2 Corinthians 8

2 Corinthians 8  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Having sought to assure the Corinthian assembly of his care for believers in the sight of God (7:12), the apostle now seeks to stir up their care for the Lord's needy people.
CO 8:1-5{Vss. 1-5. He seeks to arouse their affection for others by bringing before them the example of the assemblies in Macedonia, who had helped to meet the needs of their persecuted brethren in Jerusalem and Judaea. If, however, they had given to others, it was the grace of God that enabled them to help the needy, though they themselves were passing through afflictions and in deep poverty. Nevertheless, if passing through afflictions in temporal things, they had abundance of joy in spiritual blessings. This joy in spiritual things made them willing givers in temporal things to those through whom they had received spiritual blessings. They had therefore begged the apostle, with much entreaty, to have fellowship with them by undertaking to minister their gift to the saints in Judaea.
Moreover, behind their gifts to the saints there was the blessed fact that already they had given themselves to the Lord. This made it simple to carry out the will of God by putting themselves into the hands of the apostle to minister their gift. Joy in the Lord led them to give themselves wholly to the Lord for His will, and thus to give to those who were the Lord's. Their service in material things had a spiritual motive.
CO 8:6-7{Vss. 6-7. Now the apostle desires that the grace seen in the Macedonian assemblies might be found also in the assembly at Corinth. To this end he hoped that Titus would be used in their midst. He recognizes in how many ways they were enriched as an assembly, having faith, utterance, knowledge, all diligence, and love to himself; but he desires that they might also abound in the grace that cares for God's needy people.
CO 8:8{Vs. 8. Nevertheless, in thus exhorting them, he was not in any sense commanding them to give, but rather using the liberality of others to stir them up to act with the same grace, and so prove the sincerity of their love for the Lord's people.
CO 8:9{Vs. 9. To awaken this love, the apostle reminds them that in Christ we have the most transcendent example of giving. The rich may give from the abundance of their riches; others, like the Macedonian believers, may out of the abundance of their joy give to others when they themselves are in deep poverty; but in Christ we see One Who was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, in order to give to others the true riches.
CO 8:10-15{Vss. 10-15. Having brought before them an example of giving in the assemblies of Macedonia, and above all the supreme example of the Lord Jesus, and having made it clear that he was not giving an apostolic command, he now gives his advice. What they had already commenced to do "a year ago" to help their needy Jewish brethren, let them now complete. But let their giving be on right principles.
First, let it be of "a willing mind" for, as the apostle tells them a little later, "God loveth a cheerful giver" (ch. 9:7).
Secondly, let their giving be "according to that a man hath". There is no thought of meeting the need of one by reducing another to need, and thus easing the burden upon one by putting the burden upon another.
Thirdly, the giving is to produce an "equality". Not necessarily an equality in wealth or social position, but that each may be equally delivered from need. The apostle gives an example of this equality by a reference to the manna. There might have been a great difference between the amount of manna gathered by different individuals, for some gathered much and some little, but all were alike in this that every need was met.
CO 8:16-24{Vss. 16-24. In the remainder of the chapter we see the apostle's care that the administration of the gifts of the saints should be above suspicion, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. He can thank God that the same care that filled his own heart for the people of God was found also in the heart of Titus (compare verse 16 with ch. 7:12). Moreover, that all may be above suspicion or question, the apostle sends with Titus two other brothers — one, be it remarked, that is not only approved by the apostle, but whose praise is in all the assemblies, and chosen by the assemblies to administer this bounty. While the need of the saints is met, the glory of the Lord is maintained, and all occasion for question avoided. The other brother was one who, by experience, had been proved diligent in many things, and who had "great confidence" as to the assembly at Corinth.
If any inquired as to these brothers, let them note that Titus was a partner and fellow-helper of the apostle in caring for the assembly at Corinth, and the other two brothers were well-known as the messengers of the assemblies, and they were, as such, the glory of Christ. They can, therefore, with full confidence express their love before these brothers and the assemblies by their bounty to God's needy people, and so justify the apostle's boasting on their behalf.