2 Corinthians 8

  • 2Corinthians 8:1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
  • 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

They were rich in spiritual things and the things that really matter. We need to get away from judging success by numbers and financial prosperity. Those that are poor yet rich in spirit are really those that are better off in the long run.

I know this is the exact opposite of what we hear today but it is the poor that are commended by Jesus in his letters to the churches. They are not commended because they were poor exactly but because they were poor because of the gospel. Many who preached the truth and walk in the truth in some places suffer financial loss by those that reject their message. Homes and property is many times denied them when they preach the gospel.

  • 2Corinthians 8:3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;

The poor are actually more willing to give than the rich because they have nothing to start with so they are not afraid of losing it. They had little to give materially but did give what they could. They also gave of themselves and labored for the sake of the gospel and their care for the brethren.

  • 2Corinthians 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.

One group of believers would give to help those less fortunate.

  • 2Corinthians 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.
  • 6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
  • 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.

Paul exhorts the church to continue to increase in faith. We increase in faith by preaching the word, teaching the word, and communicating the word. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

They were to increase in utterance. This is done by communicating what we receive, namely the word of God. Never should we depart from the authority of scripture. It is really scary the things I'm seeing today when so many are either departing from, questioning or either adding to or taking away from the Holy Scriptures. That is the only basis of truth we have. If we let that go, we are then subject to whatever the strongest one in authority decides to teach.

We are to increase in the knowledge of the word not in this world's knowledge which is really no knowledge. This world is blind. Even their scientists are confounded many times and make mistakes. Yet we see so many assuming everything the scientists say is correct. I'm not against science but I am against taking their word for everything they supposedly discover because they have been proven wrong and have had to make corrections. The only absolute truth is the word of God.

We are to increase in diligence. Serve the Lord with diligence and never give up the main reason for us remaining here. To spread the gospel. If not for the need to spread the gospel, God could take us all home as soon as we are saved. We are to help one another and spread the gospel and teaching of the word. We are getting away from the teaching of the word. We should never have only a time of praise and worship. We do need that time though and it is necessary so that all present have a part in the worship of God. It is great but no substitute for the sound doctrine we use to teach. We have to have something to live on when the praise and worship service ends. We need the word of God in our hearts that we might not sin against the Lord.

We are to increase in love one for another. Love is more than just being friendly and smiling at everybody. That can be faked. Love is correction, love is truth, love is wanting the end result and that is that we all receive eternal life. If we love our children we would not want them running into a street of moving traffic. We would instruct them to look both ways before crossing any road. Love would not be to fear offending them and letting them do as they please. See the difference. Love is correction as well as comforting one that is troubled.

  • 2Corinthians 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
  • 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.

I'm sure Paul means spiritual riches not what the world calls riches. Jesus became poor. If He would have been born into a rich family, we would get the idea that one had to be successful and rich to be saved. He came among the poorest to show that God's salvation is freely given to all who believe. We are rich if we simply believe in Him for the salvation of our souls to free us from sin and grant to us eternal life. We are rich.

  • 2Corinthians 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 ago.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
  • 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:
  • 15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.

We should have the attitude of giving willingly. Never forced or pressured giving. It is actually fun to give if done in love and for the right reasons. Never should giving be to expect or received something in return. The only riches promised in return are the true riches of the spirit and not the paltry riches of this life. There is a law of sowing and reaping. God does take care of those that give and support His ministry. Jesus did say give and it shall be given you but in saying that, it is not to be taught with such extremes that we give the impression that to give will make one rich in this world's goods. There are cases where the opposite may happen depending on where one lives and if there is persecution. Spiritual riches though is always available when one gives. 

  • 2Corinthians 8:16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.
  • 17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.
  • 18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
  • 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:
  • 20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:
  • 21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 24 Wherefore show ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

If we hear of a fellow church or fellow brothers and sisters who are in need and we have plenty, we need to be willing to help all we can. Instead so many of us are giving to those that already have more than one house, an abundance of automobiles, airplanes and such. Shouldn't we give to those who have very little. Are we giving to large ministries who have plenty and neglecting the lone missionary who is barely able to make ends meet? Let us give by the Holy Spirit and trust Him to lead us to the right places to give that no one suffers a serious lack. 

11 Corinthians 9


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