SBC Today, 1-14-2010
Tim: When one reads the laws that were given to Israel, one needs to understand that those laws were in fact, by living up to them, the only way from a human situation, that a person could be accepted by God.
Russ: In the OT justification by faith was pre-figured by the Passover even. Baptism was pre-figured by the crossing of the sea with Moses. And sanctification was pre-figured by the Law. Israel was redeemed by the blood of the Passover lamb which provided the relationship of justification. And Israel was daily sanctified by living in accordance to the Law which was their fellowship with God. One was for relationship and the other was for continued fellowship.
Tim: Jesus Himself said that He came to "fulfill the law..." in Matt 5:17 and NOT to destroy it.
Russ: All of the law. It was either all or none. Mt 5:19-48 is about all of the law and this poses a problem from many.
Matt 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Tim: The law was clearly a picture for us of God's standard.
Russ: The Old Covenant law was only given to national Israel in order to lift them higher than all other nations. It was not given to the Gentiles or church. Ex 19:5-6; Lev 27:34; Mal 4:4.
Tim: In the tithe, regardless of the crops issue that some so want to claim, the law only continued what was already seen in pre-law days.
Russ: If that were true (and it is not) then why were law-tithes only allowed to come from within God's holy land of Israel?
Tim: In the New Testament, no mention is required to know that the standard had not changed and the picture is still present with one very important fact - GRACE raised the mark.
Russ: (1) From Acts 2:46, chapter 15 and chapter 21 we must conclude that the Jewish Christians specifically exempted Gentiles from keeping any of the law. (2) From Acts 21:20-21 it is clear that the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were still zealously supporting the Temple system with tithes over 20 years after Calvary. (3) The NT nowhere changes what God called holy tithes from food inside Israel. (4) Numbers 18 is ignored as preachers own and inherit property.
Tim: Clearly a person is free to NOT tithe.
Russ: I know of no church historian who says that the early church tithed.
Tim: Clearly the minimum from the beginning of scripture through the end is seen in the 10% example.
Russ: This was only true of food producers who lived inside Israel. It was clearly not a standard for city dwellers who worked trades or for those living outside Israel.
Tim: But in Christ's surrender to the Will of God for us, the issue is no longer "a tenth" or "what is the minimum" but rather my WHOLE life, finances and all are to be yielded to Him.
Russ: So you agree finally that tithing the issue of a surrendered heart is no longer a tenth. Thank you.
Tim: So would we do less than the law asked for?
Russ: Nobody who lives outside Israel and is not a food producer can possibly give a true honest literal biblical tithe today or 4000 years ago. Absolutely not.
Tim: And this gets us to the issue of the church. And the fun will continue!
Russ: Fun for you who gets to delete those who disagree with you. Please read my 20 point essay on page one of my web site and refute any of the 20.