Grace Giving II Cor. 8:1-3 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Grace giving is what the churches in Macedonia learned and what Jesus Christ demonstrated when he came to earth. Let’s examine the details of grace giving in 2 Cor 8. Notice that this was addressed to a church and written about churches in Macedonia. Grace giving involves:
The grace of God – 2 Cor 8:1 – this is something that goes beyond our own power [2 Cor 8:3]. Paul labored above his ability by the grace of God [1 Cor 15:10]. Paul was strengthened in his weakness by the grace of God [2 Cor 12:9-10]. Grace is something that God gave to the church in Corinth [2 Cor 8:6-7] and he wanted them to abound in it.
The combination of joy and poverty – 2 Cor 8:2 – abundant joy [2 Cor 9:7] combined with deep poverty [2 Cor 8:9] abounded to the riches of their liberality. A person doesn’t need the grace of God to give from his abundance. It’s hard to see God’s hand in his giving. People in poverty are often the greatest givers. In a WWII POW camp, the prisoners divided one candy bar into 3000 pieces so that every man could have a piece. The widow gave all her living.
Giving yourselves to the Lord – 2 Cor 8:5 – Paul said they gave themselves, “by the will of God.” When you give yourself to the Lord, then the giving of any possession is easy. Notice how hard it was for the rich young ruler to give at the Lord’s command [Matt 19:16-22]. He hadn’t given himself to the Lord. Contrast him with what the disciples did in Matt 19:27.
Sincere love – 2 Cor 8:8 – love for the Lord and love for those for whom he died are what result in giving. This is the motive for giving so that others prosper at your expense [2 Cor 8:9]. God so loved the world that he gave. Paul said, “the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved,” [2 Cor 12:15]. He said, “I will very gladly spend and be spent for you,” [2 Cor 12:15].
A performance out of that which ye have – 2 Cor 8:11-12 – you can talk about giving and pray about what to give, but eventually you must get down to the business of giving. And you give according to that you have. You don’t have to wait for a windfall. You wouldn’t give that, anyway.
An equality – 2 Cor 8:13-15 – the abundance in Corinth supplied the want in Jerusalem. The abundance in Bible Believers Baptist Church supplies the want on many mission fields. Now, look at Ex 16:18 and see the verse Paul quoted in 2 Cor 8:15. In Ex 16:16-21 every man gathered manna. He gathered enough for his house. When all the manna had been gathered by all the men each morning, it was meted out in an omer and resulted in equality. Everyone had exactly what he needed for the day. So, in a church some give more and some less but there is equality when what every person in the church gives equals the need on the field.
Conclusion: As Bible Believers Baptist Church, we must continue to do our part, and as individual members of Bible Believers Baptist Church we must each do our part.