2 Corinthians 8 – 9
The Collection. One of the most basic Christian privileges is giving. We have a giving God (John 3:16), and we ought to reflect His character. Throughout the New Testament we have instructions and patterns set forward for the assembly to have collections where funds can be gathered and used in the service of the Lord. Following on 1 Cor. 16:1-4, the most extensive inspired treatment of the issue of Christian generosity is found in 2 Corinthians 8 - 9. It fits in with the broader subject of 2 Corinthians because one of the ways Christian ministry is supported is through Christian giving. What was being given? We can give our time, energy, and love to the Lord, but money is what is spoken of in connection with the collection. Why is money to be collected? Money is a useful way to transfer substance. Yet money is something we naturally cling to very tightly. Christian giving is really a test for us, whether we love others, or whether we love ourselves; whether we consider our possessions to be our own, or the Lord's. Money is not evil; but the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10). Hebrews 13:16 shows us that God is "well pleased" with the sacrifice of our substance. In his epistles, Paul clearly separates giving to the ministering for personal needs and giving to the poor. These are the primary uses of the collection in scripture.
- An Example of Giving: The Poor Macedonian Saints (8:1-5)
- Four Reasons for Giving (8:6-15)
- The Handling of the Collection (8:16 – 9:5)
- Five Results of Giving (9:6-15)
An Example of Giving: The Poor Macedonian Saints (8:1-5)
Four Reasons for Giving (8:6-15)
- Faith. The most basic quality that accompanies Divine life… confidence in God (1 Cor. 13:2).
- Word. The ability to communication about spiritual things (1 Cor. 1:5).
- Knowledge. The objective knowledge of what the scriptures mean (1 Cor. 1:5).
- Diligence. A carefulness in the things of God, which was a result of repentance (2 Cor. 7:11).
- Love. The settled disposition of favor to others, specifically to the apostles.
- Generosity (“this grace also”). The quality of large-heartedness that is accompanied by giving.
The Handling of the Collection (8:16 – 9:5)
Transparency: Funds to be Handled by Two or Three Trusted Deputies (vv.16-24)
Orderliness: Collections to be Prepared Beforehand (vv.1-5)
Five Results of Giving (9:6-15)
Results of Giving. Paul next speaks of the results of giving. The first thing he mentions seems very unlikely; the blessing of the giver. Naturally, we often think of the results of giving as primarily practical (needs being met), but Paul brings out other results that we may not be aware of!