How much should Christians give?

The New Testament doesn’t command giving a tithe, but it does command giving! So how much should Christians give? Giving requires wisdom, and here are three New Testament principles to help you determine the amount.

First, Christians give according to their income

Two New Testament verses make the point that the amount Christians give relates to the amount of their income:

  • 1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income.
  • 2 Corinthians 8:12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.

Neither verse states how much Christians give, but they do say that giving should be according to our income.

Luke 12:48 For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.

Although this isn’t speaking directly of finances, the principle applies. If God gives you more, He expects you to give more. It’s completely reasonable that some people should give much more than a tithe (10%).

Second, Christians give sacrificially

This is another reason it’s not a good idea for Christians to feel bound to a tithe. For some Christians that would require very little sacrifice.

This principle is important – not just because of what it teaches us about giving – but because of what it teaches us about our relationships with the Lord in general. God doesn’t need our money. His will is accomplished with or without our help. But God allows us to worship Him through giving, and the only way our giving is worshipful is if it involves some sacrifice.

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Do Christians Have to Give a Tithe?

Notice the title says, “Do Christians Have to Give a Tithe?” versus “Should Christians give a tithe…” or “Can Christians give a tithe…” If you want to give a tenth, that’s fine. I know wonderful Christians who say, “God expected a tenth in the Old Testament, so I want to give a tenth in the New Testament.” Many people look at the Mosaic Law for principles to apply today, including in the area of giving, and that’s fine. But if you think Christians have to give a tenth, that’s different and you should keep a few things in mind.

Also, notice the title doesn’t say, “Should Christians give?” The answer to that question is, “Yes!” Please check out this post to see how much should Christians give.

First, Christians are not under the Mosaic Law

Giving a tenth was commanded under the Mosaic Law. Christians are under the Law of Christ, which carries forth the morality in the Mosaic Law: “Do not lie…steal…murder…commit adultery.” You see all these commands confirmed in the New Testament. But the ceremonial commands – including those related to giving a tenth – are not maintained.

Second, God commanded giving a number of tithes

There was a tithe for the Levites, the use of the temple and the feasts, and the poor of the land. This actually pushed the total closer to 23.3%. Continue reading “Do Christians Have to Give a Tithe?”

Types and Shadows Reveal Jesus throughout the Old Testament

The Old Testament reveals Jesus in two ways. First, there were hundreds of prophecies about Him. Second, He’s shown through types and shadows. This is why Jesus could say the Old Testament is about Him:

  • “The Scriptures testify of Me” (John 5:39b).
  • “[Moses] wrote about Me” (John 5:46b).
  • “All things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me” (Luke 24:44).
  • “Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me” (Hebrews 10:7).

The New Testament records:

  • And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27).
  • Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45).

The New Testament says Jesus is the substance and reality of Old Testament types and shadows

  • For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities (Hebrews 10:1a ESV).
  • A festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ (Colossians 2:16b-17).

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