Bible Study Update

by Struthers Cumbernauld

In our Bible Study this week we discussed what the Bible says about tithing.

We looked at the history of tithing. Tithing is an Old Testament concept. The tithe was a requirement of the law in which all Israelites were to give ten per cent of what they earned or grew to God via the tabernacle or temple. The tithe was a method of providing for the needs of the priests and the temple. In tithing the Israelites recognised that everything came from God and they gave back to God a proportion of their earnings or harvest. (See, for example, Deut 12:6 & 14:22)

The New Testament does not command that we are to follow the Old Testament tithing system, but many Christians use it as a broad rule of thumb.

A church would normally use the money given to it to look after the church building, for the work of the church and to see to the needs of the congregation. In some churches the tithes and offerings are used to pay the minister's salary or for the salary of other members of staff.

In 2 Corinthians Paul states that believers should set aside a portion of their income in order to support the church and urges believers to give what they decide in their hearts. No person should be pressured to give money. See 2 Corinthians 9:5-7

It is important that people recognise that they can give in many ways, such as giving their time to the church, and this is equally valuable.

Nevertheless, Christians are instructed to support the financial work of the church. Whether we can make large contributions or can only afford the "widow's mite", God sees the heart and the efforts we make to serve Him and support His work. Those who are more comfortable financially should give careful consideration to how they use their money. We are to be good stewards of the blessings that we receive, including finances, and we should use our money to do good (1 Tim 6:17-18).