10 Is 'Grace Giving' required?

  

 

New Covenant all about grace. It is about what God in His incredible love has done FOR US ...not Laws about what we must....or should...or are commanded to do ...other than to believe the awesome gospel and be saved!

 

John 1:17-18
17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.    NKJV

 

Rom 6:14
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  
NKJV

 
 

Salvation is a gift from God....not something we earn by our 'works' or by our 'obedience' ...but by FAITH in Christ's obedience for us!

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.    NKJV

Rom 4:2-6

2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."   4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt    NKJV

Eph 2:4-9

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.      NKJV
 

 

We do not earn the blessings in the New Covenant....Christ did that for us in the atonement!

Rom 8:31-32
32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? NKJV

 

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,      NKJV

2 Cor 8:9
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.    NKJV

Luke 12:24
24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap , which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?    NKJV  

Luke 15:31
'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.    NKJV

 

 

Our works will not sway God to bless us more in any way.....HIS LOVE for us has already paid the ULTIMATE PRICE....in the form of the BLOOD of His Son to sanctify us. We are PERFECT not because of what we do....but because of what HE has done for us! Our only role is to RECEIVE Him..ie His sacrifice for us...in faith.

Heb 10:14
14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.   NKJV

 

Gifts and offerings to God ... offered at 'altars' ... are 'FLESHLY ORDINANCES'... ie they are OLD Covenant ...and NOT part of the New Covenant where we now worship God 'in spirit and in truth'....rather than with 'external observances'!

Heb 9:9-10
9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience —  10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.    NKJV 

Brethren we are now in the 'time of reformation'

  

Even receiving the Holy Spirit...or miracles ...or healing...is by FAITH in God.....and NOT By our works

Gal 3:1-5

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain — if indeed it was in vain?

5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?     NKJV

It is by FAITH alone that we can receive the things of the Spirit

 

 

We are free to give as we choose

Matt 10:8

Freely you have received, freely give.     NKJV
 

Matt 17:25-26
Jesus anticipated him, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?" 

26 Peter said to Him, "From strangers."

Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free"       NKJV
 

 

Many say that under a better covenant we should give more than the 10% they gave under the Old Covenant. This is no more than a devious attempt to manipulate congregations into giving by guilt.

Tithing in the Old Testament was NEVER 10% of anyone's income...it was only ever 10% of the FOOD produce of the promised land which God gave Israel! Abram only ever gave a tenth of SPOILS once in his life (never of his own wealth)....Jacob is not recorded as having ever actually given his promised tenth ...and Jewish farmers only gave tithes every third year!

There is no scripture which says anyone ever gave 10% of their income to God.

Some may be able to....and CHOOSE freely to give more. Others may be able to give nothing....or may FREELY choose to give NOTHING!    This is each persons call to make according to their own situation!

 

Under the Old Covenant ......the POOR did NOT GIVE 'tithes'....they received from the tithe.

Deut 26:12-13

12 "When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year the year of tithing — and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, 13 then you shall say before the LORD your God: 'I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me;     NKJV 

 

10% was NOT a 'minimum'...or a benchmark for giving ...it only ever applied to LANDOWNERS who gave PRODUCE (not money) and then it was only given away every THIRD YEAR (see also Deut 14:22-29)...it was NEVER of income but only FOOD....and it was ONLY given to Levites who had first forfeited their share of the promised Land! The tithe was to be EATEN by the GIVER in 2 years out of three. 

 

Liberality defines a giving motivated only by love.....and not compulsion

2 Cor 9:10-11

10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. NKJV
 

 

The primary direction of giving in the New Testament is to the POOR....this is motivated by a 'love response' to NEEDS

 

Gal 2:10
10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.    NKJV
 

James 1:27
27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.     NKJV

 1 John 3:17
17 But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?    NKJV
 

Luke 18:22
"You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."     NKJV

 

1 Tim 6:17-18

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,   NKJV

 

We are also free to support the needs of itinerant ministers (Gal 6:6, 1 Tim 6:18).....should we be able to and desire to!

 

We should only give 'as we are able'...ie after we have supported our families and paid our taxes (Rom 13:7 and  1 Tim 5:3-8)

 

We are FREE of obligations to give   .... but also free to let LOVE motivate us to give

 

YES there are illustrations of some people giving away large amounts....but this is NEVER taught as a STANDARD for others to follow. (To those who quote Luke 14:33 I say ...Do you really believe that your religious works in any way determine whether or not you are saved in the New Testament? ... 1Cor 13:3)

 

Each of us as believers is FREE to respond to the NEEDS we see.....and as we are ABLE!

 

2 Cor 9:5
5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.    NKJV

2 Cor 9:7-8
7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.   NKJV 

 

 

We are to resist 'compulsion' that LEGALISTS ....and coveteous deceivers .... will seek to impose

 

Gal 5:1-4                                          

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.   NKJV

 

'Tithing' to earn God's blessing is proof of a LACK OF FAITH....in God's UNCONDITIONAL love for us as his children and the completeness of his provision for us in the atonement!

ie because of the frequent use of Malachi 3:8-10 a large proportion of christians pay tithes almost as if it were 'protection money' against God's wrath ....or 'insurance premiums' against future disasters (from being cursed)....this is SICK! The fact that you are able to be manipulated shows that you do not know how much your Father LOVES you.

 

The same truth applies to us giving 'offerings'...Do we not believe that Christ's work on the cross IS complete? (Heb 10:14)

Sowing and reaping has been manipulated to become another demonstration of lack of faith in God! (i.e. if I give money God will owe me?)

 

Putting the LAW onto God's children is serious ....it puts a burden on them according to the Apostles

Acts 15:10
10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?   NKJV

 

It is CONTRARY to Jesus teachings

Matt 11:28-30
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."     NKJV
 

 

Falling into the trap of LEGALISM in regard to giving is no minor matter....nor is preaching the 'requirement to give' to God's children  ...it is SATANIC!

Gal 1:6-9

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.      NKJV

 2 Cor 11:3-4
3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity  that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted — you may well put up with it!    NKJV

The Pharisee who boasted about his tithing was the one who went home NOT being made righteous! (Luke 18:12)

Tell me now how this differs from 'tithing testimonies' given in many churches almost every sunday? Did Jesus not say that our giving should be 'in secret'?
 

 

Those who seek to impose obligations MUST be silenced.....they are corrupting the GOSPEL of the grace of God.

Matt 23:2-5
"The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.  3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.  4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.      NKJV

Titus 1:10-11

For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.    NKJV

2 Peter 2:1-3
there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.    NKJV

 

Religion today EXPLOITS people (2 Pet 2:3)

Instead of GIVING, it is TAKING! (Acts 20:35 and 2 Cor 12:14)

Instead of receiving that which is FREELY offered, it is DEMANDING more! (contrary to Mat 10:8)

 

Mark 11:17
Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it a 'den of thieves'   NKJV

 

 Gen 1:1 - 2 Peter 2:3
there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
NKJV
 Gen 1:1 - 2 Peter 2:3
there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
NKJV
 Gen 1:1 - 2 Peter 2:3
there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
NKJV
 

Rev 18:10-13
'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.'

So how do we get 'blessed'?  ....By faith ALONE

Eph 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ      NKJV ov 10:

22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich
KJV
 

Prov 10:22

22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich    KJV
 

WeWWe are to see ourselves as beloved children of the Most High God....blessed with his blessing and favor....every bit as much as the Jews see this.

Num 6:24-26

24 "The LORD bless you and keep you;          (the Lord's heart is revealed here...to bless and protect you)
25 The LORD make His face shine upon you,    (the shining face is His love radiating towards you)
And be gracious to you;      (the Lord desires to give you ALL good things...not to burden you with obligations)
26 The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,     (the uplifted countenance is the demonstration of His PLEASURE in you) 
And give you peace."'         (The peace you know is when you realise that it is because of Jesus sacrifice, and not your own works, that He loves you. This takes ALL the performance obligation off you...and you find rest and peace)
 NKJV 

 

So how do we get our financial needs met?  ....By faith and WORK

1 Thess 4:10-12
But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; ...... and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.   NKJV

2 Thess 3:10-12

10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat . 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.     NKJV

 

We are to see ourselves as beloved children of the Most High God....blessed with His unconditional blessing and favor...and able to achieve anything we set our minds and hands to. From this position of faith we now WORK.... faithfully and diligently (like the ant in Proverbs 6:6)   NOW WE W...

  

 

So how do we get rich? ......By faith and heaps of hard WORK and wise investment

Gen 26:12

12 Then Isaac  sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him.    NKJV
 

Isaac was farmer...sowing and reaping was simply HARD WORK!...even when the odds appeared to be against him.

Isaac then continued to work ...and rather than consuming all he earned, he traded some (this is how livestock became 'silver and gold')...he re-invested much...

and KEPT WORKING HARD!

Col 3:22-24

22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.     NKJV

 

Well say some...Isn't that what Jesus taught against in the parable of the rich fool?......The answer is an emphatic NO!

The rich fool was looking forward to a selfish and self-indulgent future which he thought could be sustained without God. Isaac...like Abraham...was 'rich towards God' first.....and both were very rich in livestock and silver and gold.  (Gen 13:2....and this before Abram ever gave his 'one-off' tithe')  (Gen 26:12-13....and this despite the fact that Isaac is NEVER recorded as having given a 'tithe'  .....or first-fruits....to anyone!)

 

What is it that God requires of us in response to our great salvation?

 

Mic 6:8

8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God
?    NKJV

 

James 1:27
27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.       NKJV
 
 

1 John 4:11
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.     NKJV

 

 

You are FREE to do what LOVE leads you to do.