2 Corinthians, Chapter 8
© Copyright 2003 Darroll Evans, all rights reserved
The KJV translation in verse one seems odd, so letís look at the New King James translation.
2 Corinthians 8:1---Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of
God bestowed on the churches of
That translation holds up in other versions.
Paulís message was simple. He preached grace. The reason was also simple.
The letter to the Galatians was precipitated due to their turning to legalism.
Galatians 5:4---"You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from graceĒ (NKJV).
At the time of the reformation many Protestants believe that the Roman Catholic papacy is an apostate Church. It rejected grace in favor of salvation by works and invalid "Hail Marys."
The Roman Church incorrectly teaches that Mary is a co-mediator with Christ. The Bible never calls Mary a mediator or co-mediator.
John 14:6--- "I [Jesus] am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
It has only been in the past few years that Pope JPII has acknowledged grace to some very limited degree. However, the "faithful" still go to a man to ask forgiveness. Christ is the one they need.
Christ Jesus is known only through grace. Christ cannot be known, nor can the Bible be understood through acquired knowledge.
The liberality of Corinthian giving needs to be put into context. They gave neither to a Church denomination nor to Paul as an individual.
The funds were to be used for poor Christian Jews. It was NOT to be used for the general Jewish population.
Many Christians are working toward a day when
another temple will be built in
You are a temple of the Holy Spirit and
The gift from the Corinthians was an offering. It was not a tithe.
Paul said, "they were willing of themselves" indicates a free will offering. In the KJV, the term "freewill" is used only in reference to offerings and only in the Old Testament.
In that offering, the wild Corinthians gave over and above what Paul expected. Once they gave themselves to the Lord, all they had was His.
Paul exhorted Titus to complete what had been given to him to start. The teaching of grace is still not complete within the Church.
Grace is a difficult subject for most to understand. We are saved and maintained in Christ through, plus nothing!
Paul wrote, "As you abound in everything." The Greek text says, "Exactly as you superabound in everything."
That indicates a growth pattern. We, Christians, are not born into full maturity.
As we grow, we may superabound in everything. That is not personal ego or pride. It is a fact.
As we grow in faith, our ability to speak the word and words of God, and our passion to do so, we also add to our knowledge of God. All this comes with maturity.
Hebrews 5:14---But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (NKJ)
Once again, Paul tells the Corinthians that he is not saying this due to a God-given command. I believe that he is speaking through personal experience.
With all his education, Paul took time to learn Christianity. His primary teacher was the Holy Spirit.
They knew the grace of our Lord. There is a great difference in knowing about and having a personal experience. The former is nothing more than second hand acquired understanding. The later is a personal intimacy.
This confirms verse eight. "I give my advice." They stepped out in faith earlier, and now Paul admonishes them to continue in their walk of faith.
Please keep in mind that this section is
devoted to raising funds for poorer Jewish Christians in
Offerings require faith and maturity in understanding. We must understand what to give and when to give it.
Many of us learn by doing. In learning, we come to understand the necessity of preparation.
We accomplish according to the level of our God-given abilities. Some have much to give (money and talent) others have little, but things are accomplished through cooperation.
Are you giving in accord with what you have been given?
Let me take time to explain what "little" means to the church. When a musician plays the music, he often encounters a "rest." That means stop donít do anything. That rest is a very important part of the overall sound of the musical piece.
What is a zero? It is nothing! And yet our mathematical systems do not work without zero.
When you write a check for 10 dollars, what would happen if you added another ten zeros? Zeros have an effect on the amount of the check. And yet, all you added was a bunch of zeros, nothings.
In Doing Godís work, you may only have a little. It is always enough!
The key to accomplishing anything is a "willing mind," zeal, and eagerness. Knowledge is not enough.
In any multi-layered organization the CEO is only as effective as those under him. If the second tier is not doing its job, that lack will cause failure. It is only when each person does his/her job effectively that success will come.
We are not given gifts from the Holy Spirit so we can fail. All Christians are equipped to be victorious in Christ!
You cannot fail! You are Christís and He cannot fail. The reason you think you have failed is because you do not understand your goal.
We are each given the task of providing for our brotherís needs. We do not help provide his/her wants. There should be equality of satisfaction in Christ.
Lack may come in many forms. Most lack comes from misuse of resources. Sharing is the answer to need.
God placed Titusí love for the Corinthians in his heart. Love is not something "we" work up.
Titus accepted Paulís charge, but went further than commanded. Zeal that is properly used can be a wonderful thing.
In Paulís writings, we find only three men spoken of as sons-in-the-spirit. They are Timothy, Onesimus, and Titus. In that respect, Paul was sending his best man.
Paul sent another brother whose reputation was impeccable. We are never told who that was. Whoever this man was, he had been appointed to travel with Paul and to assist him in his work.
Paul welcomed outside accounting of his use of ministry resources. Those who are honest do not fear such oversight.
Paul was diligent in his choice of companions. He did not foresee the coming last days of the ministry to which God had called him.
Messengers (Gr. apostoloi-apostoloi) is the plural form of the Greek word translated "apostle."
Was Paul saying that Titus was an Apostle?
Let me put this verse in the vernacular. "If you love the servants of God, prove it!"