Have you ever heard this Scripture preached?
Matthew 17:24 When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?”
25 He said, “Yes.”
And when he had come into the house, 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. 27 Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.
Are you a son of God?
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14
THE SONS ARE FREE
Are there mindsets preventing the Church from embracing their inheritance as the Sons of God? What might be the last cord tying down the eagle from soaring?
Could this cord be the teaching on “tithing”? “Oh, no! Now, you’ve stepped over the line!” you might say. Are you shocked? Well, I was shocked to read something in publication of a very large ministry. It went “… the Law of God is clear…. to receive from God – to have your needs met – you have to give!”
Yet we received salvation and myriad blessings from God by His grace before we had given one iota to Him!
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“… for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45b
SOWING & REAPING
Oh, yes, there is a principle of sowing and reaping. Thank God, His grace towards us goes way beyond that. We will never deserve by our own dead works the inheritance that God has graciously prepared for us. We must receive this also by grace through faith. If it is “of works, it is no longer grace” (Romans 11:6)
“Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise [of inheritance v13] might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” Romans 4:16
“For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” Galatians 3:18 (NKJV)
We’ve been going about this the wrong way, trying to receive our inheritance through the works of the law rather than by grace! Years ago, a prophet had told me that I couldn’t earn my inheritance! What a revelation! (Galatians 3:18)
Any fruitful sowing we do is only by the grace of God, by His Spirit moving through us!
PRINCIPLES OF GIVING
“He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given.” Proverbs 19:17
You may ask about tithing in the New Testament. The stories in the gospels mentioning tithing don’t justify tithing in our day because they were still under the law. The story of Melchizedek in Hebrews 7 doesn’t justify tithing either. This is how New Testament believers in Christ should give:
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:7
If you are “under the law”, you are giving “of necessity!”
TITHING is ARCHAIC – (Old Testament)
When I was a young mother, I was listening to a speaker at a church who said that if you’re not tithing to God, how could you expect anything from Him! My husband was not saved twenty years ago, but he told me I could give a $100 to the church but not more. That wasn’t “tithing”. I went up to this speaker and told him my dilemma. He told me I should obey my husband. The next day, the speaker graciously clarified this matter for all the women.
The next time I came across this matter was at another church. They were going to have two levels of members: those that tithed and those that didn’t. I was not working at the time so I also was using my husband’s money and he still wasn’t saved. But the church was having people sign a paper to show that they were tithing or not. The LORD told me NOT to sign this paper! But I loved these people dearly. Maybe they would be critical of me and maybe ostracize me. But I had to be obedient to the LORD! So, by His Holy Spirit, I was led to Acts 15, a letter written to Gentile believers in Jesus Christ from the Council at Jerusalem:
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
There was nothing in there about tithing for the Gentiles!
Later in Paul’s writing, it refers again to the Council at Jerusalem and notes:
“Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.” Galatians 2:10
As Christians, we should remember the poor!
SONS AND HEIRS
Also, I studied all of the wonderful book of Galatians.
3:18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Liberty in Christ
5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, [being stingy!] but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Be Generous and Do Good
6:6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
So, we, as Christians, want to be magnanimous to our churches and give cheerfully. We want to remember the poor and needy. We want to see that the work of the LORD gets done in evangelizing. Many of you can give much more than a mere ten per cent to the LORD. We need to be KINGDOM-MINDED and building the LORD’s dominion for we are on the brink of eternity!
Jesus Christ taught: “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:20
All Scriptures are from the New King James Version.
My first edition of some of this article named “Freely Give” was written some twenty years ago.