Should Christians Tithe?

We Are Still Called to Generosity

Pastors sometimes tell their congregations to tithe a certain percentage to the church. Does the Bible say how much we should give? What is the point of tithing? Mike Andrus, Senior Adult Ministries Pastor at First Evangelical Free Church of St. Louis County, and Tom Nelson, Senior Pastor of Christ Community Church in Leawood, Kansas, help us understand tithing for New Testament Christians.  

Mike walked through what a tithe meant for the Israelites under the Old Covenant. He then pointed out that, as Christians under the New Covenant, Jesus still tells us to be generous. 

What is the difference between the mandated tithe under the Old Covenant and the standard of giving in the New Covenant?
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Mike said our giving under the New Covenant should be: regular, proportionate, joyful, generous, and sacrificial. Which of these characteristics are easy for you? Why? Which ones are more difficult or need the most improvement? Why?
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What might it look like to sacrifice your money for the Kingdom of God this week? How could you creatively give to people to people on your life who are in need?
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Take an inventory of your time, resources, and money this week. Ask God what He wants you to give away. Consider the needs of the people in your church, neighborhood, or workplace. Use God’s gifts to provide for the needs of others. 

It’s Better to Give

In the Old Testament, God commanded the Israelites to give a tithe, but the New Testament barely mentions tithing. Jesus taught His followers to be generous givers, but what does that look like in everyday life? In the previous section, Mike Andrus taught the distinctions between the Old and New Covenants in terms of tithing. In this final section, Tom Nelson, Senior Pastor of Christ Community Church in Leawood, Kansas, offers another biblical look at the principle of giving. 

Proverbs 3:9-10 (ESV)

9Honor the Lord with your wealth

and with the firstfruits of all your produce;

10then your barns will be filled with plenty,

and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Even though God doesn’t command the ten percent tithe for New Testament believers, Jesus commands us to give generously. He calls us to be openhanded people, just as He freely gives us His love and grace.  

Why is it important to know who God is when it comes to giving? What does it mean to avoid legalism in your generosity?
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How is increasing generosity the mark of a Christian? Do you see giving as an important aspect of your Christian faith? Why or why not?
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What could you do this week to go above and beyond your normal amount of generosity? How could you sacrifice your time, money, or resources for others?
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As Tom pointed out, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Keep that in mind as you ask God to guide your giving. Make a meal for a sick friend, help someone move out of their house, or write a large check to a missionary. Be marked by the same generosity God offers you.  

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