Chapters 8 and 9 form a small but important section within this epistle. The subject is giving. The main lesson in the passage is that “you cannot out-give God.” Our offerings are very important to the Lord. They bring much joy to His heart, they take care of His servants, they promote His work, they take care of poor brethren. (Acts 5)
In Chapter 8, Titus and another brother are sent to receive the offering which they had taken for the Jerusalem saints. This is the offering referred to in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. Paul had boasted to the Macedonian churches (Phil-Thess, etc.) that Corinth had been ready with this offering for a year. In his first letter, Paul had given them some definite teaching regarding giving. Although they were a gifted church, they were deficient in their giving. Evidently, they had responded and gave liberally, and Paul had boasted to the Macedonian churches, who in turn were inspired by this example. Note the characteristics of the man who was sent to collect the offering (Ch.8:23).
Titus, my partners and fellow workers, the other brethren, messengers of the Church, a credit and glory to Christ. Only those with an impeccable character and testimony should handle the money of the assembly.
V. 6-How far should we go in our giving? Paul uses a natural example to illustrate this. Explain this…the farmer. The truth of this is, anyone who gives to the Lord unreservedly, “sowing bountifully”…will in return receive abundant blessings, bountifully. But be not deceived, etc. See Luke 6:38. The widow, the alabaster box of the anointed, “Wherever the Gospel is prompted.”
V. 7-This offering was a free-will offering.
1. They offered themselves. Ch. 8-5 The Macedonians
2. Then with a cheerful heart they put their material possessions at the Lord’s disposal. See marginal notes Ch. 8:3-5.; Ch. 9:7
V. 8-God is no man’s debtor. God is able, etc. He cannot be out-given. He will reward eternally and also spiritually. Sufficiency in all things.
V. 9-Paul explains this principal from the Old Testament. The good man gives his gifts to the Lord cheerfully. This in turn is fulfilled to the hard work, servants, poor. This man’s benevolence will be remembered for use.
V. 10-Those who have a heart to give will be supplied with the means to give. Though impoverished materially, God has promised food, and growth of the soul.
V. 11-Enriched in everything…V.12-Thanksgiving by recipients.
V.13-Those ministered to will glorify God as they see the fruits of faith in Christ in this liberality towards them.
V. 14-It would also promote prayer for these in the hearts of the recipients.
V. 15-The climax to the subject. Paul draws our attention to the example of the hand (Ch. 8-9). Now, thinking of the grace giving in context, his vocabulary becomes inadequate and he simply but profoundly says, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” Indescribable gift…inexpressible gift.
“Blessed be the God our God,” etc.
If we give all to Him, can we ever out-give Him? The subject of giving closes with the divine example, which is aimed at inspiring us to give ourselves to Him and to make our material resources available to Him.