An offering and sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God

Stewardship Information Month, week 1

We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:15-16, ESV)

In recent stewardship articles for Trinity Times, I have written primarily about measuring up to the tithe as a standard for Christian giving. Father Cunningham also wrote about the tithe in his October Trinity Times article. For the Hebrew people, both offering and sacrifice were meticulously prescribed and legalistically practiced. We don’t do that.

The apostle Paul wrote extensively in his letter to the Galatians about not being under the law. The law has been superseded by the work of Jesus Christ through our faith in Him, and our love for God and one another. It’s just as Jesus said, and what we hear every Sunday, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Book of Common Prayer, quoting Matthew 22:37-40)

Yet, the faithful church must still teach what has been revealed by God to be pleasing to Him and what is good and bad for us. For example, Paul wrote to Timothy, … we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:7-10, ESV)

Giving sacrificially, with love for God and our neighbors, through our faith in Jesus Christ, as part of a church committed to the work of God, can be a good cure for the love of money, and is a good and vital necessity for increasing God’s kingdom in our corner of His vineyard. We, the church, promise to be faithful stewards of your love offerings and sacrifices to God.

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:3, ESV)

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