Law and Grace

Law Thinking Drives Us Deeper Into Ourselves and Away From God

Law thinking drives us deeper into ourselves, relying on fleshly resources rather than the kind and infinite resources of our Heavenly Father.

For example, it is commonly taught in the church that God requires a tithe — meaning a tenth of all. Then people get into all sorts of debates about what God requires: do we tithe off gross pay or net? What if I’m unemployed? What it I can’t pay my bills?

Meanwhile, statisticians tell us that less than 10% of church-going people actually do tithe. Some recent reports put it at well below 5%* …

Does Blessing Precede Obedience?

By Mark VanOuse

A friend of mine raised a very good question: Does blessing really precede obedience?

The question came up in the context of my saying that one of the greatest things I’ve learned in my Christian life is the vast difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. How that, as Christians, we are not under the Old Covenant of Law, blessings or curses given based on our performance, but under the New Covenant of grace, granting us blessings from God based on Christ’s performance. “In other words”, I said, “under the New Covenant, the blessing precedes our obedience. We obey because we are blessed in Christ (Eph 1:3), not the other way around.”

That statement threw him off. He emailed me and said, “Why is this ‘God blesses us, and then we respond in obedience’ idea not more clear in Scripture? You would think God would want it to be clear. I would like to hear your answer to that.”

Here, then, is my response: …