Often I receive letters from believers who want to know if New Testament Christians are legally required by God to pay tithes. They want to please God in every area of their lives, including their finances. Many of them sit in churches where they are taught from the pulpit from the Old Testament that they are cursed if they do not tithe. Others have heard teaching that says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by taking that curse upon Himself as our sin substitute on the cross.
Should a Christian feel guilty if he does not tithe according to the Law of Moses?Well, let me ask another question do you ever feel guilty for not wearing fringe on the bottom of your clothes?No?Look at what the Law of Moses says about that:
Num 15:38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:
Notice you can't attach the fringe to your clothes with just any sort of thread; it MUST be attached with blue thread. So look at the clothes you are wearing right now. No fringe?No blue thread? You are in violation of the Law of Moses. Shouldn't you feel guilty?No?Why not?Because of this precious truth:
Heb 8:8-13 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Verse 13 is a little hard to understand in the King James Version. Here is the same verse in the Living Bible:
Heb 8:13 God speaks of these new promises, of this new agreement, as taking the place of the old one; for the old one is out of date now and has been put aside forever.[Living Bible]
The old covenant has been abolished. It has been replaced by the New Covenant, purchased for us by the blood of Jesus Christ. God has written His law in our hearts now, not in tables of stone like He did for Moses. Much of the procedural aspects of the old covenant have simply been done away. For example; the fringe that was worn on the clothing. God wanted them to wear that fringe as a reminder not to become involved in idol worship. For Christians, God gave us a conscience in our new nature that does that for us. We have a nature within us that will not allow us to bow down and worship foreign gods. We don't need fringe on our clothing for that purpose.
I don't know of any Christians who feel guilty for not wearing fringe on their clothing, do you?Why don't they feel guilty?Because they have not heard preaching from the pulpit that demands that they obey that law from the old covenant. But most Christians I know DO feel guilty if they do not legalistically tithe. Why do they feel guilty if they do not tithe?Because it has been preached to them over and over that they are REQUIRED to do so and horrible things will happen to them if they do not tithe. Wait a minute. Has the old covenant been replaced by the new or not?Has only part of it been replaced, or has all of it been replaced?You know that Christ said on the cross, “It is finished.He completely delivered us from the curse of the Law by the sacrifice of His own life.
Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
How much of the curse of the law did He deliver us from?Only part of it?No, from all of it!We are absolutely NOT under a curse if we do not tithe, no matter how many preachers thunder from the pulpit otherwise. So, if you are feeling guilt based on years and years of being taught false doctrine, always remember the fringe and the blue thread. If you don't feel guilty about the fringe, there is no reason to feel guilty about the tithe. The old covenant is finished.
There is simply no set law in the New Testament telling believers how much we should or should not give. God doesn't want us to be directed by any sort of written Law. He wants us to follow the promptings of His Spirit and to follow the leading of the conscience He has placed within us at the new birth. When you see someone in need and you want to help by giving to them do that. When you want to give more to your church do that. When you want to help missions preach the gospel overseas do that. Did you know you can ask your Father for money to give away for godly purposes? God is looking for people who will be financial stewards for Him on the earth. You have a heart to give. Ask your heavenly Father for more money to give. You will be surprised how quickly He will answer a prayer like that.
Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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