2 Corinthians Chapter 8

July 19, 2012

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on 2 Corinthians. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

In 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 Paul writes about the Grace of Giving.

The New Testament is in some ways an exposition of the grace and truth that God wants us to live in.

John 1:17
“the Law was given by Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”

So Paul is teaching on the New Testament principles of the Grace of giving in chapters 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians.

The Apostle Paul makes the connection that our giving should come out of our hearts in relationship with Jesus. It isn’t religious duty, but a response to all that He has done and is doing in our lives.

Jesus taught that believers are not to trust in possessions. That we cannot serve two masters, God and money. (Luke 16:13)

Paul also reminds us of the attitude we are to have towards material things. We are to give God first place in our lives and use our time, money and talents to serve Him.

2 Corinthians 8:1-24 (NIV)
1 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. 6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But just as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us–see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 10 And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. 13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, 15 as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.” 16 I thank God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men. 22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.

2 Corinthians 8:1-9

Paul gives two example of the grace of giving in these verses. The first is the church in Macedonia who gave out of their extreme poverty. The other is the example of Jesus, who gave everything that we might have life.

2 Corinthians 8:10-12

The grace of giving is also about the willingness to give. It is not about the size of the gift, it is about a willingness to give in response to God from what you have.

Luke 21:1-4 (NIV)
1 As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

2 Corinthians 8:13-15

Paul talks about equality in these verses. He is not talking about some type of Christian communism. Paul sees the church as one big church meeting in different locations all over the world. While some areas might be experiencing times of plenty, other areas might be undergoing famines, etc. Paul wants the churches that are doing well to help those that are going through difficult times.

2 Corinthians 8:16-24

Paul winds up the chapter uring the Corinthians to have their gift ready to go when Titus and the rest of the group show up to collect it.

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