Cor. Chapter 8:1-24
verses for this week: 2
Pet 1:4 Whereby are
given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these
ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the
corruption that is in the world through lust.
week in Chapter 7, Paul exhorted the church to strive for holiness.
He spoke of all the trials he had faced in Macedonia, and
spoke of what an encouragement Titus had been to him when he
reported on how the church was thriving there in Corinth.
This week, we discuss the offering that was being taken for
the poor saints in Jerusalem.
Good Example of the Macedonians
2 Cor 8:1
Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God
bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2 Cor 8:2
How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of
their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their
the close of his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul had given
instructions regarding an offering that was be raised for the poor
saints in Jerusalem. Here,
he gives more information about this offering, beginning with
information about what the churches in Macedonia had done.
While this is about that specific offering for those in
Jerusalem, these principles can be applied to us today concerning
Christian giving and church financing. If modern Christians understood God’s way of financing and
applied these principles, there would never be a need for special
appeals for funds to carry out the work of the Lord.
uses the example of what the churches in Macedonia had done. They had been very generous with their money, and had given a
large amount to help the suffering saints.
Many had lost their jobs in Jerusalem for their stand on
Christ, and these other churches rallied and helped to provide for
them. Now as Paul went about on his third missionary journey, he
collected this offering for the church in Jerusalem. That is rather
revolutionary. Here the mission churches are sending an offering to
help the mother church. Today it is just the opposite. The home
church sends out missionaries and supports them out in the foreign
field. But in Paul’s day the foreign field was supporting the home
church. Note in verse 1
he mentions that God bestowed grace on those churches.
You and I need grace every hour.
Many say they want justice, but when it comes to the things
of God, what we need is God’s grace and mercy.
Those in Macedonia gave at a time when they were suffering
great trials. Though
their poverty was deep, they nevertheless had great joy.
We may not have a lot of this world’s goods, but when we
have Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we are rich beyond our
There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is
that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor
heareth not rebuke.
The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the
wicked shall be put out.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we
are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs
with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also
2 Cor 8:3
For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their
power they were willing of themselves;
2 Cor 8:4
Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift,
and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
the Macedonians did not have a lot of money, Paul says they gave
beyond their power. They
didn’t just give what they were able, but they gave much more.
I think it is wonderful when people are willing to dig deep
for the cause of Christ. Some
people won’t give but a few dollars for the work of the Lord even
though God has blessed them with jobs that pay thousands of dollars
each month. But
the bible teaches we should give not out of necessity, but out of a
willing and obedient heart. God
does not pry money out of our pockets.
We give as our hearts dictate.
We have a record of the one poor widow lady that gave more
with her few pennies than all those who came by and put in vast
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the
people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in
And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two
mites, which make a farthing.
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them,
Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than
all they which have cast into the treasury:
For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her
want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
2 Cor 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him
give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful
2 Cor 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye,
always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every
found an amusing story in J. Vernon McGee’s commentary on giving.
story is told of a Scottish church that was attempting to raise
money for a new building. One member of the church was a rich Scot
who was known to be worth fifty thousand pounds. He was a typical
Scot and was pretty stingy, like most of us are. A deacon came to
see him and asked, “Brother, how much are you going to give for
the new church?” The Scot replied, “Oh, I guess I’ll be able
to put in the widow’s mite.” The deacon called out in the next
meeting, “Brethren, we have all the money we need. This brother is
going to give fifty thousand pounds.” The man was amazed. “I
didn’t say I would give fifty thousand pounds; I said I would give
the widow’s mite.” The deacon replied, “Well, she gave her
all, and I thought that is what you meant to give!” It is
interesting that God notes what you give but also what you keep for
2 Cor 8:5
And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own
selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
2 Cor 8:6
Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he
would also finish in you the same grace also.
apostle speaks of how they gave not only their money liberally, but
first gave their own selves to the Lord.
If you don’t first give yourself to the Lord, I don’t
think you can expect any special blessings for pouring in large sums
of money. God wants you
and I first in His service doing His will.
And the first thing we have to do is to be saved.
God’s Will is for every man to come to know Christ as Lord
1 Tim 2:3
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our
1 Tim 2:4
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the
knowledge of the truth.
1 Tim 2:5
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus;
1 Tim 2:6
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due
2 Pet 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men
count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that
any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
loving consecration of the Macedonians so challenged Paul that he
immediately determined to send Titus back to Corinth again, to
encourage them to find this same grace in giving.
When one church gets on fire for the Lord, they can ignite a
spark that encourages and exhorts others to greater service for God.
And God receives the honor and glory when churches do that.
Supreme Example of Christ
2 Cor 8:7
Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and
utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to
us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
2 Cor 8:8
I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the
forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
Paul urged the Corinthians to be generous in their giving, he first
compliments them on the other gifts which they manifested.
They were abounding in faith, in speaking the Word of God, in
knowledge of the truth of God, in diligence in Christian service, in
love for the Lord’s servants.
And he encourages all to abound in this grace also.
Many Christians possess many of these other gifts that are
mentioned, yet they do not give liberally with their money.
As Christians, we are commanded to give at least a tenth of
our income to the Lord. But
in verse 8, Paul says he is not commanding them to give to those in
Jerusalem, but was urging them to do so.
When we give, this demonstrates our sincerity to the work of
2 Cor 8:9
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though
he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his
poverty might be rich.
it comes to examples, the best and supreme example in the grace of
giving is always the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
He was once rich in Heaven’s glory living with the Father
and the Holy Ghost in glory. Yet
willingly, for we the lost sinners of this wicked world, He became
poor. And through his
poverty, we that know Christ as Savior are now rich.
2 Cor 8:10
And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you,
who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year
2 Cor 8:11
Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a
readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that
which ye have.
urges the church to perform what they had originally planned to do
which was to take up an offering for the saints at Jerusalem.
We should always have a heart that is tender to the leading
of the Lord when it comes to giving.
It says in verse 11 that these folks had a readiness to will,
and they needed to use this willingness to perform the giving and go
ahead and take up the offering.
2 Cor 8:12
For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted
according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
2 Cor 8:13
For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
points out that many times we have a willing heart, but simply do
not have the finances to be able to give.
If we don’t have the money, but our heart is right and
desire to help, God recognizes this and still blesses us.
He tells them that he was not trying to put an unreasonable
burden on them that others might not have to give as much.
But if they had the ability, he wanted them to give. I is not
the amount of the fit that counts as much as it is above the tithe.
(the one-tenth requirement as set out by scripture as a
minimum.) When we
sacrifice and show willingness to give, God is pleased with us.
We read the example earlier of the widow in her gift, and I
think we will read it again due to its relevance here.
21:1-4 And he looked
up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. 2
And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 3
And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath
cast in more than they all: 4 For all these have of their abundance
cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast
in all the living that she had.
2 Cor 8:14
But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may
be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a
supply for your want: that there may be equality:
2 Cor 8:15
As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over;
and he that had gathered little had no lack.
that as they gave what they could, it would help those in Jerusalem.
And since no one knows what tomorrow holds, it might be that
the shoe would be reversed one day and that it would be those in
Jerusalem helping out the Corinthians.
When we are abundantly blessed, as we are here in our church,
we should use this money to help those in need and to support more
spreading of the Gospel should always be our major thrust, but we
have responsibilities as needs arise to help with physical needs of
fellow brothers and sisters particularly.
Some want to only help those who are church members.
But in Christ’s ministry, he fed the multitudes and always
sought out the lost and those who were far from the religious groups
of the day. By our love
to the lost, we many times by example show forth the love of Christ,
and therefore give ourselves a doorway of opportunity to spread the
gospel. The verse Paul
refers to here is based out of Exodus 16:18.
Exodus 16:18 And when
they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing
over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every
man according to his eating.
2 Cor 8:16 But thanks be
to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for
2 Cor 8:17 For indeed he
accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord
he went unto you.
2 Cor 8:18 And we have
sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout
all the churches;
In this section, Paul speaks
of a group of three Christian men who have been appointed to handle
the offering for those needy saints in Jerusalem.
Based upon personal knowledge, Paul commends all three men,
beginning with the praise of Titus.
Titus had been a big blessing to Paul as was mentioned
earlier in our study last week.
2 Cor 8:19 And not that
only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with
this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same
Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:
2 Cor 8:20 Avoiding
this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is
administered by us:
2 Cor 8:21 Providing for
honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the
sight of men.
Paul tells them that while it
is good that they help those in need there in Jerusalem, it was his
earnest care for the Corinthians that have moved him in this
endeavor. It is amazing how God works all things to good.
And I know from my own experiences that when I give, many
times I am so blessed in doing it. We should never give expecting a blessing, but God is never
unfaithful to remember our work and gifts for the ministry and cause
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say,
Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may
be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of
hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you
out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
2 Cor 8:22 And we have
sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent
in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great
confidence which I have in you.
2 Cor 8:23 Whether any
do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning
you: or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the
churches, and the glory of Christ.
2 Cor 8:24 Wherefore
show ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love,
and of our boasting on your behalf.
It was good that these other
men were highly thought of that had been chosen to accompany Titus
to Jerusalem with the offering.
It is a great blessing to have good men of integrity in our
churches. The bible
says a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.
Paul was glad these faithful men had been chosen so that the
collection would be handled properly that no blame would fall upon
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and
loving favour rather than silver and gold.
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