There is much debate about whether or not Christians are obligated to give financially to the church. The arguments range from not at all to living in poverty.
More importantly, what does the Lord say through His Word? Let’s look at His words to instruct us.
Proverbs 3:9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
2 Corinthians 9:6-9 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
Psalm 37:1 The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.
1 John 3:16-18 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
Acts 4:32-25, “All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.
Hebrews 13:16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
While I agree there is not a specific percentage that is required for a believer to give financially, I feel the scriptures are clear on 4 main concepts.
- When we give sacrificially the Lord blesses us
- When we give sacrificially our faith grows
- When we give sacrificially we are acting in obedience
- When we give sacrificially we have great joy
Is a Christian obligated to give? No. Should a Christian give financially? YES!