In the first post on biblical giving, we found that our giving is rooted in the prior and also ultimate giving of the triune God.
Then, we discussed the issue of tithing as it relates to the Old and New Covenants.
And in the last post we invested some principles of biblical giving. We must decide how this all ties together in our practice of biblical giving and how we must move forward.
We might find ourselves asking: So, then, what percentage of our income does God ask us to give? Wisdom requires us to beg of God an answer to this question because He will generously give us wisdom (Jam 1:5). We are free from the Old Covenant laws surrounding tithing and sacrifice, and yet we cannot fail to give. The gospel changes our disposition; through it God frees us to give in worship with joy, to the greatest degrees—“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Phil 3:8–11). May our giving be done in like faith, willing to lose all things, that we might attain Christ and the resurrection!
In conclusion, biblical giving for the church is rooted in who God is, in His mission of giving. Since He has given us all things, we recognize that nothing is our own and we cheerfully give generously in a worshipful response. We agree with Scripture that we are not bound by the laws of tithing. In Christ, we have a new law, one of love and service. But we also agree with scripture that we are called to give of our finances and possessions for the on-going ministry of the gospel through the local church. For the financial commitments of the church, we believers commit together to give to those in need within the church, we commit to support their elders who labor among them in ruling and teaching, we commit to support church planting, and we commit to support any expenses mutually agreed upon. This commitment requires us to give sacrificially and to avoid both debt and idleness. Money is a contingent reality, to be done away with in the resurrection. We must avoid loving it (I Tim 6:6–10); yet, we also must use it with wisdom.
- Have you experienced the freedom and joy in giving that is promised through the gospel?
- Have you embraced the truth of our temporary contingency? Do you trust the scriptures that “those who trust in Him will never be put to shame”?