Those who truly love the Lord Jesus Who became poor for our sakes, making us rich in eternal things, cannot but dedicate their temporal riches to His disposal for the relief of brethren in Christ who are in need. His rewards for Christian liberality will be based on the will to do, rather than the ability to do, and He takes notice, not of what we give, but what we have left.
II Corinthians 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.
3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
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.
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.
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.
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 enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.
II Corinthians 8 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
II Corinthians 8:1 – J. Vernon McGee
II Corinthians 8:2-4 – J. Vernon McGee
II Corinthians 8:5-7 – J. Vernon McGee
II Corinthians 8:8-10 – J. Vernon McGee
II Corinthians 8:11-12 – J. Vernon McGee
II Corinthians 8:13-15 – J. Vernon McGee
II Corinthians 8:16-24 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Corinthians 8:1-15 – Stimulating to Liberality
Surely the plea for a generous gift of money toward the collection which Paul was making for the poor saints in Jerusalem, could not have been more tenderly and convincingly urged than it is urged here. He begins by mentioning the generosity of the Christians in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, who were very poor, the inference being that the wealthier Corinthians would make similar sacrifices. He quotes the example of the Lord Jesus, who made Himself poor that they might be enriched and who for nineteen centuries since has had the joy of enriching myriads of souls. Paul reminds the Corinthians that a year ago they had resolved to make this gift. Finally he sketches his fair dream of reciprocity between church and church, so that wherever there was need the supplies of Christian benevolence should flow forth to meet it.
Notice, then, that Christian liberality originates in the grace of God, ministers abundant joy to those who give, is not staunched by deep poverty, begins with the consecration of the giver’s soul to God, and does not wait to be entreated, because it demands the privilege of ministering thus to the lack of Christ’s body. —Through the Bible Day by Day
II Corinthians 8:7—See that ye abound in this grace also.
The grace of liberality is as much a gift of God as faith, or utterance, or knowledge, or love. This is implied in our text, and distinctly stated in II Corinthians 8:1, where the apostle says that he desires to make known the grace of God, which had been given to the churches of Macedonia, so that they were able in their deep poverty to abound in riches of liberality. In I Corinthians 8:9, we learn that this grace first dwelt in our blessed Lord, who, though He was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich. If yours is a grudging, niggard nature, be sure to appropriate the royal nature of the Lord Jesus; that it may fill and possess you.
Probably there is no greater test of our true religion than our behaviour in giving. How few, comparatively, give in proportion to their income! How few give systematically! How few have learnt the joy and luxury of giving, so that they abound therein!
This arises partly because they do not realize that they are stewards of God’s property, and that He expects them to devote all they own to Him, keeping back only a necessary percentage for themselves and their families, as a steward might who was forming an estate for his absent master. And partly it arises from mistrust of God, and the fear that some day there may be a sudden falling off of supplies. Oh that each reader would consider that all is God’s, and begin by always giving a certain proportion of every pound, so as to be sure of not robbing God of his own. Pray day and night that you may abound in this grace also; and then, in faith that God is answering your prayer, begin to do violence to your churlish, niggard nature. What though it protest–Give! —Our Daily Homily
2 Corinthians 8:16-24 – “Things Honorable” Both to God and Men
Those who handle the gifts of the Church should be extremely careful that all their financing be above the slightest suspicion. The Apostle shrank from handling these gifts himself, lest any should insinuate that he was appropriating them to his personal use. Even when we have no reason to accuse ourselves in the sight of the Lord, we should be careful of appearances in the sight of men; and whatever is entrusted to us should be administered by us to the glory of God.
In the present instance the Apostle designated three brethren to attend to this matter. First, Titus, his partner and fellow-worker; next, the brother whose praise was in all the churches and who had been appointed for this very purpose; and thirdly, another brother, referred to in II Corinthians 8:22. Titus represented the Apostle, and the others represented the churches themselves. These brethren are distinctly mentioned as the glory of Christ, II Corinthians 8:23. It must be an encouragement to those who handle the financial matters of our churches, that they also may promote Christ’s glory and participate in its transfiguring beauty. —Through the Bible Day by Day