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The Sort of Giving that Gets God Excited

The Sort of Giving that Gets God Excited

Well, my last blog post – Why I Don’t Believe in Tithing – certainly set the cat amongst the pigeons, with some lively discussion to and fro – which is awesome. Some people of course remain unconvinced – they see tithing as an important part of being a Christian.

I don’t, because I believe that grace opens the door to a whole new level of giving. A “New Covenant” alternative if you like, to the legalism of the tithe. Here’s what I’m talking about …

The Hangover of the Law

Back in the first century, when most Christians were Jewish – it seemed obvious to those early Christians that some elements of the law should be brought on over from Judaism into Christianity. One of those – believe it or not – was circumcision (ouch!).  I mean, God’s people had always been circumcised so it was as plain on the nose on your face, that Christians should continue the practice.

Paul’s response?

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so much for nothing? —if it really was for nothing. Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? (Gal 3:1-5)

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love. You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? Such persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. I am confident about you in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty.  But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves! (Gal 5:6-12)

Pretty strong words – to the readers, circumcision was obvious. To Paul – grace trumped the obvious.

And if it’s true of circumcision, it’s true of every part of the law … including the tithe.
 

Jesus … on Giving

So, what’s the alternative? Simple. The New Testament teaches us that God isn’t interested in a 10% tip. God wants the lot:

Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.

It seems that God isn’t all that interested in how much we give. The thing that he sees is what it costs us.

The sort of giving that gets God excited, is the sort of giving that costs us … everything. 

It’s obvious isn’t it? Everything we have is from Him. Everything we are is from Him. Every hope, every dream, every gift, every ability … every resource at our disposal … is from Him.

And in the Parable of the Talents, when the Master went away, he entrusted rather a lot to his servants. To one he gave 5 talents (75 years’ wages), to another 2 (30 years’ wages) and to another 1 (15 years’ wages) and he expected them to invest the lot – all that he’d given them – to bring him a substantial return.

Seems to me that the New Testament teaches an “all in” approach. It’s way, way, way more challenging than a mere tithe. But that’s okay, because under the New Covenant, God has poured His Spirit into our hearts, to give us the power to take this all-in approach.
 

So What’s the Sort of Giving that Excites God?

It’s the couple who take the God-first decision to sell their home so that they can buy a more modest dwelling in a lesser suburb, in order to put their finances on a missional footing.

It’s the man who was pastoring a large, successful church (with a comfortable income to boot) who leaves it all behind, in order to follow God’s call into an ailing church in a small, poor town that may not be able to pay him at all.

It’s the woman who takes the $350 that she’s been scrimping and saving for months now to spend on some new clothes, who gives it to a family in her church who’s struggling to make their next car payment.

The sort of giving that excites God goes way, way … way beyond a tithe. Because it’s the sort of giving that costs us everything.

When it comes to tithing, I’m with James L Kraft, the Canadian who founded the massive Kraft foods empire, who said:

I don’t believe in tithing, but I guess it’s not a bad place to start.

For freedom Christ has set you free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery! (Gal 5:1)

Again, here’s the message that I preached recently on this subject. Let me encourage you to receive the Word of God, when it comes to your giving.

 

Other posts in this series:

 

Why I Don’t Believe in Tithing

Discover the Answer to Your Money Worries

Honest Answers Quick Poll – Attachment to Money

An Unsettling Story About Money

When Finances are Tight, It’s Time for a Budget


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17 Comments

  1. I have loved your last two messages. I responded yesterday and have since read the replies – all very interesting. I grew up in a Catholic home where we went to church every week and gave whatever we could. Some weeks my Mum (who was a single Mum of 3 kids on a basic wage) was only able to give a few dollars – definately not 10% of her wage. I now go to a Pentecostal church which believes in tithing, but does not enforce the 10% rule. If you can give 10% great if not, give what you can. My previous Pentecostal church was entirely different and was making money left right and centre – very wealthy church. I love the church I now attend, not just because they don’t make you feel bad if you can’t tithe 10% of your income but because of the very loving and compassionate pastors we have there. It’s a small church with a big heart.

    • Awesome Margaret. Remember it’s not how much you give, it’s what it costs you.

  2. hi Berni, thank you thank you for writing those last 2 messages. I have been trying to tell my friend about the unnecessary pressure tithing has brought on her family, but she insisted that it was required. In alliance with what you said, I also believe that the giving part is spiritual – sure, if you have enough money, go ahead and give, but if you don’t, it’s not going to disadvantage you in heaven, is it? I totally believe that giving, either spiritually or physically, is a matter between the individual and God. He is the ultimate judge, not anyone down here on earth. Thank you Berni!

    • Pip,

      The key is giving deliberately and giving our first fruits to God. The danger is that if God doesn’t come first, then we give Him our loose change and that’s not what I’m saying.

      The giving that gets God’s attention s the sort that comes at a cost.

      I just don’t understand why, in this era of grace, people are so hung up on a percentage. I know people who easily could afford 25%. How many of those give that much? I wonder.

      Berni

  3. And obedience. There are weeks when God has asked me to give everything in my purse, other weeks when he’s asked me to give way and beyond, and then there was the week he asked me to only give 1 dollar. Hmmm. Humbling.
    That week, we had a second missions offering and he asked me to give everything in my purse except a $20 bill. Done.
    After the service, I was planning to give that twenty to a lady who was fundraising for the A21 campaign, but she wasn’t there. I thought, oh well, I’ll give it to her next week but God had other plans. As I was about to walk out the front door, I heard my name called. I turned around, and here was a lady who I’d forgot owed me $80. She had a $100 bill and needed $20 change.
    God knows everything.
    Obedience.

  4. I have been a bit confused on this issue. I was brought up RC and the (2 IC) priest (who was a great guy by the way) used to come once a month (on top of Sunday giving) for a beer and to have the envelope filled. My parents were dysfunctional, and verbal and emotional abuse was right up there. I left God because I loathed the RC church.(and witnessed too many so called christians doing reprehensible things) After years of dysfunctional behaviour at the age of 57yrs old I was born again and underwent a believers baptism. I now attend a small Baptist church and a large Pentecostal church as I feel no pressure from God as to who I fellowship with and which bible study or service I attend. As a pensioner I give willingly what I can afford and try to push that limit if I think “well, Faye do you really need that …whatever it is?” usually the answer is no! I try to be kinder to other people, and help where I can and volunteer when I can. I used to feel the hangover guilt from the RC school/church days, and it still niggles at me now and again. Thank you Berni and I’m sure God wants me to not begrudge one cent I give and I don’t, I give it with love and not to soothe my conscience or appear righteous in others eyes. I am mindful that God’s churches have to pay electricity bills etc like we all do, and I also help with mission fundraising etc. Am I on the right track?

    • Faye … sounds to me like your absolutely on the right track. And when God challenges you to stretch yourself, make sure you’re open to that too. All He wants from us it to give generously, sacrificially, deliberately … from the heart.

      Bless ya,
      Berni

  5. thank you dear bernie i only give what ihave most sundays and give a private amount to a mission representive. on the4th sunday of each month.

  6. I’m NOT gona read all the messages posted here and try and make sense of the twos and fros on the issue.

    However I am for the idea as sugested by bernie to give when our heart tells us to give!

    When our hearts our right we will keep on giving….

    My heart can never be right personally becuase i dont trust is churches or people who ask for my money.

    I also don’t like the idea that passages from the bible are used to sanction giving

    However i also think there should be an onus on the individua to give when their hearts is right wth god be it inda form of money or otherwise it all the same.

    I find it easy to say that my heart is not right because i dont want to part with my money most of the time. No one will give me money is as but i know that is not true becuase igive it away something so sometime it may be given no me.

    My mom is a polsih catholic who goes to church all the time and she was wild when she found out i gave a lump sum on one occasion to the church

    Dad is a communist from soviet belarus and said ” God does not want you money Robert”

    Money is asked by the churches to be given to them in this world!

    Jesus 40 days inda desert did not ask god to help him when tempted by satan. So da churces dont wanna ask god to help them in that way so they ask for money to be given to them. Fair enough i guess money make the world go round.

    I we didn’t want thge world to go round in circles we would get rid of money. Ah is that making one heart right?

    Personally I also dont believe in asking for money and saying it is to progress gods kingdom. Though i ask mum and dad to give me money to progress mine and if that don’t work i ask for it to progress theirs.

    Of course mum and dad even if they are a bit stupid they are not inclined to be stupid to give money away.

    Jesus said if it belongs to cessar give it to him and give gods what is gods.

    I say don’t be cond in giving it all away or giving it to churches who have there hands out and use the money is the same way as we do!

    If the churches are compelled to want what is god make them earn it and give them nothing.

    But please give to the churches and preachers that you heart tells you are on the mark. Those fews require it to send tyhe message of god you others like you can hear it and benifit from it.

    Money is a dirty thing…. it is one of the things that people use… not only for pleasure…. but also to control and abuse others…. Money corrupts…. and it may keep us corrupt if we do not wise up!

    Pink floyd said “So why aren’t THEY giving it away”.

  7. Don’t like this 10% thing at all.

    I read all of yesterdays comments and then all of the above. Berni is on the right track and for some extra thought about the subject, try Philippians Chapter 4.

    Yes we all know the ” catch cry verse” v19 about my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory. But read the whole chapter and Paul was commending ONLY the Philippians for practicing “giving AND receiving” ( v15).
    Paul did NOT ask for their giving, but was most appreciative of it when it did arrive. He was seeking the FRUIT of their lives that may be added to their ACCOUNT.

    What I want to say is , WHATEVER we do with our lives IS OUR GIVING to the Lord. But only those things, which we have done as our personal giving of ALL we have ( our abilities, time, money , possessions,…. the lot) , will be credited to our account in Heaven, where we store up our treasure.

    Sorry folks, but there won’t be any LUCKY DOOR PRIZES at the gate of heaven.

    Be full on , or don’t bother at all. Give your “self” as the willing offering to the Lord. Forget the money side of things because it is the ultimate guilt trip that is thrown on people who cannot match what others can give.

    Good one Berni!

  8. Dear Bernie, May God richly bless you and all those reading this.
    Thank you for your last two messages. They have made me think and I too had been caught up for many years with the 10% business.
    Until money got difficuilt and I just give what I can. Does God ask for only 10% of our hearts? On a pracitcal view, as far as I understand from scripture we are to honour those who are our leaders in the church. We are the church so we all should bare responsibility in caring for the maintenance of the building we use to worship. We all serve each other even just be turning up at church encourages others. What we sow is what we reap. I believe that we are to tithe everything not just our money. Our time, talents, food etc. Do what we feel called to do and trust God with the outcomes.

  9. Thanks for your opinion, to be honest with you, preachers and writers annoy me when it comes to speaking on tithing as being under the law. Abraham was before the law and he tithed to Melchezedek. Tithes were encouraged by Jesus. Tithing is clearly a Biblical principle, tell people they don’t need to tithe and they will not only stop tithing but stop giving altogether.
    Tithing was Gods way of ensuring that ministries are supported. Some ministries granted appear to live a very priveledged lifestyles on peoples giving. But the majority do not. The truth is most Christains don’t tithe, most of them only tip a couple of dollars in the offfering on a Sunday. It is the lack of finace that is chocking the Church. 10% was only the begining under the law ,offerings probably ran close to another 20% on top.I find it fascinating how everyone lately seems to be attacking the church over its 10% when govenrments and other bodies take far greater percentages in an enforced way and they seem to get so much less done.
    It is true that we are under grace, sadly grace has been used as licence by most Christains to do as they please. Actually grace clearly has greater requirements than the law. I think we should encourage tithing and free will offerings afterall that is the scriptural model in both testiments.

    • Craig – I can’t agree with you. Yes Abraham gave a tithe before the law. As I have said many times in my blog post and in the recorded message – I have no problem with the concept of a tithe.
      Yes Jesus told the Pharisees that they shouldn’t neglect their tithe – they were under the law remember, not under the New Covenant.

      I wonder if people would be arguing so strongly in favour of an element of the law, if we were talking, for instance, about stoning people to death for this transgression or that, as commanded under the law.

      Is it wrong to give 10% to God’s work? Not at all!

      Is it wrong for churches to send out a message that, in effect, if people don’t give 10% their not being “good Christians”. Yes! Not only is it wrong, it is heresy.

      And if you follow through my argument, it is quite simply this: that when we are totally besotted with Jesus, when His peace and joy and mercy and power fill our hearts with the very glory and Presence of God through the Holy Spirit – our hearts will not be to give a mere 10%.

      Our hearts will be to give the lot!

      To be honest, I have little time for opinions. What I am looking for is the Biblical truth. And the truth is that the law of tithing has no place in a New Covenant relationship with Jesus.

      Anymore than the law of circumcision does – which Paul argued so strongly against even though he had Timothy circumcised. Let me encourage you to spend a few hours reading the book of Galatians from cover to cover.

  10. I can see ‘both’ perspectives Craig! Yours ‘and’ the message that Bernie wrote. For years I have tithed ‘and’ Given – I truly believed that a Believer, needed to Tithe ‘and’ Give above the Tithe. I would say to any Christian…get on your knees, and ask The Father, to reveal to ‘you’ – one on one’ what his thoughts are. Fast, Pray, Seek – He will answer ‘you’ with His requirement of ‘you’. Ultimately we will answer to Him – one on one – Berni is right – it sure is a matter of the ‘Heart’ that i for sure…so, if one Tithes…’Tithe from THE HEART’…if one doesn’t but gives..’GIVE FROM THE HEART’. Does there have to be a wrong and a right? I think the battle can make God sad. Its all about ‘The Heart state’. :-)

  11. Whoaaa….seems to be a runaway topic…..
    Where does the New testament say….uh! stop doing what the LAW requires ?
    The following is what my Jesus, my Lord and Saviour substantiates……..capitals are mine..

    Matt 23 :1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to DO EVERYTHING they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

    Matt 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    and in passage below…..it says dont neglect to do the former and practice the latter…….which means that we have to do BOTH with the right attitude and heart…..

    Matthew 23:22-24“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

    Luke 11:42
    “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
    Luke 11:41-43

    by the way….I tithe…..as a regular amount…….but I also give as the Lord allows – its very comforting and encouraging that He allows me to always give more than my tithe because its out of my own heart and its out of cheerfulness and its not always to the Church missions but to other missions as well as individual people……as God wills….so that HIS Story is portrayed in others lives and maybe in other countries. BUT every bit goes with PRAYER..MUCH PRAYER……. But if someone in church doesnt give a tenth…thats really their freedom…I as a brother cant preach at him nor can I make him feel guilty nor can I challenge him about the amount/or percentage. However, because I tithe (and I give more silently -Matt 6:3 )… I can ask my brothers if they are willing to share when there is a real need.God can reach into their hearts with my question.
    The moment I ask for a percentage or an amount….I am limiting God’s work in that brother.

    In essence….stop preaching of enforcing tithes if you are not doing it out of love, justice, mercy and in faith. dont be like a pharisee (preaching without practising). Eric Clapton sings…..”before you accuse me, take a look at yourself”.

    ROM 8:1 There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus! The powerless law still exists and is useful for somethings and we are pardoned from the guilt it lays on our souls. Its by recognising this grace, this forgiveness and this pardon that allows me to give and share freely with joy. Rom 7 says…the law is good -So for me unless I tithe, I cant ask people to follow this command of Jesus or another- I must do it/practice it/ exemplify it first. Discipline myself first. Allow justice – (be honest), show mercy/ forgiveness and give faithfully(in faith).
    So Berni has the right to say “why he doesnt choose to tithe ” or write on why he doesnt believe in tithing….. but the pastor or Berni or anyone else cant make that a rule for everyone…..as my God of the Bible has dibs on that.

    The following passage is much more interesting when a rich man comes running to Jesus with a curious question….but gets a much more quizzical answer…
    Mark10:17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
    18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.”

    20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

    21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth

    Why did Jesus answer….the question of eternal life – with an answer- not related to believing in Jesus himself but about God’s goodness and eternity achieved by following HIS commandments? The man’s answer of obedience is rewarded with a look of love from Jesus.
    Most amazing commandment by Jesus comes after this……GO SELL EVERYTHING AND GIVE TO POOR THEN FOLLOW ME.

    This is what Berni did when he left his job – to follow Jesus. Very few have this ability.

    SUMMARY:
    Verily verily this is real…guys! this is the commitment level that money/possessions should have in our hearts.

    Following the LAW mindlessly, rigidly and specifically doesnt save….Following Jesus does – Obeying His commands as a guideline… releases us from the bondage – its not a tenth anymore….its my heart that gives according to the law and BEYOND….joyfully. IF someone cant give a tenth….let them give what they can- God understands – there is NO condemnation. That is the NEW COVENANTAL freedom from the law- (its pardon from the punishment) -Its about living in Grace/Mercy. (Doesnt mean there is no more Law).
    —————————————————————————————————-
    Please pardon me but I am still learning at His feet and willing to rethink.
    About Galations Berni….that has little to do with “Tithing” – giving to God. It does talk about the Freedom through Grace of Jesus that makes Law just the very basic adherence.
    God seems to be tired of seeing people just fulfilling the basic tenets of the law without a real motivation of envisioning what can be possible in this huge freedom that Jesus gave mankind.

    Circumcision was separating the Christian brothers. Paul taught that circumcision was a symbol ….of belonging to the family of Abraham. Not what was given as LAW through Moses.
    Bias and Separation based on an outward symbol is not right according to Paul. 19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God….doesnt mean that the Law was dead and defunct (often misinterpreted) but that it was useless to save us from death. Christians are dead to the enslavement/bondage created by law……cause I am now living in the Freedom of the knowledge of Grace. I can sing.. I can rejoice. My guilt and punishment has been wiped out….I am born into this new world/ new kingdom where Grace revitalises my life.
    It doesnt condemn another person. Its not partial or biased anymore to people from other cultures, race, tribes or languages – Yaaaay! real freedom. ….I can almost shout no more “dependancy” on segregational RULES!! hallelujah….its beyond rules that restrict and focuses on rules that allow.
    We are not slaves to Law but freed from the LAW which is still a guardian keeping new people in check and from slipping back. The biggest deterrent to Christianity even till today is cliques and the law of segregation and that is what Galations deals with. Paul was asking the Galations not to make their own rules to be enslaved by them. Nor for them to hold sway over others by making rules for them.

    I am really glad this is God revealing truths in us through studying The Word – thanks much Berni.

    • Phil

      To be honest your approach to the law borders on scary. I don’t say that lightly. As I responded to you on another post, it is very, very clear from the New Testament that a Christian, who is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is not under the law. Read Romans 7:1-6.

      We are dead to the law (v4) and discharged from the law (v6). Of course the law hasn’t passed away – it was, as Jesus said, fulfilled by Him.

      For this reason we don’t punish adultery, planting two different crops side by side, eating crustaceans and working on the Sabbath by death as required by the law.

      My point is not that we should not give, but rather that we should give generously as the Spirit leads.

      We who are saved by grace through faith should not let anyone tell us that we need to comply with parts of the OT law. That is the point that I am making.

      Blessings,

      Berni

  12. Sorry Berni,…I respect you too much to use your time and your website for blogging my thoughts. If you think that this discussion is harmful…please let me know…I will not continue.

    Just want to clarify….I agree and have in all my replies that we are not under the Law – the sort that saves us or binds us to obedience that criticises others for not following the rules. I am not saying comply with the law because it saves me or makes me righteous. The possibility that there may be some rules more important than others.
    Moreover -the same passage that you quoted -spoke to me in favour of what I was saying. Basically in the continuation of the argument ….to those people who already knew the law….that we are dead to law in the meaning explained below.
    The fact that we are dead to the law doesnt mean that there is no more law – and sin by definition is “disobedience to God’s laws”.
    The Word of God is not being understood correctly there. This statement is in relation to the argument being developed by Paul – to clarify what status we now have. The Marriage bond of the woman to man doesn’t hold anymore after the man is dead. There is a clause in the original law that binds her to a husband…..now because her man is dead she is free to marry another and is now also BOUND by the second dependant clause or Sub-section – to the second husband.
    This is to indicate the bond of the rule in the LAW that states by the sacrificial death he has released us into the law that binds us to Jesus our second husband. WHO NOW GIVES US HIS INTERPRETATION OF EXACTLY SAME LAW that HIS FATHER GAVE. We are His Bride and we now follow our husband’s law which is how He wants us to live. NOT in judgement of others and ourselves as the previous interpretation of the LAW.
    We have to understand that Paul is not saying that get rid of the law in its entirety but to follow the GOD GIVEN LAW in spirit and not make it binding on anyone.
    (Rom3:31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law).

    One blog said to the effect: that we don’t have to understand/or teach the OT laws anymore.
    ……”.We who are saved by grace through faith should not let anyone tell us that we need to comply with parts of the OT law. That is the point that I am making”.
    This statement in your previous blog really troubles me and God has not allowed me to rest…there were so many passages in the new testament that validated the relevance of the Law -in the new eyes that God gave us –(read the healing of the blind man and the argument that ensues -John 9) The law of GOD exists and OT exists to define what God’s holiness is and what is Sin.

    (I have had questions from new seekers from other religions wanting to know – what is sin and reading some of the OT laws and substantiating them with what my Jesus begins His ministry in interpreting the same laws His way in Matt:5 – starts the new seekers off to a realisation of how Holy our God is – not a conjured up image of holiness – {no sir! – its written in His Word} and to knowing how great their sin)
    Rom 5:13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law.
    How in the spiritual jungles of Amazon are we to explain God’s sacrificial lamb that washed away our “sin” to make it relevant to them? How else can you explain sin and pardon and grace to enter His presence ?

    Roms 6: 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

    Not that we are under the law that BINDS but we are under grace…NOT the law that allows us to judge and criticize others for not giving..…which means the law that pardons us through Jesus blood covering. Grace means not that he is taking away the law but that He allows us to come to Him inspite of us being as sinful as we are. Sin is relative to the breaking of the Law of God. How else would we know what is sin ? Under grace means acceptance regardless of us breaking the law.
    However because the Jews were judging everyone by their own rigid standards of the law – to the point of hurting and killing others…thus preventing people from coming to God. Matt 5 talks of Jesus stating what an enhanced view of the original Law- he actually encouraged. This was a new look at the Law as stated in the OT. It wasn’t about fulfilling the requirements but about keeping oneself from SIN to be able to come into the Holy of Holies. This is the Freedom of Jesus death that there is now no stigma for anyone to enter into the Holy of the Holies. Now that the requirements of the law was fulfilled everyone is welcome to come to God).

    What you are interpreting from my (and others) tithing + over and beyond – is to assume I am teaching complicity to the OT law. To clarify – I declare and have declared…that I am released from that bondage to the LAW, but I choose to follow the law NOT because I am bound to it, but because I love Him AND I glorify Him…. who gave me those fantastic standards/guidelines to avoid sin (like a guardian)…(which is the Laws original chief intent). I don’t ever judge anyone’s giving their meagre amounts nor those who give the whole lot – as an action that deserves recognition of the law…..but that they gave their money to the glory of God. (Sermons on statistics of Christians giving in other countries – and commenting that its not even the basic tenth – is exactly what I am talking about – who are we to judge their giving or of any other person here in Australia ?) Who are we to judge – when giving is between God and that person – it should be done cheerfully, giving glory to God – not out of guilt.) I feel for organisations having to resort to sermons on tithing to encourage giving when its all about the cheerful honour of giving to God – to help people to know Jesus better.
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    If your real search is to find the answer to the reason why there were so many mundane laws and very specific laws specified in Leviticus and Deuteronomy…..A God who cares about His people gave them his very words to looking after their health. “Dont eat fat and crustaceans with high cholesterol foods. Separate clean from the dirty, Keep clean with good hygiene”. Which God in that era would have given such advanced futuristic scientific advice to not abuse the temple of the God – to maintain our bodies well. Which other God gave advice in looking after foreigners but not to worship their idols. Isnt it all about holiness ? God’s holiness. However, I am not here to judge anyone for not following these types of rules as was being done. (Yeast of the Pharisees).

    I am concerned that we as mere men are able to say that Deut 6 (read it again) has worthless words and that we dont need to even consider the keeping of His commandments. So that you may live long. Isnt that what our God is about ? To enable us to live long ? Who gave the Law – God. Is there a reason – Yes. Not that we comply to the letter but as interpreted by per our new husband Jesus to whom we are bound. (By the old law that condemns us….we are considered dead….Dead to the Law – so we are not under it – we rise above the God’s law which still exists)

    Freedom from the Law in this case prevents us from judging others based on laws…either describing a sin as greater or lesser. The freedom of Jesus death makes us righteous enough to enter the Holy of Holies and that is real freedom. Not a freedom that says there is no more God’s law. It gives us His Holy SPIRIT to prompt us into obedience….(to what ? to Jesus’ rules of even living -to “LOVE ONE ANOTHER” which is also in the old testament and on which half of the Ten Commandments are based) so let us not judge a Christian for not being generous in their giving. The challenge for giving is out there…to respond and obey is our willingness to OBEY His rules of loving others as we love ourselves.

    I just found this by doing a search….and its what I am trying to articulate….sorry for being so long winded.
    So, when the question comes up: well, if you just tell people they’re not under the law and they’re free in Jesus Christ, they’ll just go out and violate God’s law…then you don’t understand what salvation means because it plants within you a new nature. And the bent of that new nature is to serve God in spirit from deep within the heart. This, of course, is the work of the Holy Spirit. We still serve the law. In fact, we serve it better than we could before we were redeemed. Because we serve not the letter of the law but the spirit. We no longer are slaves to a legal set of values and rules in order to gain favor with God, but we now serve God out of love because He’s granted us salvation. We are free, free to serve God, not free to serve ourselves. We did that before. We aren’t legalists serving the letter, but in newness of spirit we serve Christ.
    So somebody asks the question: if we’re free from the law as Christians, is the law binding on us? The answer is no and yes. It is not binding in the sense that our acceptance with God depends on it, it is binding in the sense that our new life seeks to serve it. You see, the law couldn’t save you because you couldn’t keep it. Now that God saved you, the law can’t condemn you and for the first time in your life by the power of the Holy Spirit you can keep it. So we’re not under the law condemnation but we serve God’s law out of the depths of a committed heart.
    Is the law important? Oh yes. Can we say with the psalmist, “O how I love Thy law?” Oh yes. Even though it can’t save us? Yes. Even though it would condemn us? Yes, because Jesus Christ has born that condemnation and by planting within us the divine nature has enabled us to keep that very law. And we don’t serve it externally but out of newness of spirit.
    So, we’re dead to the law in the sense that it could save us or condemn us. But listen, people, we are more alive to the law now in terms of serving it to the glory of God than we’ve ever been. (www.gty.org/resources/sermons/45-50)

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The Sort of Giving that Gets God Excited