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Thursday, February 26, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Both the Old and New Testament records underline that God expects His grace children to tithe.

That is stated in Malachi 3:8-10 and Matthew 23: 23 and Matthew 5:20. There are fuller tithing passages but these three are basic. (See text footnotes).

In Malachi the Old Testament closes with God punishing the Hebrews for robbing Him of His tithes and offerings. Therefore, God placed a curse on them.

If they repented and changed to obedience, God would bless them. But they had to put their obedience on the line for that to happen.

Christ brought the tithe into the Church Age in the Matthew accounts. He said that a Christian is to tithe, thus being at least as faithful as the hypocrites who did tithe while living a farce.

In other words, Christ stated that His grace children were to live lives more exemplary than the hypocrites.

The bottom line: One is saved only by faith in Christ’s sacrificial death on Calvary. Then follows the Christian life. That includes tithing God’s tithe to the local “storehouse.” One adds to God’s tithe—not our tithe, but God’s tithe—love offerings.

These are hard times money-wise. Therefore, all the more these are excellent times for really genuine Christians to give to God what is HIS—the tithe. Then add to that love offerings besides.

This is a test of faith? Certainly. But all of the Christian life is a test of faith in the invisible God. Is He there? Is He not there? Does He keep His promises? Does He renege on His promises?

Can the Bible be trusted? Will we rewrite the passages that we don’t really cotton to?

Now is the time to prove God. Now is the time to really live out the biblical ethic, starting with whatever money we have.

I have tithed my entire life because my parents tithed and taught the children in the house to tithe. I have never found God late. I have never come upon a God who forgot.

God has been more than faithful to me and my wife. We have not tried to whittle away at what belongs to God. We can give personal testimony to seven decades of obeying God, knowing Him to be the loving Father He claims to be, and rewarding us more than we could have ever imagined.

Malachi 3:8-10: “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, `How are we robbing thee?' In your tithes and offerings.

“You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me; the whole nation of you.

“Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.”

Matthew 23:23: “"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”

Matthew 5:20: "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”