A Question On Tithing

Q. I have a question about an article you wrote on tithing, you said: “great blessings are given to those who voluntarily follow God’s Law”. Will you explain what you meant by that statement?

In fact if you “give” (tithe) as if you are voluntarily following the “law”, read the book of Galatians you will find that Paul told some gentiles whom he had led to Christ that if they obeyed any part of the old Jewish law, including the law of circumcision,in order to be right (justified) with God, they have fallen from grace. (Gal.5:4)

A. The operative phrase in your quote of Galatians 5:4 is “in order to be justified by law”. Nowhere did I say that voluntarily following God’s law was for the purpose of being justified by law. Christians are justified by faith alone.

Deciding to live in a manner pleasing to God brings blessings if we do it solely as an indication of our gratitude for what He’s done for us. This is what I meant by doing so voluntarily.

For example, in 2 Cor. 9:7 Paul said, “The Lord loves a cheerful giver.” And Jesus said that the measure we use in giving to others will determine the measure He uses in giving to us. (Luke 6:38) These verses tell us that when we gladly give generously to the needs of others out of gratitude for all that the Lord has given us, it pleases Him, and He will respond accordingly by giving generously to us.

Tithing is just one example of this. Let’s not forget that 9 out of the 10 Old Testament commandments are repeated in the New Testament. (Keeping the Sabbath is the only exception.) The difference is that in the Old Testament keeping them was a mandatory precondition for receiving their salvation. In the New Testament they’re a voluntary expression of gratitude for having already received it.

When Paul said we’re not under the law, he meant obedience to the law is not required of us. But he did not mean that voluntarily doing things that are pleasing to God means we have fallen from grace.

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