Its that time of year when we file our taxes. I know that many of us would like for the whole process to just go away or at least become simpler. We remind each other so that we can get it done. It was in one of these discussions we had with one of our daughters that she said she just found out that you can deduct your church giving from your taxable income. I couldn’t believe what she just said. She is 50 years old and just found out that was okay? She said that it just didn’t seem right that we could get money for giving to the church. I explained that the government isn’t giving us money for giving to the church but is just not taxing on the money we give. It a principle that was established from the beginning of our nation. The government recognized that it benefits from the church’s benevolence so it allows contributions as an exemption to taxation.
It reminded me how so many people do not understand the grace of God. There are so many, even in the church, that feel that everything must be earned. A common saying is “there is no free ride”. If it required that we earn everything by our merit then none of us would be able to meet the conditions for salvation as Ro 3:23 says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And again in Ga 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. Salvation is a free gift as seen in Ro 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. Adam sinned and all of us became sinners so the second Adam died so that all of us could be free. The way is open to everyone but we must appropriate it in order to receive the benefit. We appropriate it by our placing ourselves under his authority and Lordship over us. Otherwise we do not receive the benefit of eternal life just as one who never claimed the deduction on his taxes for the giving would not receive the deduction. Grace is unmerited favor and it is offered because there would be no hope without it.