TITHING, A COVENANT DECISION OR NOT?

TITHING, A COVENANT DECISION OR NOT?

As usual, Sundays are a great time of worship, word, and warmth at Church 316.

Today’s service was not an exception. As if it was going to be a sermon free Sunday, about an hour into the service, it was a time of in-depth, soul-lifting worship with the pastors leading the rendition.

Pastor Jimmy Odukoya, upon mounting the pulpit for the sermon, shared on a controversial topic: Tithing, a covenant decision or not?
With reference from Mathew 23:23 and Malachi 3:8.

Some controversial questions were raised;

  • Is Tithing Biblical?
  • Who should I pay my tithe to? My neighbours? To charity? My Pastor? Or other church I attend
  • Should I pay tithe on my gross or net income?
  • Can my tithe be 20% or more or 5% or less?
  • Is tithing Old Testament?

So many questions to mention a few.

“Tithing is an act of worship, a covenant practice of faith in divinity.” – Pastor J

First of all, we should be clear on what the Bible says about tithing. Just like Adam and Eve, shouldn’t have eaten or tasted the fruit forbidden of them in the Garden of Eden, it was a choice they made. That said, should we then have to do anything the Bible says? The truth is we don’t have to, said Pastor Jimmy. “Everything in the Bible is not mandatory. You don’t have to but you can choose to”, he said.

“It’s not what you do that justifies you. If you follow covenant principles you get covenant responses.” – Pastor J

Back to tithing, Pastor J, unambiguously explained that tithing and the instructions on how to tithe were under the Levitical Law. Though based on Levitical law, only Levites pay tithe. However, because we are a royal priesthood, we have the right to pay tithe. But the first time we hear of tithe in the scriptures was before we even hear of Moses, the Jewish or Leviticus. It was when Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek, a priesthood that predates even the patriarchs in Genesis 14:18-20. Melchizedek blessed Abraham with bread and wine (covenant practice of the bread and wine, symbolizing the body and blood of Christ), Abraham’s response was inspired by the covenant—he gave him 10% of all he owns (tithe).

Jesus didn’t come to disrupt the law of tithing, He spoke about giving, cheerful giving. Jesus did not come to invalidate tithing. As a matter of fact, no New Testament passage rescinds the tithing law. Quite the opposite, Jesus upholds the principle in His denunciation of the self-righteous Pharisees in Matthew 23:23.

“When you give God a 10th of the whole, it is a representative of the whole. Hence, God is committed to blessing the whole” – Pastor J

According to Pastor J, “Tithing is an act of worship, a covenant practice of faith in divinity. It’s not what you do that justifies you. If you follow covenant principles you get covenant responses. Test God and see.
So the idea that whether to pay tithe or not, how much to pay or who to pay it to, when to pay is a choice you have to make. The tithes that were paid to the church are what the church uses for CSR projects, supports to the needy, pay worker and volunteers, and also the beautification of God’s house.

“When you give God a 10th of the whole, it is a representative of the whole. Hence, God is committed to blessing the whole” said Pastor J.

 

Reported By: Samuel Adu

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