LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Is Tithing for New Testament Christians?
Daniel S. Steffen, PhD.
SEMI 500 B02
Introduction to Seminary Studies
February 08, 2014
I. Introduction: Are New Testament believers required to pay tithes according to Jesus' statement in Matthews 23 vs. 23. II. Who was Jesus talking to when he said, “this you should have done; without leaving the other undone." A. The purpose for tithing under the Law.
1. The reason why God gave the Children of Israel the Law. 2. Christ redeems us from the Curse of the Law. 3. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the prophets. B. New Testament perspective on tithing according to Mathews 23 vs. 23. III. Is Tithing required in the New Covenant?
A. Giving under the Covenant of Grace.
1. Abraham pays tithes to Melchizedek.
2. Christ's priesthood similar to the priesthood of Melchizedek. B. Why is the numeric value of ten so important?
IV. Conclusion: New Testament believer are not under any command to tithe, but the spiritual principle of tithing is vital to the believer and still can be practiced.
There have been strong theological dichotomies in regard to tithing for New Testament believers. Many Christians struggle with the issue of tithing. A tithe means ten percent or a tenth part. There are some modern day believers who are adamantly opposed to giving a tenth of their income. Their premise is that tithing is an Old Testament concept required under the law for the preservation of the tabernacle or temple. In addition, it is argued that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, and that New Testament Christians are under no compulsion to give under a legalized system. Another theological perspective contends that tithes are relevant for New Testament believers as Scriptures have outlined in Mathew 23, and Hebrews 7. Tithing should be given by faith to acknowledge that all we have belongs to God and he is first in our life. Tithes are given for the spiritual growth, development, and well-being of the believers. This paper will attempt to explain several perspectives on tithing as it relates to the Old and New Testament. Not-withstanding, New Testament believers are not under any command to tithe, but the spiritual principle of tithing is vital to the believer and still can be practiced.
The Purpose for tithing under the Law Ancient Israel was a theocratic nation under God in which they were obligated to comply with the precepts, ordinances, and commands that were outlined in the Mosaic Law. God promised the children of Israel that he would bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey.1 Henceforth, God mandated that " 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 (Lev. 27:30, 31)."2 There are three major tithes recorded in Scripture that the children of Israel were required to pay. The Levitical priesthood received the first tithe as payment for offering daily sacrifices for the sins of the people. The Levites at that time where the mediators between God and man. They were compensated for not receiving an inheritance of land. A part of the tithe was used for the repair and maintenance of the temple. The Levite where also required by law to offer a portion of the tithe that they received to God. The second tithe is described in Deuteronomy 14:22-27, which was given for festivals, feast, and new moon celebrations that took place within the culture of Israel. The third tithe was intended for foreigners, orphans, and widows and poor people living in the land of Israel.3 In Matthew 23:23, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees by saying, "What sorrow awaits you teachers...
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