Read 2 Cor. 8:1-5
- Paul speaks of the great example of giving found in the churches of Macedonia. The northern part of Greece is called Macedonia and the southern part is called Achaia. Macedonia included the churches in the cities of Philippi,Thessalonica, and Berea. Corinth was in Achaia. The collection of funds is mentioned in 1 Cor. 16:1-4. What do we learn from these verses?
- In 2 Cor. 8:1, Paul uses the term “the grace of God”. What does grace have to do with giving?
a. (vs 2-5) Describe the giving of the churches in Macedonia. b. A similar example is found in Luke 21:1-4. Describe this event and the perspective of Jesus.
b. Paul was by no means begging for money, but rather, what does 2 Cor. 8:4 tell us?
Read 2 Cor. 8:6-9
- One of the responsibilities of Titus in bringing this letter to the Corinthians was to encourage them to follow through on their commitment to give to the Christians in Jerusalem. Comment on this quote: The Corinthian Christians may have intended to give. They may have thought about giving. They may have been favorable to the idea of giving. Yet all of this was useless unless they did in fact complete this grace. Our intentions, vows, and resolutions are useless without action. It was time for the Corinthian Christians to act, and Titus was sent to help them do this. – Guzik
a. What may have kept the Corinthians from following through up to this point?
b. We can fall short in this area also, and not just about giving. How often do we intend to do something, and fail to follow through? What might be the cause?
- (vs 7) Paul encourages the Corinthians by commending them in so many areas. But Paul urged them to abound in giving also. In what areas were their strengths?
- According to verse 8, giving was proof of what?
- Next we have the greatest example of all. What does verse 9 tell us? Explain this.
Read 2 Cor. 8:10-12
- Paul continues with some practical advice about giving. Comment on this quote: “True giving is measured by obedience, proportion, and need, not by amount.” -Guzik
Read 2 Cor. 8:13-15
- The Christians in Jerusalem were struggling. There was a famine in Israel and the church needed help simply to survive. Paul explains that the Corinthian church was currently in the position to help, but it could be that one day the roles would be reversed. The word “equality” used twice in his verse doesn’t mean equal as in dollar for dollar, but more in the sense of fairness. What might be a current day example of this sense of equality?
- The quote in verse 15 is from Ex. 16:18. What does it say and how does it relate to what Paul has been sharing?
Read 2 Cor. 8:16-24
- Paul is thankful that Titus has such a heart for the Corinthians. He recognizes it as a work of God. How does God do this work in us? Do you have a special place in your heart for a person, a family, or a group of people? Do you recognize this as a work of God?
- A certain “brother” is introduced in verses 18 and 19. What do we know about this man? What do we not know? It seems his character was more important than his name. Comment on this.
- (vs 20-21) Regarding this collection of funds as well as its distribution, Paul needed to be above reproach. Compare this with the collection and distribution of funds in the church today. What is your expectation when you give? What is the role of the leadership regarding funds?
- How is Titus described in verse 22 and 23?
- How are the brethren described in verse 23?
- Paul ends this section with “Therefore” (vs 24), referring to all that he has shared about this collection of funds. He encourages the Corinthians to show Titus and the “brother” a good offering. Why would Paul add the instruction to also show this offering to the churches?
- (vs 24) A good offering from the Corinthians will be proof of what two things.
- Consider your own situation. Does your perspective of giving line up with what Paul has described in this chapter? One pastor said that New Testament giving should be regular, planned, proportional, and private; as well as generous, freely given, and cheerfully given. May our love and gratefulness for all God has done and continues to do, motivate us to be cheerful givers.