29 Aug. 2 Corinthians 8:1-12

29 Aug. Paul explores Christian giving

“And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace God gave the churches in Macedonia. They have been tested by great troubles, and they are very poor. But they gave much because of their great joy.”

“I can tell you that they gave as much as they were able and even more than they could afford. No one told them to do it. But they begged and pleaded with us to let them share in this service for God’s people.”

“And they gave in a way we did not expect: they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us. This is what God wants.”

“So we asked Tutus to help you finish this special work of grace since he is the one who started it. You are rich in everything – in faith, in speaking, in knowledge, in truly wanting to help, and in the love you learned from us. In the same way, be strong also in the grace of giving.”

“I am not commanding you to give. But I want to see if your love is true by comparing you with others that really want to help.”

“You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. You know that Christ was rich, but for you he became poor so that by his becoming poor you might become rich.”

“This is what I think you should do: last year you were the first to want to give, and you were the first who gave. So now finish the work you started. Then your ‘doing’ will be equal to your ‘wanting to do’.“

“Give from what you have. If you want to give, your gift will be accepted. It will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have.”

          (2 Corinthians 8:1-12)

 

 

Today’s passage is classic teaching about Christian giving. Paul reminds the believers about the offering that he wants to take from them to help support the Christians in Jerusalem and Judaea (see Galatians 2:10).

He tells them that the Macedonian churches have given generously despite their own troubles, and he urges the Corinthians (who are more prosperous) not to be outdone by their cousins in northern Greece.

He reminds them that Jesus gave everything for them - he became poor so that they could become rich; and he encourages them to do the same for their fellow believers in Judaea: “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. You know that Christ was rich, but for you he became poor so that by his becoming poor you might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

And he encourages them to give according to their means: “Give from what you have... It will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have.” (2 Corinthians 8:12)

In the next section (2 Corinthians 8:16-24) Paul tells the believers that Titus is coming back to Corinth (with this letter) to organise the offering. Paul says he is also sending another highly respected brother (possibly Luke, who later travels with Paul from Philippi back to Jerusalem – see Acts 20:6).

Paul finishes his teaching on Christian giving by encouraging the believers to be generous in their giving to support the Christians in Judaea, because “God loves the person who gives happily” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

The photo shows a Roman silver denarius (about a day's wages) from the time of Augustus Caesar.

You can read more from Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/pauls-plans-for-the-futu…/


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