Giving the first of our time, treasure, and talents is the stated will of God. – “But seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Giving Under the New Testament
Clarity and Questions Answered
- Does the Bible teach New Testament believers to tithe?
- What does the LORD say concerning our worship in giving?
- Did Jesus teach tithing?
- Will God curse me if I don’t tithe?
- Will tithing make me wealthy or debt-free?
- If tithing is not commanded under the New Testament, how should I worship Christ with the blessings He is bringing into my life?
- If Christians aren’t supposed to tithe then why is it taught in the church?
- How can I make sure I am giving to New Testament ministry?
There are many now who are exposing the fraud of modern wolves who have coercively placed New Testament Christians under the Old Testament tithing laws God gave to the Jews. The New Testament Scriptures never teach that New Testament believers have to tithe. Believers under the New Covenant can tithe if they wish, but there’s no instruction in the New Covenant to do such. Having learned that tithing is not required, many are left hanging, not knowing how to worship Jesus Christ with their giving. Those who are exposing the exploitation of God’s people by wolves who have told them they will be cursed if they don’t tithe, must teach what Scriptures does teach about giving. Regrettably, it seems that few are learning and teaching what the New Testament teaches concerning giving/distribution. Biblical balance is what we seek as we study the whole counsel of God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:15-17).
So, we have a whole lot of unlearned people going around touting that we are not under the law of tithing, and that’s valid. And yet, where are those who are learning and teaching what the New Testament Scriptures teach about giving? Our giving is to be part of our worship to our LORD, the Giver of all good things (James 1:17). That part is the same under both testaments. Someone is being honored with our money and that should be the LORD Himself who alone gives us that ability to have health and to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:1-18).
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent (or treasure) left and could say, I used everything You gave me.” Erma Bombeck
The New Testament Scripture have much to say about giving – first our lives and then our provisions (2 Corinthians 8:5). The fact that there is no law of tithing under the New Covenant is no license to ignore the instructions of the One who bled to save us. He taught us not to hoard but rather to be generous in our giving. In fact, the apostle Paul expresses the divine incentive in our giving when he penned these words:
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
There is much to be missed out on if we don’t learn and do what the LORD taught us concerning giving under the New Testament. From the above passage we see that not only will God reward eternally those who give now, but also that our heart affections will follow our giving into His kingdom.
There is an abundance of teaching on giving in the New Testament. The LORD is not at all silent on this matter. It is a different program than the tithing program He gave to the Jews and yet there are New Testament teachings which find their beginnings as elements that were modeled in the program to Israel. The apostle Paul specifically ties them together (1 Corinthians 9:8-10, 13-14). There is a series of insightful passages revealing the charitable disposition and giving among the earliest believers (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35). These are given to us by the LORD to be examples to all believers under the New Covenant. There is an abundance of doctrine on giving in the New Testament Scriptures. Here’s a sampling:
Summary of what the New Testament Teaches on Giving
- 16 of Jesus’ 38 parables involve stewardship (Matthew 25:14-46; Mark 12:41-44; Luke 12:13-47; 16:1-31, etc.)
- Each and every one of us shall be judged by how we gave or did not give (Matthew 25:14-46)
- That God looks at the percentage we give out of what we have and the heart with which we give (Mark 12:41-44; 2 Corinthians 9:7)
- Giving (of self and substance) and how it shall be given back to those who give (Luke 6:29-38)
- As Christ’s body, having all things common, that is, by abandoning our lives in this world, liquidating, and sharing as every believer has need (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35)
- Giving so that distribution can be made among all believers and so the LORD’s workers can be provided for (Acts 6:1-4)
- Provision for those whom the LORD has called out to worship and serve Him (feed and equip His sheep) full-time may be sustained (1 Corinthians 9:1-14)
- Gathering and giving that which is being given by the individual members of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 16: 1-3)
- “Equality” among believers (2 Corinthians 8)
- We shall all be rewarded according as we gave generously or otherwise (Matthew 25:14-46; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11)
- Divinely incentivized giving. Those who give sparingly reap sparingly and those who give generously will reap abundance (2 Corinthians 9:6-11)
- The believers at Philippi helped Paul by providing for him in the Gospel work. Those who gave were given a special promise (v19; Philippians 4:10-19)
- The New Testament teaches giving so that “double honour” provision may be given to those whom the LORD has called out to labor in the word and in doctrine (1 Timothy 5:17-18)
Also, remember that those who still tithe (by faith and clear conscience) are not sinning by doing so, no less than those who observe a certain day of the week to worship and rest (by faith and clear conscience).
The fact that New Testament believers are not under tithing laws does not mean that God will not bless those who give in a disciplined, organized, generous manner. It also does not negate the fact that the LORD will bring us into judgment for our giving or lack thereof. He’s actually watching exactly how we are stewarding what He has given us (Mark 12:41-44).
We must conclude that the LORD is not glorified when we give to causes that do not directly connect with what is taught in His Word. For example: New Testament disciples are to give to that which is clearly fulfilling the New Testament purposes Jesus set forth, namely teaching and preaching His Word (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20). It should be noted that not one penny was collected among the earliest believers to build or sustain/maintain a physical building and perhaps such is the greatest hindrance to the Gospel program Jesus instituted in His Great commission command which still stands today till He returns. Also, giving to false teachers is bidding God speed to them and makes us as guilty and condemned as they are before God (2 John 7-11).
New Testament Christians are not only to give but also to make sure their giving is according to God’s Word. The following is a partial list of things that will work against us and not be rewarded:
- Giving to physical building projects (new or renovation)
- Paying to maintain a physical building, especially in a wasteful manner)
- Giving to contribute to wasteful, man-centered projects or causes or maintenance of temporal things that only stifle the going forth of the Gospel
- Humanitarian “missions” that don’t include the clear preaching and teaching of God’s Word
- Giving the already over paid pastor wolf an expensive watch for his birthday or sending him on a lavish vacation
- The SPCA or any animal (beast) cause
- Breast cancer causes, etc. (the wicked Susan G. Komen Foundation gives money to Planned Parenthood to murder babies)
- Entertainment that poses as ministry
- Children’s church that does not teach God’s Word
The early disciples of Jesus are our example and they didn’t huddle, hunker down, or hide but instead they “went every where preaching the word.” (Acts 8:4) A personal study of the book of Acts will begin to reveal a vast difference between authentic New Testament Christianity and the self-serving apostate modern church and the hireling wolves who make merchandise of the biblically illiterate (2 Peter 2:1-3).
It does not matter how deeply passionate someone feels about what cause they give to. If a cause isn’t clearly fulfilling a New Testament purpose it’s wasteful and sinful to further that cause. The only thing that matters is whether or not their giving is clearly reconcilable with the Great Commission to teach God’s Word to His people and to preach His Word to the lost (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Acts, etc.). All New Testament giving should in one way or another go to provide for those preaching and teaching His Word, tending to the sheep of Christ, winning lost souls, and providing for believers in need.
If it’s not fulfilling the clearly stated New Testament purpose, it’s not glorifying God and is wasted resources for which we shall give account. If giving to a cause is not funding the feeding of Christ’s sheep and declaration of His truth, it’s not New Testament giving.
“The Lord Loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
This message is not to discourage the believer from tithing. It is NOT a sin to tithe and it’s not required, especially under the coercive way under the New Testament. It’s important to realize that Christ’s New Testament saints are not forced, commanded, or instructed to tithe under the New Testament. This makes you free to give out of a heart of cheerfulness (hilarity) which the LORD says He delights in (2 Corinthians 9:7). Actually, it’s a good idea in organizing ones finances. “Firstfruits” giving is a great way to worship the LORD with our finances and assures that He alone is put first (Proverbs 3:9-10; Matthew 6:33, etc.).
Are you taking care of your own business and not “the Father’s business”? (Luke 2:49) If so, unlike Christ, you are all about yourself, your own self-serving business and not “the Father’s business.” The LORD created and saved you to be about His business first and foremost. How do we think that’s going to work out for you if you don’t repent and begin putting the LORD first in your life and finances? Diminishing returns.
Is tithing essential to salvation? No! Will God still keep His promises to bless those who give? Yes (2 Corinthians 1:20).
If we do not take control of our money, our money will continue to have control over us. There’s no better way to take control and begin to steward all the resources God brings into your possession than by making the decision to give the LORD the very first portion of all that you are blessed to bring in.
Taking care of the things of God’s kingdom is seeking first His kingdom.
“Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.” Haggai 1:9
“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10
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“The problem with tithing is that we are to cheerfully give without being instructed to tithe. The Spirit of God should direct us to give even more than a 10% of our money or goods or whatever. We are led of the Spirit of God not the Law. All tithing has done is keep these preachers who don’t preach the truth in all their expensive cars and homes, and planes and so forth. I love to give. I don’t believe like the preachers teach to tithe or else. I’m not talking about you brother, but many others. Be Blessed.” David Pace