Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians
The Practice of Grace-driven Giving
2 Corinthians 8:6-15
07 August 2016
Grace-driven giving is very different from giving under obligation. The Corinthian church had pledged to give to the Jerusalem church, but after a year, seemed to have abandoned the idea. Paul writes to them, desiring them to follow Christ in all areas - including finances.
Grace-driven giving demonstrates sincere love (v. 6 - 8). Actions, not mere words, are the true proof of love. The Corinthians had "abound[ed] in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness," but withheld their finances. Paul desired them to grow in all of God's graces - including giving, so that they might be complete. Paul never commands, but desires their heart after God.
Grace-driven giving is Christ centred (v. 9). While Paul reminded the Corinthian church of the generous example of the Macedonians, he did not stop there. Ultimately, we are to follow the incredible example of Christ, who "though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich." Knowing that God has given us "every spiritual blessing" (Eph. 1:3), who are we to withhold?
Grace-driven giving involves a disciplined response (v. 10 - 15).
a) It is intentional giving (v. 10 - 11). Helping others with our finances should not be impulsive, but intentional - and planned if necessary. Paul desired also "the completion of it" by the Corinthians.
b) It is realistic giving (v. 12). We are to give " according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have." If God desires someone to give, He will also provide.
c) Giving that sees the need of balance (v. 13 - 15). Paul wanted to deliver the message of 'giving our fair share;' helping others who have need when we have excess, and trusting God will provide. Like the account in Exodus 16:18, "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack."