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2 Corinthians 8





 

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How we make or spend money can be sensitive subjects both outside and inside the church. Placed as the second major section in 2 Corinthians, these passages make up some of the most extensive teaching in scripture on the nature of giving.

Sam Houston was a colorful soldier and politician and is best known for helping to bring Texas into the United States. He surprised everyone when he became a Christian. He surprised everyone even more when after his baptism he said he wanted to pay half of the local minister’s salary. When someone asked him why, he responded, “My pocketbook was baptized, too.” The conversion of our wallets should be included in our conversion to Christ. The extent of our generosity tests whether or not we know the grace of Christ.


As we continue in this chapter, Paul urges the Corinthians to join with other Gentile believers to complete a collection or “act of grace” for the poor in Jerusalem (2 Cor. 8:6, 7, 19). Looking beyond money, the lessons of these chapters touch on all resources granted to us by God, whether money, time, or talents.


Challenging life issues can sometimes tempt you and I to cling to resources for self-­preservation or fear of the future. Remember, though, that in giving to others we show that we have first given ourselves to the Lord. Through the example of giving in the Macedonian churches, Paul challenges the Corinthians to reveal their own love for God when they give. In giving more than expected, the Macedonian churches expressed joy in the midst of severe affliction and contributed in spite of their economic conditions.

Ultimate motivation for giving flows from Jesus, who abandoned the status and privilege of his heavenly dwelling to take on human flesh and give himself for his people. Confronted with sacrifice of this magnitude, one’s individual contribution may appear trivial. This isn’t the case. In light of the decisive sacrifice of Jesus, Paul issues no command or advocates reckless giving. Instead, enthusiasm, a joyful heart, and giving in proportion to one’s means remain keys to faithful giving. All giving is done under our Lord’s watchful eye, and He knows its value.


Paul’s concluding instructions return to the importance of motivation over magnitude, since “each one must give as he has decided in his heart” (9:7). Neither resentment nor intimidation should accompany acts of generosity. Generous giving and abundant reaping come only by remembering God’s extravagant provision, expressed with phrases like “all grace,” “all sufficiency,” “all things,” “all times”, “in every good work”—and all in one verse! Such great provision enables us to provide generously for others, resulting not in material gain but rather a “harvest of righteousness”.


Receiving so abundantly from our Lord and giving so willingly to the body of Christ, the Corinthians are encouraged to consider the major result: their generosity will produce thanksgiving to God. In “supplying the needs of the saints,” the Gentile Corinthians confirm to the Jewish church in Jerusalem the genuineness of their faith (9:12). Giving supports a concrete means to express our faith in the gospel. In response, when God provides for our needs through others, we pray for the giver and give thanks for Jesus, the greatest of all gifts.



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dellapietro
dellapietro
09 de ago. de 2023

I love the clarification of this passage. It provides great worth in understanding the spirit of giving. It is important to give from the heart, Not as an obligation. Christ gave all to do for us that which we could never do for ourselves, these is no price that could ever match the love he has for us. Thank you

Curtir
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