by A.E. Knoch

WHILE tithing was not specifically taught by our Lord, it was a part of God's law for His people Israel which He recognized. He uttered a woe upon the Pharisees, not because they were so punctilious as to tithe mint and rue, but because they passed by judgment and the love of God (Luke 11:42). So long as the Levites officiated for Jehovah, so long it was necessary to support them with tithes. Among believing Israelites during the period of Acts this necessity continued, until, at the end of the book, Israel is set aside.

Tithing was never laid upon the nations. When some of the Pharisees insisted that they must be circumcised and keep the law of Moses, the apostles and elders decided otherwise and made a decree which did not include tithing (Acts 15:5,19,20), declaring that they were not to be harassed in any other way. This shows clearly that, even in the Acts era, the gentiles were not tithed.

Whatever the law is saying it is speaking to those under the law (Rom.3:19). We are not under law, but under grace (Rom.6:15). Were we under the law of tithing we would be accursed if we should not obey (Gal.3:10). If we have been under law (as Paul had been), Christ reclaims us out of the curse of the law, becoming a curse for our sakes.

God is loving a gleeful giver (2 Cor.9:7). The ecclesias of Macedonia did not tithe, but the superabundance of their joy and the depth of their poverty superabounded to the riches of their generosity, so that they gave beyond their ability, of their own accord, first giving themselves to the Lord (2 Cor. 8:2-5). We pity anyone who finds relief in the fact that tithing is not laid upon us. The believer today who does not give a tenth from the heart is utterly unworthy of the grace which has been lavished upon him. Let all who do not gladly give more examine their own hearts before the Lord.

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