Saturday, May 8, 2010

Giving Proves Love, Promotes Equality, And Prevents Shame: 2 Corinthians 8:1-24

Text: 2 Corinthians 8:1-24

Theme: Glory in Christ, not the flesh.

2. By giving to those in need (8-9).
     A. Giving proves your love (8:1-12)
     B. Giving promotes equality (8:13-15)
     C. Giving prevents shame (8:16 - 9:5)

Chapters 1-7 showed how weakness glorifies Christ rather than the flesh. Now, chapters 8-9 reveal why giving does the same. 

Giving proves your love (8:1-12). The Corinthians had promised to send a love offering to needy saints in Jerusalem (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:1-5). For whatever reason, they were not yet prepared to fulfill it. To encourage them, Paul gave the example of Macedonian believers and Christ.

The Macedonians gave even though they were in poverty, and gave first of themselves, then their money (1-6). Christ, though He is equal to God, yielded His rights, and came to earth in the form of a servant, so that we, through His poverty (death on the cross), might become spiritually rich (9; cf. Philippians 2:6-11). Since the Corinthians abounded in other spiritual gifts and love, they should "abound in this gracious work [of giving] also" (7). Fulfilling their commitment would prove the sincerity of their love (8). 

Giving promotes equality (8:13-15). The purpose of this gift was not to afflict the Corinthians, while making life easy for the Jerusalem saints, but to promote equality in times of need (13). As such, one only gives willingly (10, 12) and according to his ability (12). This makes Christian giving different from socialism or communism.

Giving prevents shame (8:16-9:5). Paul had been boasting about the Corinthian's desire to demonstrate their love toward Jerusalem Saints (24), and sent brethren of honorable regard to prepare and administer the gift (8:16-23). By fulfilling their offering, the Corinthians would prevent the shame which would occur if they failed to meet the commitment Paul had bragged about to others (cf. 9:4).

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The Gospel

Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).


The grand purpose of creation is to bring glory and pleasure to God in Christ (Eph. 1:1-10; Rev. 4:11). The gospel of Christ's death and resurrection for our sins, achieves this goal by magnifying God's grace and mercy towards undeserving sinners. The purpose of faithguard, is to glorify God, by defending and confirming the gospel of Jesus Christ.