I. The Explanation of His Actions. 2 Corinthians 1:3-2:13
II. The Exhortation to Understanding. 2 Corinthians 3:1-7:1
III. The Earnest Desire for Unity. 7:2-16
IV. The Encouragement in giving. 2 Corinthians 8:1 – 9:15
A. Introduction in Giving.
B. The Example of grace giving. 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
C. The Encouragement to grace giving. 8:6-10
D. The Explanation of grace giving. 2 Corinthians 8:11-15
1. Paul exhorted them to trust the grace of God, to have right attitudes which would result in right actions. 2 Corinthians 8:11,12 They were to –
a. Reject excuses for not carrying out their previous promises.
Refer to 1 Corinthians 16:1-4
b. Rely on the grace of God to begin again.
2. Paul explained to them that this was not redistribution of wealth.
2 Corinthians 8:13,14
The church should not look at this as communalism but as mutual love!
There is a twofold explanation made –
a. The churches collecting –
1). The gift should not be collected with the poor in the church expecting the wealthy to bear the entire collection.
2). The gift should not be collected by the wealthy in the church to the exclusion of the poor. The poor should have a part in the service to the Lord.
b. The churches receiving – 2 Corinthians 8:15
The gift to the believers in Judah was not a yearly commitment, but a help to get them out of difficult circumstances! They would come to the place to help others in turn.
The ministry and grace of God places everyone on an equal position before the Lord. Remember the blessing of God’s provision whe Isreal was in the wilderness –
The wealthy could not be purchased, the manna was provided each day and the poor as well as the wealthy could take as much as they needed. All were on equal ground each morning!
Lamentations 3:22-24 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
God’s plan provides all with the opportunity to be involved. The attitude He promotes removes selfishness, pride, manipulation and bargaining for gain. He replaces these worldly attitudes with love, and joy, and peace. These are the fruit of the working of God in us!
E. The Enterprise of grace giving. 2 Corinthians 8:16,17
This ministry of Titus to the Corinthian church was –
1. Initiated by God. 2 Corinthians 8:16
2. Immediately accepted by Titus. 2 Corinthians 8:17
What made the difference in Titus’ willing acceptance? He was –
3. Inclined to serve the Lord.
a. Titus had already determined that he would serve the Lord and he did not set conditions on what that service would be! NOT “I will serve you here, but I will not serve you there”.
b. Titus had learned from his teacher, Paul –
(He had ideas about where he wanted to go, but he willing followed the instructions of God)
Galatians 1:15-17 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Acts 16:10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
Titus learned from His teacher Paul and they both learned from their Master, the Lord Jesus Christ!
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Now we come to the testimony of –
F. The Engagement of honest men in grace giving. 2 Corinthians 8:18-24.
Remember that Paul had been accused of wrongdoing and here he is protecting his reputation through the wise choice and recommendation of honest men to safely see the offering to Jerusalem.
Acts 20:4 And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.
These men had good testimonies as honest and reliable men who served the Lord. They were willing to leave their homes and venture out on a dangerous journey –
Acts 20:3 And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia.
– carrying cash to the needy saints in Judea, to insure the good testimony of the church. They testify to us today that like as Titus, they were inclined to serve the Lord as He led them.
Are you inclined to do whatever God puts in your heart? Have you already told God that you are prepared to know and do His will, whatever it may be?
Are you like Moses? Lord, they will not believe me. They will not listen to me, I am not good at speaking.
Are you like Jonah? Lord, I will not go. I do not like that nation, they are evil!
Are you like Isaiah? Lord, here am I, send me to serve you.
Are you like Samuel that said to the Lord “Speak, for thy servant heareth”?
This all begins with salvation. Have you turned to God for salvation through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ?
This builds through obedience. Have you been baptized according to the Word of God after you were saved?