Tithe means tenth. So tithing is giving ten percent to God.
In Malachi 3:9 God told Israel they were under a curse. It was because of their disobedience. Their covenant with God required them to obey the Law of God, which included tithing, in order to enjoy God’s blessings and be free from the curse.
But we live today under a New Covenant which does not have the same requirements. Our covenant is a better covenant established on better promises (Hebrews 8:6).
The New Covenant is between God and Jesus of Nazareth, so it does not depend on the obedience of anyone else. We are included in this wonderful covenant only by receiving Jesus and thus being in union with Him. The Bible refers to this as being “in Christ.”
If you are “in Christ,” you get credit for all Jesus did. Now the blessings Jesus deserved belong to you. And Jesus already bore the curse you deserved.
GALATIANS 3:13 NKJ 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree “),
Until you receive Jesus Christ you may be under a curse. And, even as a Christian, you may allow curses to come upon you through fear or your own negative words.
But you are NOT cursed because you don’t pay ten percent of your earnings to God, or to His representatives. You are also not cursed because of your failure to be circumcised, keep the Sabbath, eat kosher, or keep any other Old Covenant Law.
Some preachers do not yet realize that Malachi was directed only to people under the Old Covenant. It certainly took me a long time to understand.
When Jesus shed His Blood — things drastically changed. A New Covenant was established with God.
We must rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15) to prevent confusion in our thinking.
Right standing with God under the New Covenant can only be received as a gift (Romans 5:17). We receive this wonderful gift when we receive Jesus.
You are blessed and in good standing with God because of what Jesus did for you on the cross of Calvary — not because of what you do.
Giving money to God is not required in order to be loved, accepted, and blessed by God. Jesus paid the total price for us to be in good standing with God.
(But if you don’t desire to give, I would question whether you are truly born again. Having the love of God inside you causes you to be a giver, just as God is. So a real Christian should naturally desire to give.)
Giving is part of God’s plan for His family. In fact, it is part of our nature as His children to be givers. So we don’t need the fear of being cursed to motivate us to give.
Using fear to get people to give is not God’s way. God loves a cheerful giver according to 2 Corinthians 9:7. Fear cannot motivate anyone to give cheerfully!
Some may say “God won’t curse you for not tithing, but if you don’t tithe you won’t be blessed. And without being blessed, you will continue to stay under the curse.”
No, this is not the truth. Jesus took the curse you deserved and bore it away. When you receive Jesus you become an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus (John 1:12, Romans 8:17). “In Christ” you have already been given all the blessings Heaven has to offer (Ephesians 1:3, Romans 8:32).
Jesus became poor to make you rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus took care of the curse. Jesus provided the blessing. It happens in your life because you believe it, not because of your giving — or any other good works on your part.
Testimonies of people who seem to have been blessed for tithing or cursed for not tithing are not giving us the whole picture. The vital heart of the matter was what they believed. If they believed they would be blessed or cursed, and talked and acted accordingly, that largely explains the result they got.
Voluntarily giving to support the work of God as an act of love, honor, and worship is the New Covenant ideal.
There is nothing wrong with giving ten percent of your income to support the spread of the Good News of Jesus Christ. But it is wrong to do it because of wrong motives, such as fear.
Tithing is also wrong if you are doing it in an effort to gain good standing with God. That is a work of the Law, and it cannot produce right standing with God (Romans 3:28, Galatians 2:16, Galatians 3:10).