Chapter 8 verses 1 to 9

Chapter 8 verses 1 to 9Tuesday 2nd May 2017

Posted by Neil Todman

Read 2 Corinthians 8 verses 1 to 9

Paul, having heard from Titus that the relationship between himself and the Corinthians was restored, begins a new section in this letter. In chapters 8 and 9 he wants the Corinthians to express their faith in Jesus and their partnership in the gospel with him by generously giving to a collection for the poor Christians living in Judea. However, in the months the church had been at odds with Paul, they had failed to make good on the promises they had made the previous year (see verse 10).  Paul now gives them the opportunity to put this matter right.

Paul begins by focusing on giving as an act of grace (see verses 1, 6 and 7).  By nature, we are selfish, especially with our money.  In Christ, we can grow in rich generosity.

Paul presents the Corinthians with an outstanding example of this grace: the Macedonian churches (verse 1).  We know Paul experienced some of the greatest trials he had ever faced as he suffered alongside the believers in Macedonia (chapter 1 verses 8 and 9; chapter 7 verse 5) but he also experienced boundless joy (chapter 7 verse 4). Part of that joy was undoubtedly the insistence of the Macedonian believers that, despite their extreme poverty, they gave generously to the collection for the believers in Judea (verses 3 and 4).  Paul saw that as evidence of their good-heartedness before the Lord and their love for him (verse 5).

Paul therefore sent Titus to Corinth to urge the believers there to do the same (verse 6) and to grow in this grace of giving as they had in so many other areas (verse 7).

His ultimate example to the church is not the Macedonian Christians but our Lord Jesus Christ (verses 8 and 9).  He reminds the believers in Corinth of the gospel.  Christ exchanged the glory of heaven for the anguish of the cross, so that through his death we might exchange our shame and condemnation for his righteousness and life. When it comes to the grace of giving we cannot out-give our God.  He gave everything for us.    

 

Reflection

Look over your spending for the past month.  Does that show a generous attitude towards God?   Ask Jesus for more of the grace of giving.