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Giving for some can be one of the most challenging aspects of the Christian life. And yet the New Testament has a lot to say on the subject.
In fact, there's an enormous amount of Scripture devoted to teaching us what it means to be good stewards of God's money.
Why is generous giving so important? Is tithing relevant to Christians? These are important questions that we look at in this Bible Study.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.
Jesus probably spoke about money and giving more than anything else; this is most likely because money is such a major part of our everyday lives.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Giving reflects the nature of God, and so every believer should strive to reflect that aspect of God's nature too.
Love is the most important of all Kingdom qualities, and the direct result of the love of God was to give His Son; real love involves giving.
1 Tim 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Giving in other ways besides money is certainly a valid expression of the desire to give, but we all have to deal with the love of money.
Any person who is looking for ways to get out of giving money has been affected by the love of money.
2 Cor 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
There is very little mention of tithing in the New Testament, and none of it actually relates tithing to Christians.
Instead, the New Testament teaches cheerful, generous giving, and it's important to consider the following Scriptures when thinking about how Old Testament principles flowed through into the New Testament:
Mat 5:21-22 You have heard that it was said to those of old, "You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment." (22) But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, "Raca!" shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, "You fool!" shall be in danger of hell fire.
Mat 5:27-28 You have heard that it was said to those of old, "You shall not commit adultery." (28) But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Mat 5:33-34 Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, "You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord." (34) But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne;
Mat 5:38-39 You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." (39) But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
Mat 5:43-44 You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy." (44) But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
In every instance, Jesus raised the standard from the Old Testament standard.
Sadly, many Christians who ask about tithing are not asking because they want to be free from Old Testament requirements and live New Covenant lives in the Spirit.
It's just an excuse to justify stinginess.
Please note: Jesus never lowered any Old Testament standards.
Even with the animal sacrifices, they were replaced by the sacrifice of the eternal Son of God.
Gal 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
There is a danger that we can try to use our new Covenant freedoms as a cover-up for the activity of the flesh.
God wants to set us free, not only from Old Testament demands, but from our own selfish nature too.
If you like these Topical Bible Studies, don't forget to check out our Expository Bible Studies too.