Read Romans 3:19-24. What crucial truth, central to our faith, is taught here? Why must we always keep this teaching foundational to our beliefs?
The gist of the biblical message is that all of us are undeserving of redemption (Rom. 3:23). If we deserved it, it would be by merit, or by works, and that idea is contrary to Scripture.
Read Romans 4:1-5. What do these verses teach about grace as opposed to merit?
Thus, salvation is a gift (Eph. 2:8-9) given to the undeserving. Salvation comes because the merits of Christ’s own perfect sacrifice are credited to our account. As for the matter of tithe, there is no credit obtained from God by returning it. After all, if the tithe is God’s to begin with, what merit could there possibly be in giving it back to Him?
Tithing is not an act that saves us, any more than any of the other good deeds that we have been created to do as Christians. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10, NKJV).
Nevertheless, the returning of tithe does reveal an attitude that is either humble and submissive or opinionated and defiant regarding what God has asked us to do. If we love God, we will obey Him. Tithe is an outward expression of our realization that we, indeed, are just stewards here, and that we owe God everything. Just as the Sabbath is a weekly reminder of God as the Creator and Redeemer, the returning of tithe can function in a similar way: it reminds us that we are not our own and that our life and salvation are gifts from God. As a result, we can recognize that reality and live a life of faith, acknowledging that the returning of tithe is a very tangible expression of that faith.
|What does Luke 21:1-4 say to us about what it means to live by faith?|
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons