By Olusegun Ibikunle
WHAT DID JESUS CHRIST SAY ABOUT TITHING AND BIBLICAL GIVING?
Don’t forget that in the Old Testament under the Law of Moses, when you give your tithe, you must also give your trespass (sin) offering on the top of your tithe in the temple but this is not absolutely applicable to us in the church age today in the New Testament because Jesus Christ is the sacrifice for our sin – the Lord Jesus Christ replaced the sin offering in the New Testament for all the Christian believers. So the system of tithing with the trespass (sin) offering is not applicable now in the church of the New Testament for every true Christian believer. The Biblical giving is the same thing as Christian giving.
WHAT DID JESUS CHRIST SAY ABOUT GIVING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT?
(The Biblical Giving In The New Testament)
Luke 6:38 KJV “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Here the Lord Jesus Christ said we should give in measure. That is, the Lord Jesus Christ allowed you to give in measure you want to give – to decide in measure from your heart what you are willing to give without compulsion. This is because the giving of tithe with the sin offering is compulsory under the Law of Moses in the Old Testament. Giving in measure you want to give from your heart with love and without compulsion is Biblical giving in the New Testament.
The deep interpretation of what the Lord Jesus Christ is saying here is that you can give more than the measure of ten percent (10%) . You can give a measure of twenty percent (20%), thirty percent (30%), etc., as you decide from your heart. Just give in measure and it is this measure that you give the Lord Jesus Christ will cause people to give you back or bless you back in measure you give. That is, the Lord Jesus Christ is saying that if you give more, you also will receive more back in giving in that measure from the people – the more you give, the more you receive back. Here is still in the Old Testament that the Lord Jesus Christ was talking as He had not died on the Cross then.
Now let look at another Scripture about the Biblical Giving by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:1-4 KJV “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” Here in this Scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ said when you give, you should not let your left hand know what your right hand has given. When you give, do your giving in secret and do not let men know how much you give. But laying emphasis on ten percent (10%) tithe always in the church is to let men (every person) in the church know that you are giving ten percent (10%) – and this is not what our Lord Jesus Christ teaches as far as Biblical giving is concerned.
The pastor is instructing you in the church of how much to give by laying emphasis on ten percent (10%) tithe payment. Our Lord Jesus in the Scripture is telling you that it is left to you on how much you give to God in secret – your giving is between you and God because the practice of true Christianity is a personal walk and intimate relationship between you and God as the issue of salvation is personal.
Let us look at another Scripture about what the Lord Jesus Christ says with respect to the true Biblical giving in Luke 21:1-4 KJV “And he (Jesus Christ) looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.” Read and study this Scripture carefully again with the help of the Holy Spirit, the best teacher.
From this Scripture quoted above, look at what the word of God says about this poor woman (a widow) giving to God in the time of the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember once again that during this period, the Law of Moses under the Old Testament was still very active and in place, so it is possible that the rich men were giving in cash (money) in thirty percent (30%) tithe payment as they had redeemed tithing with cash (money) plus (+) sin (trespass) offering of twenty percent (20%) on top of the tithe to make a total sum of fifty percent ( 50%) all together in their giving in the temple while Jesus Christ was watching keenly their individual giving. But in this narrative, the Lord Jesus Christ said this poor woman (widow) gave hundred percent (100%); Wahoo! She, poor as she is, has given everything she has – she is very poor and gave everything she had – she out of her extreme and abject poverty put in all she had to live on while all the rich men (persons) gave their money out of their wealth – they have given a tiny part of their surplus – every rich man (person) gave what they didn’t need out of the excess, that is, all the rich people contributed out of their abundance!
If you read and study this Scripture carefully with the help of the Holy Spirit, you would discover that the Lord Jesus Christ did not stop this widow that NO! NO!! She only needed to pay ten percent (10%) but allowed her to decide on her own from her heart to give the hundred percent (100%) of everything she had as a result of her unconditional love for God as you should give as you love God. Love is giving. This is the exact kind of Biblical giving in the New Testament – you give in measure according to how much you love God – ten percent (10%) , twenty percent (20%), thirty percent (30%) , fifty percent (50%), seventy percent (70%), eighty percent (80%), ninety (90%) and hundred percent (100%). No amount of measure you use and decide to give to God in your giving is much; you can never outgive God!
The whole summary of Christianity by Biblical giving narrated by our Lord Jesus Christ is as follows:
(1) You feed those who are hungry
(2) You give drink to those who are thirsty
(3) You cloth the shame of those who are naked
(4) You provide accommodation for those are homeless and destitute
(5) You visit the sick and take care of their sickness
(6) You visit those who are in the prison and care for them.
All these are found in Matthew 25:31-40 KJV
I am NOT writing to condemn the tithe payment in the church today but it is good to know and understand what exactly the Bible teaches correctly on tithing and everyone will be blessed and appreciate with much love what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross of Calvary.
Next week, we shall look at what the Apostle Paul says about tithe and true Biblical giving in the New Testament. The essence of this publication is to make us appreciate what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross of Calvary.
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