 40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
John 1:16-17 (AMP)
16 For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift]. 17 For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Acts 13:38-39 (AMP)
38 So let it be clearly known by you, brothers, that through Him forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you; 39 and through Him everyone who believes [who acknowledges Jesus as Lord and Savior and follows Him] is justified and declared free of guilt from all things, from which you could not be justified and freed of guilt through the Law of Moses.
Some have taught that Jesus did away with the tithe since He did not specifically make it a part of His New Testament teaching. But Jesus made reference to the scribes and Pharisees about tithing and said that they were right in doing so. The New Covenant did not do away with the tithe, but it did clarify what the motives for tithing should be.
Some have taught that we are not under the law. When you read the scriptures about the law, it mostly discusses that the law points to our sin, and the fact that we are no longer justified by following the law, rather we receive our righteous standing before God because of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, and because of our faith in God. Keep in mind that before the law was given, Abraham believed and had faith in God and His promises, and therefore he was considered righteous.
Galatians 2:16 (AMP) yet we know that a man is not justified [and placed in right standing with God] by works of the Law, but [only] through faith in [God’s beloved Son,] Christ Jesus. And even we [as Jews] have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law. By observing the Law no one will ever be justified [declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty].
Cain and Abel gave God gifts about 2,500 years before the law was introduced. Abraham tithed about 430 years before the law was given (Genesis 14:20). Jacob also tithed (Genesis 28:22) approximately 300 years before Moses introduced the law. Therefore, tithing was a Bible principle that didn’t begin or end with the law of Moses. However, the law of Moses did include tithing as a part of its commandments (Leviticus 27:30-32) with stiff penalties attached for failure to comply (Deuteronomy 28:15 and Malachi 3:8-9).
It was concerning these punishments for not tithing that the New Testament differed from the Old Testament. Malachi 3:8-9 says that if a man doesn’t tithe, he was robbed God and is cursed with a curse. Therefore, people gave out of the motivation of debt and obligation. Jesus redeemed us from this and all of the other curses of the law (Galatians 3:13-14) so that God will not curse us for not tithing.
However, the apostle Paul also made it very clear that any type of giving motivated by anything less than God’s kind of love was useless (1 Corinthians 13:3). Paul went on to explain in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that God wanted us to give, “not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver”. This type of giving that God loves is cheerful, freewill giving.
This does not mean that tithing is contrary to the New Testament. It was the fear of punishment motive that the Old Testament law attached to tithing that has been done away with. Giving and tithing are still very much a part of the New Testament doctrine, and if done with the New Testament, faith-based attitude, is acceptable to God.
Here’s the bottom line (summary). Yes, you should give to God. Yes, you should give to others. Yes, you should give when the Holy Spirit prompts you to give. However, it’s a matter of the heart. Are you giving grudgingly or with a happy heart that is thanking God for His provisions?
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