Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone that believes–to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom. 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
1 Cor. 1:18 For the preaching [the word] of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God.
2 Cor. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
The gospel IS “Jesus Christ”–his pre-existence, virgin birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and intercession–nothing more, nothing less! (Compare also Rom. 1:1-5; 1 Cor. 1:17-18; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). Anything, including principles of giving, which is added to the gospel from the New Covenant, is merely “fruit” of the gospel and food for spiritual growth. “Against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:23) means that there is “no law” to counteract, or negate, the fruits of the Spirit. Anything, including tithing, which is added to the gospel from the Old Covenant without New Covenant re-authorization is neither of the gospel, nor of its fruit.
“I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel, which is not another; but there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:6-7). From Galatians, chapters 2-4, it is clear that these “distortions” were additions from the old law back into the gospel preached by Paul.
A dead or dying church cannot be revived by preaching law, whether it is the law of tithing, or even the Ten Commandments as “Thou shalt nots.” The revival message MUST be the Christ of Calvary! In comparison to the power of the Spirit and the gospel, the law has completely lost all of its glory and power (2 Cor. 3:10). Permanent revival and increased giving will only come when the pastor and his church hear and respond to the gospel and all that it says about the love of Christ. “The gospel is the power of God” and the gospel reveals God’s righteousness “from faith to faith”; “not from faith to law”; nor “from faith and law to faith and law”. Paul was sustained totally by faith, trusting in God’s ability to provide for him.
When the Philippians saw Paul’s need, they sent aid to him again and again (Phil. 4:16). When Christ is preached, believers will see the “needs” of a lost world without Christ. They will also see and strive to meet the needs of gospel workers and fellow-believers. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul said to the Philippians, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). This is a conditional, but sure promise, only to those who see the need of God’s people and respond by giving out of love created by the gospel.
According to the New Covenant, eternal spiritual riches, not physical riches, flow from a knowledge and love of God in Christ. When Scripture is compared to Scripture, the “hundredfold increase” is not money. Moses left his money and chose the “reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt” (Heb. 11:26). God abounds in those riches for all who call upon him (Rom. 10:12). Paul told the true believer, “Now you are full, now you are rich” (1 Cor. 4:8). The riches of God’s grace fall, not as money, but in the assurance of “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7). Mercy, kindness, love and power flow from God’s wealth to the believer throughout eternity (Eph. 2:4, 7; 3:16). This was the message of riches preached by Christ (Rom. 3:8; Col. 1:27).
Colossians 2:2 describes the church and believer that are “being knit together in love, and to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.” A free democratic society will out-give (and out-produce) a forced labor society. The Apostle Paul received neither tithes nor any full-time support. He used his gospel freedom to refuse wages, yet he was perhaps history’s most successful church-builder and evangelist. Likewise, the Christian church, with its freedom in Christ, will out-give and out-serve Old Covenant Israel.
God saves, blesses, and fills the believer with his Holy Spirit solely because of the believer’s faith in Jesus Christ. Having done so, he continues to use principles of grace, not law, to supply the needs of his church (2 Cor. 8:1-15; 9:6-8; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; Gal. 3:1-5).
When Christ is preached, every doctrine must be in the light of its relationship to him. A Christian does not obey God in order to please him. Instead a Christian obeys God because he has been saved, because his nature is changed, because he is studying to know God’s will, and because he is yielded to the Holy Spirit. Believers who are being transformed into Christ’s likeness by learning sound doctrine want to give as Christ gave. With a burden for lost souls, they respond by giving from a sincere desire and from their best ability. They give their lives, their time, and their money.