This information may seem redundant to some of you, but I believe it is important to highlight the vast difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Especially when it comes to the practice of monetary ‘tithing’ which lures Believers back under the yoke of the Old Covenant.
2 Corinthians 3:6 says “This covenant [the new covenant] is not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.”
The tithing laws were a part of the Old Covenant of written laws. The written covenant ended in death because everyone sinned by breaking the law of Moses, and the penalty of sin is death.
The New Covenant on the other hand is not about living by the Old Covenant of written laws. But about living by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit gives eternal life. The tithing laws never gave anyone eternal life. They aren’t a part of the New Covenant ministry.
2 Corinthians 3:7-8 says “The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?”
The Old Covenant engraved on stones was glorious, but even that glory began fading away. The New Covenant is more glorious because the Holy Spirit gives eternal life. The tithing laws were a part of the Old Covenant, and as such they were not as glorious as the New Covenant ministry. Giving by the Spirit excels tithing under the letter of the law.
2 Corinthians 3:9-10 says “If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way.”
The Old Covenant (including the tithing laws) brought curses and condemnation, because everyone fell short of God’s glorious standard. But the New Covenant is more glorious because it does not curse and condemn us, but rather, God freed us from sin and declared us RIGHTEOUS by faith in His Son, and His Holy Spirit produces godly character in us. The tithing laws do not set us free from sin. They do not play a role in our justification or sanctification in the New Covenant.
2 Corinthians 3:11 says “So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!”
In this passage, we are given a third reason why the New Covenant is more glorious than the Old Covenant: whereas the Old Covenant was fading away, the New Covenant remains forever. The Old Covenant was temporary. It was not meant to last forever. It has been superseded by a New Covenant which remain forever.
Some people will not understand these things. In fact, many people who claim to believe in Jesus will become offended and hostile when they are shown (from Scripture) that the New Covenant has superseded the Old Covenant. Even after being shown the tithing laws and the difference between the Old and the New Covenant, they still prefer the ministry of curses, condemnation and death over the New Covenant of life, freedom, and justification by faith.
Like Paul wrote, “But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.” (2 Corinthians 3:14-15)
A person can have intellectual knowledge of the Old Covenant laws and articulate the Gospel message verbatim — but until they turn to Lord, a veil will remain over their heart and blind them from understanding the truth about Christ and be set free.
“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18)
In the next article, I will be sharing from the book of Galatians. This letter speaks directly to the issue of perverting the Gospel by placing Believers in a yoke of religious bondage to the Old Covenant law.
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?. . .” (Galatians 3:1a)
Click here for the next article.