SN 24 July 2022
Last week we considered that issues such as tithing and the law
… are possibly the ” stone of stumbling, rock of offence ” aspects of the Word
… that are there to test and sift us, as the living Word dissects & examines the true condition of our hearts
Leaning towards the conclusion that …
…we need to seek to fulfill the Word through faith in Jesus Christ as opposed to by the works of the law / flesh.
Indeed, the law was (and is?) just a guardian to lead us to Christ so that we can be justified by faith!!… Galatians 3:24
… and when we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the law… Galatians 5:18
… as doing the will of God ( as led by His Spirit) now supersedes sacrifices and offerings. .. Hebrews 10:8-9
Therefore, we do (should) not tithe (or give our sacrifices & offerings) in (accordance to) the law
… but we tithe (give our sacrifices and offerings) as led by the Spirit & in faith !!
Romans 7 can give one deeper insight for our understanding on the tithing and the law debate…
… and possibly why it (should?) arouses such passion & controversy in us ( as well as in the Body of Christ)
… as it sifts and separates (living & powerful, sharp as it divides & separates soul & spirit…)
… exposing our understanding ( or ignorance) and the true condition of our hearts
… possibly as the stone of stumbling, the rock of offence.
Some excerpts on Romans 7
– 4. Therefore, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God .
– 5. For when we lived according to the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, bearing fruit for death.
– 6. But now, having died to what bound us, we have been released from the law, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit , and not in the old way of the written code.
– 12. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good .
– 13. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Certainly not! But in order that sin might be exposed as sin, it produced death in me through what was good , so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
– 14. We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
– 15. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do.
– 16. And if I do what I do not want to do, I admit that the law is good .
...(e.g. I may not want to tithe or my flesh may be resisting tithing, but I do it anyway …)
… ( indeed the law acting as a guardian to eventually lead me to Christ so that I may be justified by faith… Galatians 3:24)
… ( as the only acceptable justifiable way with God, for no one can be justified by the law… Romans 3:20; Galatians 3:11)
– 25. Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I serve the law of God , but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
>> Basically from Romans 7 excerpts above, we can observe…
… that the thoughts and intents of my heart is what is considered when I perform the works of the law!
… that the works now become works of faith that are led by the Spirit and done according to the will of God
… thereby also validating me as a son of God, for those that are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.
Ministry of death vs ministry of life ( in the new covenant)
>> 2 Corinthians 3 gives insight into the new covenant (ministry of life) that we now minister under…
– 3. It is clear that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts .
– 4. Such confidence before God is ours through Christ.
– 5. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim that anything comes from us, but our competence comes from God.
– 6. And He has qualified us as ministers of a new covenant , not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
The struggle we have…
– 14. But their minds were closed . For to this day the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant . It has not been lifted , because only in Christ can it be removed.
– 15. And even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.
– 16. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
– 17. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom .
(… e.g. freedom to serve the Lord out of love )
– 18. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Luke 24:27 (NKJV)
- And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
John 5:39-40 (NKJV)
- You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
- But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
We also introduced the aspects of
… Grace vs Law, Spirit vs flesh
… looking from the context of Sarah vs Hagar, Isaac vs Ishmael
… and saw how it could be linked to our love & submission to our husband Jesus Christ
… so as to produce good fruit that can last into eternity
… as kind of alluded for us in Galatians 5
Last week’s link below…
The basic conclusion that can be derived from last week’s introduction…
… as we continue with the theme of Grace vs Law, Spirit vs Flesh
… while looking at Abraham & family Co…. Sarah vs Hagar, Isaac vs Ishmael
Spirit and flesh need to be separated
… law and grace need to be separated
… the slave woman and her son (Hagar & Ishmael)
… need to be separated from the free woman and her son ( Sarah & Isaac)
… for the Ishmael’s will always be persecuting the Isaac’s
— The Spirit and the flesh are at war…
… indeed, they are contrary and opposed to one another… Galatians 5:17
But the Lord can also bless the products of our flesh
… as with the case of Ishmael
… but require its separation and our dominion over it
The flesh needs to submit to the spirit
… the law needs to submit to grace
… for the law of the Spirit of life has set us free (negated?) the law of sin and death… Romans 8:2
… and in the battle of having our spirit overcoming our flesh (the test of faith)
… we should allow perseverance to finish its work in us so that we may be fully mature and complete (in faith?)
… and it requires the grace ( which is above the law… Galatians 5:4) & the wisdom of God… 2 Corinthians 3:6-8
The spirit & grace are produce of sonship …
… where the law and the flesh are under their submission.
>> Sons are heirs of the kingdom and have the Spirit of God
… Having the law in their hearts and inscribed in their minds
Therefore, the transformation of our mind should be from that of slavery to that of sonship
… Form a position of son ship is where we should be engaging the so called controversial issues – like tithing and the law
… With the perspective of sonship, we do things out of love & faith, spirit & grace as opposed to out of requirement or law.
>> We are redeemed from under the law by Jesus Christ, so that we may receive our adoption as sons (Galatians 4:1-7)
– He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds …Titus 2:14
– And He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will present offerings to the LORD in righteousness …. Malachi 3:3
– For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works , which God prepared in advance as our way of life…. Ephesians 2:10
Therefore as has been explored in previous SN series…
– We serve the Lord out of love and pleasing faith …in freedom, especially because He has already done
– As opposed to believing just because I have done >> slavery, self righteousness, religion
Therefore the positioning of our heart should be
— doing — despite of, not –because of — the law
— indeed it is about doing the will of the Father in spirit and truth
… in love and with pleasing faith
>> Hebrews 10 (BSB)
– 1a. For the law is only a shadow of the good things to come, not the realities themselves…
– 8. In the passage above He says, “ Sacrifices and offerings , burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not desire , nor did You delight in them” (although they are offered according to the law).
– 9. Then He adds, “Here I am, I have come to do Your will .” He takes away the first to establish the second
– 16. “This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord. I will put My laws in their hearts and inscribe them on their minds .”
… to be continued next week, by the grace of God.
Have a blessed week…
… as we continue to seek for the Spirit of Wisdom & Revelation in the knowledge of our God.