Guidelines On Giving

2 Cor 8 - 9


In Ch.’s 8 & 9 of 2 Corinthians – Paul is writing on the subject of Giving

A)Teaching thru the word – Forced to deal w/ these issues


B)You see, on his third missionary journey, as Paul traveled between the churches of Macedonia and Achaia, he took an offering — not for himself, 1)but for the church at Jerusalem which was going through hard times financially due to a famine & Persecution in the region.


C) Seeing this as an opportunity for a bonding between the Gentile Christians in Greece and the Jewish believers in Jerusalem,

1)Paul was eager to take up an offering for the Jerusalem Church


D)Yet, although the Corinthian congregation had initially welcomed the opportunity to help their brothers in Jerusalem,

1)   after a year had passed, they hadn’t raised any money in the endeavor.


E) So it is this issue Paul addresses in Chapters 8 and 9 . . .


Now at first reading some of the language that Paul uses in this passage would make some of us feel uncomfortable

A)The reason is we have seen this subject abused by TV preachers & others who have stood in Pulpits fleecing the flock of God – own gain


B) All seen & read the stories – of these Preachers who live in mansions / drive expensive cars – wear $1,000 suits – wear Rolex watches

1)   Who constantly beg for money – We have seen the scandals of corruption hypocrisy – double life –


C)Their abuse of God’s people & God’s resources have left a bad taste in our mouths – especially when this subject comes up


D)But let me say this those men who unfortunately have a high platform do not represent the whole Church – A Minority { They will be Judged

2ndly What we are looking at tonight is God’s inspired word – what Paul writes here & the language he uses the logic he brings – not his

A)It was given to him by the Lord – Paul is penning God’s heart when he writes on this subject – for that reason we need to take heed


B) In these two Chapters we see how Paul uses 7 different ways to encourage the Corinthians to follow thru on their Commitment to give

1)   In doing so Paul gives us several Key insights into what should be the attitude of our hearts toward giving


So encouragement #1 – Is the Example of the Other Churches in Macedonia – Read v.1-5

A)This is what we might call some Positive Peer pressure !! Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to join in this fellowship or partnership w/ them


4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.


B) There is certain special bond in the Body of Christ when God’s people come together for a cause or a project – sweet thing [Mexico & Missions]


C) Now The thing that was interesting about this that the other Churches were in a much tougher situation than the Church in Corinth

1)   In v.2 Paul describes their condition as being in great trial of Affliction and deep Poverty


D) Because Corinth was a wealthy Popular city the Church there was more comfortable monetarily – than some of the others –

1)   So Paul wants them to look at how the other Churches gave – these Churches who struggled greatly – but gave abundantly


Paul shares 3 insights about their giving:

A)1st – v.2 They gave despite their trial and their Poverty – Often times when we are going thru difficulty think it is not a time to give

1)   But that is really a greater time to trust the Lord – Oregon

2ndly v.3 They gave according to their ability – but even beyond their ability

A)In other words they gave more than they could


B) Lk 21 Story of the widow who gave the two mites – See that Jesus noticed those who were giving –

1)   But Jesus wasn’t paying attention to WHAT they gave – but HOW  they gave –


C) Most of those there who gave out of their abundance – but she gave out of her lack – She gave all that she had

1)   Jesus said for that reason – She gave more than all { Remembered


D) The point being – if these other poor Churches could give beyond their ability – then surely the Church in Corinth could as well


3rd Insight v.5 They first gave of themselves

A)This is really a key to all service/ Giving of ourselves – Understanding the fact I belong to Christ –


B) He is the reason that I live – all that I have is His anyway – I am just giving back – what He has given to me


C) Paul wanted the Corinthians to not hold themselves back – But that they would fully give themselves to the Lord


D) So those are 3 Key insights that we see in Paul’s First encouragement – using the Churches in Macedonia : Encouragement to follow their example

1)   Gave despite their affliction & Poverty

2)   They gave according to their ability & even beyond their ability

3)   They Gave themselves to the Lord


Now in v.6-8 We see Paul’s 2nd Encouragement – His Desire that they would ABOUND IN ALL THINGS { rd v.6-8


The Church in Corinth was a Church that despite it’s Carnality and problems of lacking order in meetings { abusing communion

A)It was a Church that had great beginnings – they were very blessed: Concerning the gifts – they weren’t lacking in any


B) They were abounding in certain graces – Paul mentions in v. 7 Faith and speech [Boldness in sharing]  – Knowledge / diligence & Love

1)   But Paul declares – I want to encourage you to abound in the Grace of giving


C) Grace = Underserved favor – We think of the blessings that God has bestowed upon us – coming thru the conduit of Grace

1)   God’s underserved favor – or that He has blessed us even though we didn’t deserve it


D) Here God calls giving a Grace – It is an undeserved Favor – Have you ever looked at giving in that way – Undeserved blessing ? How?


 Think of it this way – God who doesn’t need us to do His work to accomplish His ministry on the earth –

A)Say to you & I - I am going to let you partner w/ me in my work – One way is thru your giving { tonight’s missions offering


B) That is an amazing thing – He doesn’t need us – but He blesses us by allowing us to be a part of what He is doing – simple way

1)   Some might say – that is one Grace or blessing I can do w/out – Such a person has no understanding of the Goodness of their Father


C) Mature Believer is one who comes to a place in his life – realizes Father real does Know Best – I can trust Him

1)   When He says – do this I – I want to do it – I know that it is best

2)   When He says don’t do that – I don’t want because I know what He says is Best



D) Sad some Christians spend their whole lives never getting to that point

1) Their lives are marked by one hard learning experience after another – where they went against the Word of their father & reaped the consequences


E) I want to abound in everything – God my Father has for me – I want to trust Him in every area of my life including Finances


Now notice v.8 we get 2 more  insights into giving – Paul says I speak not by commandment, in other words – NO PRESSURE – not pressuring you to give. 

A)1st insight – True giving shouldn’t come from a feeling of Pressure –


B)2nd  then Paul says I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others.

1)   In other words their giving was really a mark of the sincerity of their love for the Saints –


C) 1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 

1) Actions speak louder than words – Money where their mouth is !!!



So 1st Encouragement was the example of the other Churches / 2nd encouragement was the Lord’s desire that they would abound all things

A)3rd Encouragement – The Example of Christ v.9


9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.


B) Tremendous verse that speaks to us of What Christ did for us in Saving us – He became Poor – left heaven { Became a man

1)   Poor one at that Born in a borrowed stable, Jesus preached from a borrowed boat, rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey,

C) He ate His Last Supper in a borrowed room, and was buried in a borrowed grave.

1) He Who made everything laid it all down and entered into total poverty that You & I might be rich, so great is His love for US.


D) Yes this is a tremendous verse in showing what Christ did & the affect that it had on all who put their trust in Him

1) But here Paul is using it as an encouragement to give This is Paul’s point


 E) Not only did the believers in Macedonia give in their poverty, but to a greater degree, Jesus gave everything to set us free


F) Listen To the person not in love with Jesus, giving is a difficult, painful, arduous, burdensome task.

1)   But He who loves Jesus, on the other hand, welcomes the opportunity to demonstrate his love to the Lord by giving Back


Encouragement #4 – Follow thru w/ their DESIRE  v.10-15

A)It seems that the Corinthians had really felt – a leading to be involved in this work – in helping the Church –


B) And Paul is encouraging them to follow thru – on that – Complete the doing of it

1) This is a good word for all of us – How many of us have had things this year where you prayed felt God’s leading – something – never materialized


C) What Happened ? Busy – distracted – lazy – or did God change his direction: Our Staff


The Devil will let you resolve as much as you like; the more the better, just as long as you never carry it out.  “The tragedy of life so often is, not that we have no high impulses, but that we fail to turn them into actions.” (Barclay)


D)In v.10 Paul says it is to your advantage that you do this: Breaks the devils tactic of trying to keep us from following thru

E) Opens up doors for further ministry: Blessed in the little things – exalted w/ more – LK 16 refers to money as a little thing

1)   Don’t have direction – don’t feel leading ? Have you been faithful w/ first Revelation ?


Now in these verses we see – some further insights into giving Note 2 things

1st v.12 When we give, God looks for readiness and a willing mind. 

A)These are the true marks of a generous heart before God, - readiness & a willing mind -  { Coupled w/ follow thru = a good thing


B) 2nd v.13-15 Giving Promotes Equality in the body – There is a unity

1)   Paul says my desire isn’t that – you be burdened & the others eased – but that there would be a mutual sharing


C) The Church or Corinth had been blessed by the spiritual abundance of the Jerusalem Christians { Christianity birthed & sent out from there

1) So, it shouldn’t  be a small thing for the Corinthian Christians to share with them their material abundance.


He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack:

D) Paul’s quotation from Exodus 16:18 illustrates his principle.  Everyone gathered what they could, some more and some less;

1)   but they all shared what they had gathered.- that is the way the body works


Now in v. 16-24 Paul interrupts his thought to ensure the Corinthians that their gift would be in good hands – Titus chosen to carry it


As we move into Ch.9 Encouragement #5 – Paul didn’t want them to Embarrass him v.1-5

A)Paul had used the zeal of the Corinthians to challenge the Macedonians; but now he was using the Macedonians to challenge the Corinthians!


B)A year before, the Corinthians had enthusiastically boasted that they would share in the offering, but then they had done nothing.

1)The Macedonians had followed through on their promise, and Paul was afraid that his boasting would be in vain.


C) So Paul sent Titus and the other brothers to Corinth to stir them up to share in the offering.{Don’t embarrass us/ we spoke highly of you}Yes/ no


Encouragement #6 Sunday Sowing & Reaping / Seed time/ Harvest v.6-8

A)Talked about Giving Reshapes you – Makes us a giver like God


B) Giving Rewards us in Eternity – Treasure in Heaven


C) Giving Blesses us Presently – Mal 3:8-10 { Test me  Windows of Heaven -    v.8 Able to make all Grace abound toward you


Lord,’ prayed a young man, ‘I’m going to start a business and of whatever money it makes, I will keep 10% and give You 90%.’


The founder of the Quaker Oat Company, did just that he kept his word and died a wealthy man even though he gave nine cents of every dime to the Lord.


D) Giving – Protects you from the Enemy / from the World

Mal 3:11 "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,

So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,

Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,"

Says the LORD of hosts;  12 And all nations will call you blessed,

For you will be a delightful land,"  Says the LORD of hosts.


Abe in Gen 14 Abe gave a tenth to Melch – all that he had

A)Afterwards out came the king of Sodom – wanted to bless Abe


B)The King of Sodom comes & says to Abe give me the people - take what you want no strings attached/Lie always strings attached - but we read in v. 22

22  But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth,

23  "that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich';

A)The implication here is powerful - the King of Sodom comes out    - Sodom = perversity - King of Perversity - world


B)"Take the goods Abe- it is yours "  that is what the world      seeks to do entice us w/ toys & trinkets


C)Note Abe response v22 " I have lifted my hand to the Lord - God most High , possessor of heaven & earth Will take nothing from you !"


D)The implication is this because Abe had given to the Lord his heart followed & he was protected from the ensnarement of the world


After service on Sunday – someone asked me a very good question – what do we do if we are just strapped – every dime pay bills

A)My answer is simple – don’t get strapped- don’t go into debt –


B) Huge problem in our culture - & in the Church – people don’t know how the live w/ in their means –

1) Burns- Christian ads – Poor Credit { Ditech – First Pastor w/ good credit


C) Need to learn to live w/ in our means – My Parents – Cash or nothing

1)   Great model – Denise & I never been in debt – { First car payment


D) Live on a budget – write everything down – Oppressive / Bondage –

1)   Compelled to take seriously calling to be a good steward


So my first answer to that question is don’t get into that mess

A)2nd make the tithe a non negotiable – Not tempted to not do it – not an option – It is a part of the budget – I tithe


B) Now if you are in that mess – what do you do ? Pray –

Encouragement #7 The Satisfaction of seeing the Church in Jerusalem Blessed – rd v.9-15