By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:


Does a Christian have to tithe?


Christians who want to please the Lord often have questions about tithing. The dictionary defines the word “tithe” as “a tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution or as a tax especially for the support of a religious establishment.” It was a common practice in the Old Testament and required of members of the nation of Israel.

Many Christians believe that this principle of giving one-tenth should be carried over to the New Testament in giving to the church and other Christian organizations. Mr. Graham would fit into this category. He has said, “We have found in our own home, as have thousands of others, that God’s blessing upon the nine-tenths, when we tithe, helps it to go farther than ten-tenths without His blessing.” However, even then the question as to whether to tithe from one’s net or gross income is not answered in Scripture, nor is the question of whether to give it all to the local church or to include other ministries. We feel that such decisions should be based on personal conviction.

Other Christians who tithe do so simply because they respect the Old Testament principle and find it a helpful place to begin in their giving. They do not believe, however, that tithing is a New Testament obligation. It is not mentioned in the New Testament except where it is describing Old Testament practices, or in the Gospels where Jesus is addressing people who were under the Old Testament law. Note Jesus’ comments to the Pharisees in Luke 11:42.

A New Testament teaching on giving which may be helpful to you is found in 1 Corinthians 16:2: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income.” This passage brings out four points: we should give individually, regularly, methodically, and proportionately.

The matter of your giving is between you and God, and He always takes into account our circumstances. He knows when they are beyond our power to direct and control. The important thing is that we see giving as a privilege and not a burden. It should not be out of a sense of duty, but rather out of love for the Lord and a desire to see His kingdom advanced.

Second Corinthians 9:6-7 says: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

The deeper question, you see, is this: What has priority in our lives? Is Christ really first—or do we put ourselves and our own desires first? Make sure Christ is first in your life, and then ask Him to guide you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.


  1. Ryu says:

    Hey that’s good

  2. Emma Zalewski says:

    I do not belong to a church right now. I give to a tv ministry. I would like to give more. Would it be ok to give to a to a program that helped me when l had little hope?

  3. U Kyi Win says:

    Very helpful.may god bless your ministries.

  4. Cynthia. says:

    1. Scripture can only be understood with a spiritual mind through in by the Spirit of God which is the Holy Ghost. It is written that we need not that man should teach us but that the Holy Ghost will teach us everything that we need to know. Do you know him?

    2. It is also written that the carnal mind is enmity with God and those who seek to carnally understand the scripture cannot understand it nor will they understand it. No Holy Ghost, no understanding.

    3. If Jesus left us the gift of the Holy Ghost that we might come to the knowledge of all truth, why not just seek him for all your answers? He won’t lie to you and He knows everything about what God wants us to do. God is not the author of such confusion as it seems.

  5. Felicia White says:

    This has truly helped me with insight on this. I struggle b/c there are so many good things and I struggle on what God actually expects of me. So many times, I try to do and live the way I was taught or others teach rather than what God is telling me. Thank You so much.

  6. fysonfunsani says:

    good gospel

  7. Rachael GORDON says:

    This article has been a source of peace and it had been a help to me as to how to pray over and use the money God had given me wisely. Thanks for sharing this truth.

  8. Marlyn Robinson says:

    Great explanation. .God bless you. .