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2 Corinthians

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Starting To Give And Completing The Gift

2 Corinthians 8:10-12

The Corinthians had heard Titus tell about the difficult, harsh and dangerous conditions faced by the believers in Jerusalem. Also, a famine was on the way because of widespread drought in the region. The church in Corinth felt great compassion for their spiritual siblings, although they had never met them. The Lord moved their hearts and they wanted to help. Practically, it had to be a gift of money which Titus could take back to Paul for onwards transit to Jerusalem.

Fairly Sharing

2 Corinthians 8:13-15

Paul's call to the Corinthian believers was uncompromising: they had agreed to give help to other believers in need, but they had not fulfilled their promise (2 Corinthians 8:6-7).

Trusted Servant

2 Corinthians 8:16-21

Titus was trustworthy. He was one of Paul's dependable assistants (2 Corinthians 7:16), along with Timothy. He shared Paul's concern for the church in Corinth, longing for them to grow up in Christ and keep their promise to give money to the impoverished believers in Jerusalem.

Another Trusted Servant

2 Corinthians 8:22-24

Paul's letter was to be taken to Corinth by Titus and another brother (2 Corinthians 8:17-18).

Generous Or Grudging Gift

2 Corinthians 9:1-5

Although Paul has already written at length about the need for the Corinthian church to give all the money they had promised a year previously, he did not need to explain the reason for collecting money for the churches. They knew the reason – the believers in Jerusalem were facing hard times after many had left the city due to persecution, and the impact of a series of famines due to drought.

Three Principles Of Giving

2 Corinthians 9:6-9

As Paul encouraged the Corinthians to give, he reminded them about the need to be generous, joyfully sharing and relying on God's abundant grace (2 Corinthians 8:9). Firstly, generosity. Paul uses a proverb based on farming experience.

Giving Starts With God

2 Corinthians 9:10-11

These verses, although included in a passage about giving, are not so much about human giving as about the character and activity of God. We have nothing except what God provides. Our bread may come from harvested grain, but the germ of life came from God's phenomenal creative actions. It is God who gives seed to sow, so that bakers can make bread from the harvest.

Giving Stimulates Praise And Prayer

2 Corinthians 9:12-15

Giving is a God-like activity. He is the great giver, everything comes from Him (1 Chronicles 29:12). When we give in His Name, we express that part of His nature. People, with eyes to see, will recognise that God is at work as we give, and they will praise Him.

Boldness Is Not The Opposite Of Humility

2 Corinthians 10:1-2

Paul's concern for the church in Corinth was intense. He wanted them to grow in Christ, choosing to reject false teaching (2 Corinthians 11:1-15).

Demolishing Strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:3-6

The language in these verses is decidedly military. Paul likened obstacles to the gospel to military fortifications, hills or cities occupied by an enemy. His task as a spiritual commander, under Christ, was to remove these strongholds which dominated people's minds and hearts. At the core of each stronghold is the idea that humans can out-manoeuvre God. It is their power and energy which will win the day, and not His.