The central theme of Romans is the Good News message that God justifies both Jews and Gentiles by grace through faith.
The book of Romans also explains the purpose of the Old Covenant, and how Christ’s redemptive work on the Cross revolutionized how we relate to God and live out our faith in the New Covenant.
Monetary ‘tithing’ on the other hand is not a part of the New Covenant. It is not based on grace through faith. It is based on the Old Covenant (the ministry of condemnation), which was never intended for born-again Spirit-filled New Covenant Believers.
The New Covenant is not about living by the Old Covenant and its stipulations. It’s about living by the power of the Holy Spirit, by faith, and by God’s grace. It’s about Christ, the hope of glory, living in us and us abiding in Him. When the Lord lives in your heart, He changes you from within, and transforms your very desires into WANTING to give cheerfully, with no strings attached. He will show you that the greater blessing is being able to give, and not in the temporal things. For it is MORE BLESSED to give than to receive!~
I hope that you will see that the issue of monetary ‘tithing’ is not about whether Believers should give 10% of our income or not. It isn’t about the percentage at all (God leaves it up to us to decide how much to give). The issue is. . . giving according to the New Covenant (the new life-giving way of living by the Spirit and by faith in Jesus), versus giving based on an old outdated system of law which brought curses and condemnation and could not save anyone.
Trying to live out our faith in an Old Covenant paradigm, when we are meant to live in the New Covenant, can damage our spiritual growth. Jesus stated this when He said that people do not pour new wine into old wineskins — people do not put something that is new into something that is old. The old wineskins would burst from the pressure, spilling the new wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved (Matthew 9:17). Who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before.
If you are a Believer in Jesus Christ, then you are very different from the Israelites who lived under the Old Covenant, and your relationship with God is very different as well. You have been regenerated, given a new heart, and given a new birth “from above” “from God.” The very Spirit of God lives in you, and you are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. You don’t need to rely on a prophet to give you a word from God — you can hear from God directly! During the Old Covenant, only the priests were allowed to draw near to God, but Jesus leads us beyond the veil into God’s presence for intimate fellowship. The prophets wanted to know more about this gracious salvation and the Good News message that they prophesied of. . . it was a mystery to them — but you are living in the reality of it. It was to you that God revealed these things by His Spirit, so that you can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. This is the awesome privilege of being a NEW Covenant Believer!~
Understanding our position as New Covenant Believers is critical to realizing why the monetary ‘tithe’ is wrong and does not reflect our New Covenant relationship with God.
In the next article, I will share some passages from the book of Romans explaining these things. I appreciate your patience.
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