The New Testament Teaches Tithing pt. 3
Not every tithing advocate does the best or even an adequate job in making a Scriptural case.Â However, I cringe quite a bitÂ at what is said against those who believe Scripture teaches tithing. What do you think of these?
- It is the â€œother side of the storyâ€ when 97% of the pulpits have pro-tithing sermons and discipline those who try to question them or ask for open discussions.
- You are playing games with statistics. Preachers have been trying to push tithing onto their congregations. . . . When are you going to learn, stop it, and go back to preaching grace-giving. . . . You are teaching by your actions that Law out-gives Grace
- Be sure and ignore my many pages of reasons to refute this argument. . . . Your principle allows YOU to be the judge of what applies and what does not. I contend that NOTHING in Godâ€™s Word about tithing from Abraham or Jacob is followed by your church or any other church today.
- Why do you give this story? It has nothing to do with tithing. Do you want to kill everybody who disagrees with you?
- Is that what you teach in your church? Do you teach your members to lay everything they own at your feet and then distribute them to every church member evenly so you can all live in a commune?
- It would work well if we could get the government involved, to make sure everyone gave his/her due. I have been conversing with officials on this matter and they recognize the work I have put into this matter. They have appointed me as a receiver to collect from all the Christians in this area.
The tone you hear is quite common in the anti-tithe people.Â Since I’ve been a pastor, I have found money and children to be the two most controversialÂ subjects.Â This one falls under money and you can hear the bitterness.Â And their problem?Â People are giving at least 10% toward the Lord’s work. They’d like to stop it, you know, for the Lord.
It amazes me how much men who claim such a NT emphasis like to enunciate the gritty details of tithing under Mosaic law, so that we’llÂ conclude that all tithing is wrong.Â I understand that the tithe in Israel was practiced differently than we do today.Â That’s why I don’t want to talk about exactly how they practiced the tithe under the Mosaic system.Â The principle, however, continues today.
1. The New Testament Does Not Do Away with Old Testament Standards
2. Jesus Taught Tithing
3. Jesus Taught Proportional Giving
4. Giving to the Church for Scriptural Purposes Continued
5. Paul Teaches Physical Remuneration for Spiritual Benefit in Identical Fashion As It Was Done in the Old Testament
We spent the bulk of our time in pt. 2 thinking about 1 Corinthians 9:7-14.Â Did you notice how that Paul used the Old Testament law to make his point there?Â In 9:9 he quoted Deuteronomy 25:4.Â That text is quoted only by Paul and only one other time—in 1 Timothy 5:17-18.Â Paul writes:
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.Â For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
Connect the dots between 1 Corinthians 9:9-14 and 1 Timothy 5:17-18.Â Paul uses Deuteronomy 25:4 in both of them.Â Here Paul is talking about “elders,” and in the context you can see that they aren’tÂ of theÂ old men variety.Â They are those in the office of the pastor, the presbuteros, the executive of the assembly.Â They rule.Â They labour in the word and doctrine.Â It says they are deserving of double honour.Â “Honour” does relate to money.Â BDAG lexicon says first:
1) a valuing by which the price is fixed 1a) of the price itself 1b) of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought or sold
And then the next verse we get Deuteronomy 25:4 again.Â 1 Corinthians had already been written when 1 Timothy came along.Â 1 Corinthians 9 establishes that the tithe (“even so”–in the same manner that the Levites were taken care of) was to take care of Christian labourers who had benefited you spiritually.Â Paul wouldn’t require it himself even thoughÂ he said he had the right to.Â However, in 1 Timothy 5:17-18, he consistently applies this principle, the spirit of this law, by saying that this was to be done with the office of the pastor.
Russell Kelly,Â preeminent anti-tither,Â wrote:
Do you give your whole tithe to Levites who are your ushers, deacons, choir, musicians, builders and politicians? . . . . Do you limit tithe recipients to one family or do you preach the â€œpriesthood of all believersâ€?
And then he added:Â “Like I said, you practice NONE of the OT tithe principles!”Â I’m going to let you evaluate most ofÂ that quote on your own in light of what you’ve read.Â One question though:Â Is every believer in the office of the pastor?Â But let’s go a little further, because I believe that Galatians 6:6-10 relates here, which says:
LetÂ him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.Â Â Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Â For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.Â And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.Â As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
The idea of givingÂ tangibleÂ remuneration to those who have benefited you spiritually is reinforcedÂ by this text.Â The person taught is to share with the person teaching.Â The law of sowing and reaping comes in (vv. 7-8).Â Â What is the doing good in v. 10?Â It is theÂ one taught sharing his carnal things with the oneÂ who taught himÂ spiritual things.Â By doing so, he does not grow weary in well-doing andÂ he does good to those especially of the household of faith.
6.Â There Was a Storehouse in the OT, the Temple Worship, and in the NT the church is the Temple and the Storehouse
Malachi 3:10 reads:
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith 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.
God called for the tithes to be brought into the storehouse, which was the temple there inÂ post-exilic Israel,Â to support and maintain the corporate worship of Israel.Â The church (local only) is the temple of God in this dispensation.Â 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 states:
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?Â If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
He says “ye” (plural) are the temple of God.Â The churchÂ is God’s Temple.Â Jesus promised His special presence for the assembly (Matthew 18:20; 28:20; Revelation 1:19-2:1).Â The presence of God that inhabited the OT tabernacle and temple indwells the congregation of the Lord today.Â Therefore, the church is God’s storehouse in the age in which we live.Â Paul communicates this in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2:
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.Â Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
The store was the congregation.Â They laid up the collection proportionately by the saints on the Lord’s Day.Â A pattern for giving for the NT times is set here for us to follow.Â We bring our tithes and offerings to the church, the storehouse in the age in which we live.