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Tithing and Grace

Jerry Savelle

It was almost 600 years before the Law was given that
Genesis 8:22 says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest…shall not cease.” The truth of sowing and reaping has nothing to do with the Law of Old Testament. Not only that, but God makes it very clear that it’s duration is for as long as the earth remains. Is the earth still here? So, apparently, “seedtime and harvest” is still to be practiced even by New Testament believers that live under grace.

What about tithing specifically? Did it begin under the Law? No, it didn’t! Abraham practiced tithing before the Law was ever given.
Genesis 14:20, long before Moses received the Law, tells us that, “…He [Abraham] gave him [Melchizedek, the priest] tithes of all…”

So tithing, sowing, and reaping is scriptural as demonstrated before the Law!

Tithing was later given as a commandment under the Law, but God never intended for New Testament believers “under grace” to put it aside after the Law was fulfilled. We just go about it with a different attitude today.

My spiritual grandfather, Oral Roberts, taught me to look at it like this—“Tithing is no longer a debt that I owe but a seed that I sow.” Should a Christian give tithes to fulfill the Law? No! I give it out of my respect for the God I serve. In giving it, I’m honoring Him for loving me so much that He has blessed me with finances so that I can sow.

Tithing is not some religious obligation to me—it is an act of love. God so loved that He gave—Jerry so loves that he gives too! It’s just a natural response when you are truly grateful for how good God has been to you.

Not only was tithing, sowing, and reaping scriptural before the Law, but the Apostle Paul, who wrote much about grace, encouraged and instructed New Testament believers to give financially.

Paul, a New Testament believer, writing to New Testament believers living under grace, said to them, “Now
concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

The Message translation says, “Every Sunday each of you make an offering and put it in safekeeping. Be as generous as you can…”

Now, let’s remember that this is the same man who gave us the revelation of grace.

The fact that he speaks of “the collection” indicates that the readers were already aware of this principle of receiving offerings. And the fact that he says they are to do this on “the first day of the week,” or Sunday, indicates that receiving offerings was a vital part of their worship.

Giving weekly was something Paul said that he ordered the churches to do. There are other translations that say
directed or instructed.

This means Paul, used by God to write nearly two-thirds of the New Testament and reveal the truth of grace to us, encouraged New Testament believers, who are under grace, to practice weekly sowing and giving.

About a year later, Paul writes in
2 Corinthians 8:10-11 to these same New Testament believers concerning their giving, “It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have.”

He’s saying, “You had good intentions—now carry through with them.” Why? Because it is what New Testament believers do. Does this mean that he’s  trying to put them back under the Law? No! Let me remind you again that this is the man that God used to teach the Body of Christ the revelation of grace.

Tithing and giving for New Testament believers, for you and me, should never be about works and fulfilling the Law.

For me, it is about being a “doer of the Word” (see
James 1:22). It says in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Jesus, said in Luke 6:46, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” Jesus expected his disciples to be “doers of His Word.”

It looks to me like New Testament believers are to be involved in “doing.” I’m not talking about doing things trying to earn right-standing with God. We already have that! We have been made righteous.

Being a doer of the Word does not put you back under the Law!

My point is that consistent and regular giving is expected even under grace. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that it’s not. Not only that, but to expect a harvest from it is also promised under grace.

Paul, in
2 Corinthians 9:6, speaking about money, tells us, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” Then in verse 8, he says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you…”

He’s saying that our giving is divinely linked to “God’s grace abounding” in our lives. We know that
grace and favor are synonymous. So, if we use the word favor here, then he is saying that God’s favor abounds in our lives when we are regular and consistent givers and sowers.

The Lord spoke to me a few months ago saying that the blessing of God on our lives empowers us to prosper, but the favor of God on our lives is what produces the opportunities for it to happen.

I like to say it this way:
My regular and consistent tithing, giving, and sowing increases my opportunities for prosperity. Don’t ever stop tithing, giving, and sowing. To do so would rob you of God’s best for your life!

Never confuse works and grace. We are saved by grace and grace alone! It is the finished work of Jesus that gives us right standing with God. And the Bible is true, you will reap what you sow. Tithing and sowing positions you for more of God’s favor and blessing!