A cheerful motive for cheerful giving
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
Nowhere do I find in the New Testament that Christian men are commanded to tithe. Such a commandment would be contrary to the gospel of grace and the spirit of the new covenant. Legal commandments are good enough for children of bondage, like Ishmael. But the children of promise are motivated from a better principle. For them it is enough to say, ‘Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ We do not divide out our tenth, like religious misers. We give ourselves and all that we have to Christ. Cheerfully we give all that we can for the cause of Christ and the support of the gospel ministry. Why? Because we know his grace.
‘Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor.’ Brethren, the wealth of God, the treasures of the infinite, the riches of eternity are the possession of our blessed Saviour. From the highest throne of glory to the lowest pit in hell, Jesus owns it all. It is true Christ is the lowly man of Nazareth. But he is more. He is the eternal God, possessing all the riches of divine wisdom, power and glory.
Yet he became poor (Phil. 2:5-8). The eternal Son of God took manhood into union with himself. The God of glory robed himself in human flesh. Behold the depths of his poverty at Calvary! He was betrayed, mocked and beaten. He was crucified. God made his Son to be sin for us! There he was robbed of all the joy of heaven and the comfort of his Father’s presence. His dying bed was a malefactor’s cross. His resting place was a borrowed tomb. What was the reason for such humiliation?
‘That ye through his poverty might be rich.’ What riches are ours through the mediation of Christ! In him we have all and abound. The riches of grace and redemption, time and eternity are ours. Do men who know such grace need the threat of the law to make them tithe? No! The love of Christ constrains us. And in everything grace produces more than the law. Let us then give cheerfully and bountifully.