Hard Passages – Part 6

These hard passages often cause great confusion:
* Matthew 5:48- “You therefore must be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect.” The context is in the Sermon on the Mount; a sermon where Jesus deals with subjects like anger, lust, divorce, retaliation, loving our enemies. All of this leads up to this command, be perfect. Jesus is teaching us that we cannot be perfect in our own power … only the blood of Jesus makes us perfect inside and out.
* Malachai 3:10. “Bring the full tithe …. I will open the windows of heaven for you…” This verse has been used as what amounts to extortion for generations. People are in fear that God will not provide if they don’t pay tithe. Instead we are called by grace to give generously.
* Matthew 23:23, 24 is often used as a verse for tithing. Really it is Jesus’ encouragement to grow in the grace of God and learn to excel in the grace of giving, not a command to tithe.

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