These suggested answers are provided for the Message Based Discussion Questions from the message presented on August 11, 2013. They are provided as a stimulus to your thinking, not as a replacement of your thinking. There are several additional ways to answer many of the questions. The outline of the message is provided first.
Law or Grace Giving
Malachi compared to the New Testament
How do I know what to give?
1) Five hindrances to giving
a) Lack of understanding God
b) Lack of understanding about giving
c) Lack of discerning distractions – what’s important in life
d) Lack of biblical teaching about tithing
e) Lack of understanding about grace giving
2) Law giving
a) Tithing – there are three tithes that support:
i) The Levitical worship ministry Num. 18:21-24; Deut. 14:27
ii) The Festivals and Sacrifices Deut. 12:5-7, 10-19; 14:22-26
iii) For the poor collected every third year Deut. 14:28-29
b) Store-house giving Malachi 3:8-10
c) New Testament teaching Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42;18:9-12; Heb. 7:4-10
d) Old Testament teaching Gen. 14:17-20; 28:20-22
3) Five reasons a Spirit-filled Christian will give:
a) He loves the Lord Matt. 6:19-21; 1 Tim. 6:17-18.
b) He loves others 1 Jn. 3:17
c) When what he can see does not matter to him Matt. 6:1-4
d) Because giving more results in receiving more Luke 6:38
e) Because by work he can give more Eph. 4:28
4) Grace giving principles
5) Grace giving: 2 Cor. 8
6) Grace giving: 2 Cor. 9
7) Hindrances to grace giving
8) Grace giving warning Jam. 5: 1-5
9) Grace giving living Titus 2:11-14
God wants us to leave behind “law giving”
for “grace giving.”
- Law giving is visual giving.
- Grace giving is when Jesus is more real than what you can see or touch.
Message Based Discussion Questions
1) When did you first learn about giving to God? What were you taught?
a) When I was a boy, my mother showed me a little paper/cardboard bank that I put coins into and brought that to church.
b) I was taught by the church to give ten percent. I did not know this was law giving until, I was set free from a biblical study and have many opportunities.
2) How many commandments were put on the tablets that Moses brought down from Mt. Horeb? __ten___ Did these commandments emphasize what not to do, or exhortations to do right, or admonitions to remain dependent on the Lord? Why that emphasis?
a) Moses commandments emphasized what not to do – Thou shall not….
b) They had that emphasis, because that is the spiritual infant level. Infants are coddled, loved and sometimes told what not to do. Children are also told what not to do, but they are progressing to what they are supposed to do. Children are admonished to do the right thing and are often chastised for not doing the right thing. As a child progresses to become a young adult, and he is learning to serve others, but he wants to do his own thing. His independence can get him in trouble. The same is true spiritually and he must learn to be dependent on the Lord.
3) Do you sacrifice animals to worship God today? __no_. Why do people choose to follow some things from the Old Testament, but not others?
a) People choose to do some things, because they have been taught erroneous doctrines.
b) People pick and choose, because some things make sense from the fleshly mind and the flesh does not care about seeking God’s truth.
c) Many teachers have been wrongly taught in the past and they have not compared Scripture with Scripture. Sometimes teachers and pastors may “guilt” people into law giving and living, because that is the only way they know how to control people and they do not trust the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts.
d) Some teachers do not take the time to rightly divide God’s word and they end up blending Old Testament truths with the New Testament truths. They impose their theology on the Scriptures rather than pull out the natural interpretation from all of Scriptural context. It is sadly funny, that they do not sacrifice animals, but will impose law living on others.
4) Does the Bible state that God told Abraham to give 10% to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:17-18)? __No____. Is the passage descriptive or prescriptive? What is the difference?
a) The passage is descriptive.
b) If it was prescriptive, it would indicate what others are supposed to do. If it were prescriptive, the Christians should give 10% of their booty when they go to war with other people. The fact that it is descriptive only means that Abraham’s gift was what he decided to do. It described what Abraham did, but does not indicate what others must do.
Making application from the message:
5) How would you help a person who says, “You have to give 10% to the church,” see that they are not Scriptural?
a) I would ask him to show where in the New Testament it says that God directs the believer to give 10%.
b) I would affirm him in that he is trying to do a good thing. However, I would show him that he is doing a good thing in a wrong way and for a wrong motivation.
c) I would share the biblical teaching regarding Law Giving according to the message.
d) I would help him see that if he thinks he is trying to tithe, that he is putting himself under the Law and therefore must keep the other 613 laws.
e) I would help him see that assigning any specific amount all Christians must give is a legalism, because it is saying that by giving a certain amount it will please God. If God made that clear in the New Testament, every Christian would follow that, however, he wants Christians dependent on the Holy Spirit to lead him what to give and 10% may be a low amount to give. Some people could give 20, or 30, or 50%, because they do not need very much to live on.
6) What motivates a person to give like the Macedonian Church of 2 Cor. 8:1-4 (This will be easier to answer after the second message on “Giving”)?
a) Like the Macedonian Church, they love Jesus Christ and He is more real than what they can see, taste, touch, hear or smell. His presence fills them with joy and motivates them to want to give for the sake of others.
b) They realize time is short and nothing can be taken with them.
7) How will you avoid the rebuke God gave Israel in Malachi 3:8-10?
a) Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and give freely, looking for opportunities to give.
b) Give more than what I can spare.
God gives us everything we need and we need to examine ourselves to remind us that all that all we have God gave to us so we really need to give our first fruits
Proverbs 3: 9-10
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.