Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We're no longer under the law...right?

Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.[11] But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.[12] And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.[13] Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:[14] That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

It's easy to look at this passage and wonder why we still follow some of the old testament laws like tithing. My understanding of this passage is that we are no longer under the curse of having to pay the price for not measuring up to the law. It's true that no man is justified under the law, and having been justified by Christ we are to live by faith, but that doesn't mean we can take advantage of God's grace by ignoring God's standards of righteousness. I do not tithe, honor the sabbath, etc. to try to justify myself and prove to God I'm good enough to get into heaven. I do it because I think if God put it in the Bible, it must make Him happy.

It's kind of like the difference between an employee who does his job and one who tries to go the extra mile and do the little things he knows his boss likes (like using the new sales software the company just purchased). They both may get paid the same, but the one who does the little things does it because he wants his boss to know he appreciates having the job and doesn't take his position for granted.

I want God to know that I don't take my salvation for granted and I want to do whatever little things I can to please Him. Even though He knows my heart, I think it means more to Him when He sees me sacrifice something precious to me like my time or money.


Julie's Jewels said...

God blesses obedience. And that is why God honors and blesses those that tithe, soul-win, read their Bible and pray, and countless other things that we do. But our motive for these things must not be misplaced. Those things that we do for self or just to get God's blessings will burn...but those things we do because we love Him and want to serve Him in obedience will gain reward. Good post Brother!!

Jordan said...

i never knew that bro, scott. thanks for posting that red skelton pledge too

David Scott said...

Hey, anything I can do for the maniacs in my Sunday School Class!!!

Jordan said...

who you calling a maniac, there's just not alot preaching goin on just kidding

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure it's Biblically accurate to say that all the rules of the Old Testament are good and healthful for people to follow today. There may be vast differences between Bronze Age Israel and modern times that make the Old Testament laws impractical - and God in His wisdom knows that humans have grown, under His guidance, beyond those times. There may well be a reason why God chose to tell Peter to eat all manners of creatures, or why He discouraged Gentiles from getting circumcised. Differences in climate, native flora, geography, available metals, and other factors might make something that's practical in one place - not eating shell fish, surgical removal of the foreskin - highly impractical in another place. For example, circumcision is a worthwhile trade-off in dry, desert climates, but offers no real benefits in temperate zones. The level of technology available to Moses may have made a diet of mostly red meat the best bet, since there is little risk of food poisoning, and life span is short anyway. But with better metals and knowledge, all eating a diet of mostly red meat accomplishes is heart disease and cancer later in life.

Just as we follow God's lead when He moves us beyond temple worship or sacrifice to a true relationship with Him through his Son, we also shouldn't question His wisdom when He urges us to move beyond the dietary, political, and economic arrangements of the past. And we must also understand these things correctly - tithes were a tax on assets, not wages, and if we're to follow that, then we should be collecting 10% off rich people's assets while leaving wages alone. (It's true - there is not one instance in all of Scripture of a person "tithing" off wages. All tithes come from the increase of a person's field - that is, the return on their assets.)

David Scott said...

While I appreciate your good grammar, I have to disagree with your logic in that your time is your greatest asset. Depending on your job, you may be gaining "increase" by using assets such as time, education (intellect), strength, and in some cases health. When Abraham pursued the Kings in Gen 14 and rescued Lot, he tithed to Melchisedec, King of Salem.

Heb 7:1 ¶ For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
Heb 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;

This wasn't increase from an asset, rather he earned the wealth through his labor. You can't find loopholes in serving the Lord my friend because God isn't concerned with the money you give but rather the willingness of your heart to give it.

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