Tithing, The Law, Grace, a new look?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by SpiritualMadMan, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. SpiritualMadMan

    SpiritualMadMan
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    I can't stay long. But, wanted share this with you all and get your comments. (Be gentle, please, work has been grevious this week...)

    In the past I have been an ardent supporter for disavowing the ‘tithe’ entirely. For me tithing represented ‘The Law’. And, you were either ‘under Law’ or ‘under Grace’. Period.

    Recently, however, I discovered that after several incremental increases in my giving I was actually exceeding a tithe. It was at this point that I had a sudden inspiration. Which I would like to share with you.

    The Curse of the Law, or, the curse in general, is done away with ‘in Christ’.

    Paul wrote to the Corinthians that all the promises of God are yea and amen ‘in Christ’.

    If the curse is done away with, and all the promises are yea and amen, then, I propose, that while the curses associated with the Law are done away with ‘in Christ’…. The blessings remain.

    To be sure, if we seek to obtain righteousness by the ‘Works of the Law’ we alienate ourselves from Grace. But, what if we are fully trusting in God’s Grace through Jesus Christ. What happens if we still do works of the Law?

    If we are not doing them to gain Forgiveness, Righteousness, or God’s Mercy… The blessings associated with obedience to the Law remain as yea and amen promises to the believer.

    One further thought I had was that The Glory of God being manifest to all of creation means that even sinners get some benefit from being in God’s Creation. The rain falls on the just and the unjust comes to mind.

    However, there is a ‘lens of Grace’ over the Believer that focuses God’s Blessings on the believer.

    This can be a very good thing provided the believer is making an effort to remain in the ‘focus’.

    Consider that when a lens focuses light from its outer perimeter to a focal point below it also creates a shadow that is darker than the ambient light. The higher the quality of the lens, the higher the magnification level the darker the shadow. Grab a magnifying lens and go outside on a sunny day and try it. You’ll se I’m right about the shadow.

    Now, I don’t want to create a legalistic atmosphere. But, I have to wonder if some of God’s people who aren’t enjoying God’s Blessings have but themselves to blame by not striving to stay in the center of God’s Focus.

    But, while we can apply this easily and safely to ourselves, before we apply it to others we need to remember Job and the rebuke his ‘comforters’ got.

    What ‘could’ constitute a ‘Lens of God’s Grace’. Well, one thing that comes to mind is having a church home, being committed to that church home, and, supporting it whole heartedly. Part time support of ‘God’s Lens’ in your life may lead to part-time ‘Focusing’ of God’s Blessings as a result of having a church home.

    To be sure the ‘quality’ of the various ‘Lens’ varies greatly. But, all Churches made up of Born-Again Believers Focus God’s Grace and there is an advantage in seeking the focal point (or Vision) of the home church.

    As I was re-reading Malachi 3 I also got a gentle rebuke in verses 13-15 as I had come perilously close to fully committing this ‘sin’.

    ‘Stout’, at least to me, means beating up on God with ones words when things go wrong. I am reminded that He is able to handle it… But, like the ‘stout’ match in Robin Hood there is always a bit of embarrassment when you go in the ‘drink’ for a dip.

    Verse 16 follows with an additional promise to those that regain their ‘fear’ (respect and awe) of God and remember Him and speak well of Him.

    Just a few disconnected thoughts.
     
  2. Russ Kelly

    Russ Kelly
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    It seems to me that you answered your own question very well. Although it may sound good at first listen, the Bible does not say that we are "not under the curses of the the law, but are still under the blessings of th law." The Bible says that we are not "under the law." The great "but now of Romans 3:21 contrasts with the conclusions of verse 20. Also, the enigma of Galatians 3:1-5 teaches that we are not saved by grace through faith merely to be kept saved by good works. "In Christ" the beleiver has the blessings of the full righteousness of Christ. Christians, as new creations, do good works, not in order to obtain blessings, but because it is a natural part of their new nature. The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians five are prodouced without the motivation of a law.
     
  3. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    John 14:15 ”If you love Me keep My commandments”

    These are the Words of Christ the Creator as He quotes from the 2nd commandment.

    But what exactly did these pre-cross words of Christ “mean” to His Jewish followers – the “primary audience” that exegesis would have us consider?

    Lets see if we can discover that by looking at some more statements found in God’s Word.

    Instead of “less obedience” to each commandment of Christ the Creator – God calls for “more”.

    Instead of “less obedience” to each commandment of Christ the Creator – God calls for “more”. No wonder Paul says --
    So lets see. The law will not change in even the minutest way, till heaven and earth pass. Anyone who breaks the law, and teaches others to do so, will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. Thinking about committing sin is now just like actually committing the sin. Ah, the law has been magnified. Christ came and fulfilled the law, observing all of it’s commands, even in thought, not just action.

    Yes, lets let the scriptures speak for themselves.
    Christ quotes from the 3rd commandment for the statement above.

    Christ said that HIS commandment and the Father’s Commandment are one and the same
    Notice that John promotes this theme not only with his recording the pre-cross statements of Christ the hCreator – but also the post –cross teaching.
    Christ condemns those who would break the Commandments of God for the sake of man-made tradition –
    Christ’s followers continue to keep the Sabbath commandment after His command that they should “Love Me and Keep My Commandments” John 14:15 (quoting from the 3rd commandment in Exodus 20)
    Why do the Gospel writers take such care to teach us what Christ commanded them?

    Notice that John does not try to “divide God” as if God’s commandments are not Christ’s

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. DHK

    DHK
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    It is ludicrous to infer that Christ is quoting from the third commandment of the Ten Commandments here. There is no evidence to warrant such a statement.
    DHK
     
  5. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    As for Law and Grace -- Pauls words in Romans 2:13-16 come to mind relative to "justification".

    Here the "New Covenant" promise of the "Law written on the heart" is clearly seen.

    Is it any wonder that Paul writes

    "Do we then make VOID the Law of God by our faith? God forbid! In fact we Establish the Law" Rom 3:31

    And James 2 tells us to live and act as those "Who are to be judged by God's Law of Liberty".

    God is not "calling for rebellion against His Law" as many Christians today "suppose".

    Nor is He "abolishing His law" so that only the lost are guilty of breaking it - but the saved can freely transgress and in fact are commanded not to regard it at all. Rather God declares that the name of God is profaned among the wicked by the breaking of His law among the saints. (in Romans 2)


    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. Russ Kelly

    Russ Kelly
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    Bob
    I noticed that you are a Seventh-day Adventist. I also noticed in your discussion of Matthew 5 that you omitted 5:29,30. How many in your church have plucked out their eyes and cut off their hands in following the whole law. Jesus' use of Matthew 5:17-19 proved that the entire law stood together and needed to be fulfliled, and not just the Ten Commandments. You define "Law" in your own very narrow way to only include what Ellen White included. You cannot slice the law up that way because it was a whole, a unit -- Jesus made that very clear in 5:17-19. Count how many times the words "fulfilled" and "fulfill" occur in Matthew. The book of Matthew makes if more than clear that Jesus fulfilled the law.
    "Commandments" in John and First John does not mean "Ten Commandments." As a former SDA, I know that your use of Revelation 12:17 and 19:10 is calling all of us ignorant Babylonians outside of your little cult and on our way to hell (which you say does not last very long anyways.)
     
  7. SpiritualMadMan

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    Sorry for the delay in getting back on this.

    It's been rough at work.

    One of the meanings for Covenant is a Contract.

    When Jesus 'Fulfilled' the Law... He completed the contract. A completed contract is set aside much as a completed mortgage.

    Which when you pay off a mortgage, do you continue to make the payments?

    I would also like to offer the following verse:
    Which connects the Law with being under a curse.

    Paul goes on to make in even more clear:
    I remain amazed that people who ascribe to the doctrine of Grace... Can be so easily co-opted to the Law when it comes to money! :D

    The intent here, I think, is to find a way to 'encourage' people to give to God's work in this earth without resorting to Brow-beating, Condemnation, and Threats in God's Name.

    Nor, do we want to get into a 'Works' based or 'Performance' based 'flavor' of religiosity.

    Yet, the sad fact is many people who say they are Christians fail to give God much of anything especially Time and Money.

    Both of which remain in short supply...
     

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