New Covenant Giving: Give Under Grace Not Commandment

August 27, 2009 — 7 Comments

       In our study of New Covenant Giving principles, we’ve examined giving yourself to God first, giving in response to Jesus’ gift, and giving with sincere desire and love. Today, we’re going to talk about giving under grace – not commandment. New Covenant Giving is based on the desire to give and love produced by the Holy Spirit. This grace of giving is superior to the Old Testament requirements of tithing because we are taught directly by the Holy Spirit how we should give – not by the requirements of the Law.

Give According to the Spirit’s Leading

       In his instructions on giving to the Corinthian church, Paul makes it clear that he is not asking them to give because of the Old Testament requirements of tithing. He explicitly states that he is not encouraging them to give by way of a commandment. Instead, he appeals to the service of love, which comes from the Holy Spirit.

       I speak not by way of commandment, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity also of your love.

2 Corinthians 8:8 (WEB)

       Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart; not grudgingly, or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:7 (WEB)

       It’s clear that there is not even a hint of a commandment, requirement, compulsion, or demand in Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians to give to help the poor. We are no longer giving under the Law of Moses but under the Law of Grace. It is God’s Spirit working in us that compels us to give generously to help each other as He directs our heats. The law of tithing is not found in the New Covenant Giving principles.

       The Law imposed tithing as a divine requirement. But Christian giving is completely voluntary. It’s a test of sincerity and love. When we fully understand, accept, and build our hope upon the Good News of Jesus Christ, we find ourselves overcome with love for God. And our love for God leads us to follow His command to love our neighbors as ourselves. Love freely gives whatever is needed. Love doesn’t need a command telling it to give a specific percentage of it’s income. Love wants to give. Love needs to give. It is love’s nature to give. It cannot do otherwise.

       Under the grace of the New Covenant, God is not seeking the gift of your money. What He’s looking for is an expression of your total devotion to Him and His Ways. He cares for the poor, and when His Spirit dwells in you then you’ll care for the poor just as He does. Your giving is proof of the same love, concern, and compassion that God has for the needy.

       That’s why the principles of New Covenant Giving are so much better than the Old Testament system of tithing. New Covenant Giving is not bound by percentages. New Covenant Giving is not proof of your adherence to the Law – it’s proof that God’s love dwells in you. New Covenant Giving is free to be extravagantly generous, just as God has generously given us Christ. Can you imagine how generous Christians would be if they based their giving on the love that gave us Jesus even while we were rejecting that same love?

       Under the New Covenant, we obey God because He has made us a new creation in Christ. We no longer follow our sinful nature. We follow the nature of Christ. We are no longer taught by commandments and laws – the Holy Spirit teaches us how to live. We don’t need to be told to give 10% or any set amount because God has given us a nature of generosity. His Spirit teaches each one of us how we should give. The Holy Spirit leads our hearts to decide what is right to give, and then we give it joyfully and cheerfully – not out of guilt, or compulsion, or requirement.

       We have a higher responsibility than making sure we give 10% of our income. We are called to follow the Holy Spirit in our giving – as in all other areas of our Christian life. Instead of trying to follow legalistic rules, seek the counsel of God’s Spirit in deciding how much you should give. Then give as you have decided, willingly and cheerfully, and experience the grace of giving as we are taught under the New Covenant.



Corey is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in religion. While he enjoys learning and writing about Christianity, another one of his new passions is writing about personal finances in order to help others make wise decisions with their money.

7 responses to New Covenant Giving: Give Under Grace Not Commandment

  1. Chris Mateyu (Rev) November 20, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    I must confess that I only realised that the new testament does not say anything on tithe today 20th Nov 2010 though Iam a minister and been born again 30 years ago. Really church doctrines are also confusing the church, making christians lake to focus on weighter matters of grace by instilling the fear to members to keep only this law of tithe but disregarding the sabbath law and other laws which are not for us but that we should live by faith and under grace obeying the Holy Ghost in giving generously. Surely learning does not end. Glory be to God.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Chris. A lot of Christians don’t realize that tithing (especially as it’s taught in many churches today) isn’t emphasized at all in the New Testament. I think Paul makes it clear in Galatians why – we can’t hold on to the Law and cling to Jesus at the same time. I think the apostles would have found it unfathomable to enforce tithing on Gentile believers, and I’m sure Paul would have argued that it holds no curse for Jewish believers as well. I look forward to hearing from you again soon!

  3. Williams Babadeji January 26, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Thanks for the wonderful message. I have a question, “Is Giving a gift from God?”

  4. Thanks for commenting! Yes, I would say it is a gift from God to share in the ministry of extending God’s love through generosity.

  5. Williams Babadeji January 26, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Thanks for making me understand that Giving is a Gift. One more question. What of the issue of tithing and offering, is it a gift from God?

  6. If you mean tithing as described and regulated by the Old Testament, then it is nothing but a shadow of things to come as far as Christians under the New Covenant are concerned.

  7. I believe 2 Cor. 9:6-8 is a fundamental verse for the new covenant believer to consider when giving. It satisfies ANY concern of how, when, and why we give. Verse 7 states everyone should give! No one is excluded from giving, because no exceptions have been listed. It is also important to note that no where in these verses are we told to withhold our gift.

    The amount of our giving does have an influence on the result produced from our giving, it is directly proportional. The size of our gift should be considered in the light of scripture. The grace of God is greater than any situation created by our giving. Therefore we will never lack anything which would prevent us from fullfilling the purposes of God for our life.

    Verse 7 qualifies how we should give with the word “according” which means “being in agreement” and the context is with regards to the purposes of our heart. We are told to be in agreement with the purposes, intentions, or goals of our heart. Finally it states the location of OUR giving. It is to come out of our own heart. We can not live someone life for them. We can only live our own life. Therefore our giving should only be directed by the purposes or intentions of our heart. To do anything less would cancel the reason why God loves a cheerful giver. A cheerful giver only gives what is in agreement with the intentions of his own heart.

    We are told not to give grudgingly! We are not to reflect an unwillingness to give. To do so would reflect the acceptence of the victory of the thing which opposed us in our heart.

    We are told here to also give without considering an unavoidable need or compulsion to do something (not by choice but by compulsion). Let us give with no regard to what the situation demands (protecting us from being decieved through fake or created situations people might conceieve to defraud us).

    When things oppose us in our heart we should be the one who is victorious! 1 Cor. 2:5, 1 JN 5:4, Acts 17:28, Phil 4:13

    How we see God influences our faith and therefore our victory over that which opposes us.

    There is this tendency within the body of Christ for us to misunderstand and really not assign and attribute to God who He is; and as a result it robs us of who we are. We are created in His image and after His likeness. Our God is great. It is in His hand to make great and to give strength to all. If we minimize who God is, we minimize ourselves and make great the thing which oppose us.

    The truth of the matter is ….
    If we don’t understand the greatness of our God, we will never understand the greatness He called us to; and as a result, we will make great that which opposes us.

    It is the way we choose to live (our very nature) which determines whether we gravitate toward a system of behavior using an absolute nature or a relative nature. Whether we act freely, unrestricted, and unconditioned led by teh Holy Spirit. Or by our carnal nature doing our own will instead of Christ will.

    Giving is something which is absolute in nature.
    Giving does not depend on external conditions for existence.
    Giving is something which is independant of relations, it is perfect and complete in itself.
    Giving is free,unrestricted, and unconditioned.

    We are told to own no man anything EXCEPT love.
    God is love!
    Owe no man anything except Jesus. (based on Gal 2:20)

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