Serving the Hancock Park and

Hollywood Communities since 1917

giving-to-othersWhat to Give

Tithing or Giving in the Old Testament appears prior to the Mosaic law. Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils to Melchizedek in Genesis 14:20, and after his dream, Jacob vowed to give a tenth to God (Gen. 28:20-22). Under the Mosaic law, the Israelites were required to give not one, but three tithes. Two of these tithes were annual, one for the Levites (Lev. 27:30-33; Num. 18:21-24) and one for an annual feast in Jerusalem (Deut. 12:5-6,11; 14:22-27). The third was a triennial tithe for aliens, orphans, and widows (Deut. 14:28-29). Tithing under the law consisted of about 22 percent of one’s income, not 10 percent as is usually supposed. In addition, the Israelites could give freewill offerings that were above and beyond these tithes (Exod. 25:2; Deut. 12:6; Mal. 3:8). Giving in the New Testament: The tithe is mentioned in the New Testament only in relationship to the Mosaic law (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42; 18:12) and the superiority of the priesthood of Melchizedek to that of Levi (Heb. 7:4-10).Giving is now based on grace, not law. The New Testament provides two guidelines. The first is that each believer should give proportionately (“as he may prosper,” 1 Cor. 16:2). The tithe was the least God ever asked anyone to give, however, this can be viewed as a guideline. The second guideline is that believers should give sacrificially. Christ is the supreme example of sacrificial giving (2 Cor. 8:9; 9:15), and Paul uses this in 2 Corinthians 8-9 as a model for us to follow. “For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord” (2 Cor. 8:3; cf. 8:1-9; 9:5-15) . Proportional and sacrificial giving for some Christians may be 10 percent; for others, it may be 15, 25, or 50 percent. “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality” (2 Cor. 8:10-11a).

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