To the Lord

2Corinthians 8:1-7 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as you abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that you abound in this grace also.

‘We do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia.’ Paul now brags [praise always ‘in the Lord’ on the congregations of Macedonia about their giving to the poor saints at Jerusalem (8:1-5).

‘How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.’ The Macedonians, though poor and persecuted, rejoiced at the opportunity of doing good to their more impoverished and persecuted brethren in Judea.

‘Liberality’ [Greek: haplotes] simplicity (1:12; 11:3; Rom. 12:8;); singleness (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22); liberality (8:2; 9:13); and bountifulness (9:11).

Liberality commanded regarding: God (Ex. 22:29-30; 25:1-8; 35:4-29; 36:3-6; 38:8; Lev. 19:5; Num. 35:8); Israel’s feasts (Deut. 12:11-19); Ministers (Deut. 12:19; 14:27-29; 18:1-8; Prov. 3:9; Mal. 3:1-18; 1Cor. 9:1-27; Gal. 6:6); The poor (Deut. 24:19-22; Ps. 41:1-3; 112:5, 112:9; Prov. 11:24; 13:7; 14:21; 19:17; 22:9; 28:27; Matt. 6:1-4; 19:21; 25:34-46; Luke 3:10-11; 6:38; 11:41; 12:33-34; Acts 20:35; Rom. 12:8-13; 1Cor. 16:1-3; 2Cor. 8-9; Eph. 4:28; 1Tim. 6:18; Heb. 6:10; 13:16; 1Jn. 3:17).

‘Beyond their power they were willing of themselves.’ The Macedonian congregations gave beyond their ability, and did so willingly, even praying that their brethren would receive the gift (8:3-5).

‘But first gave their selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.’ This is the secret of all giving of material things. When one gives himself to the Lord, he is willing to do all other things the gospel teaches.

‘Grace’ this compassion on the poor is called a grace in 2Corinthians 8:1, 6, 7, 19; 9:14.

‘As you abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that you abound in this grace also.’ Seven blessings of the Corinthian congregations: They were enriched in everything (8:7), and abounding in faith (8:7; 12:9), utterance: tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy (8:7; 1Cor. 12:10; 14:1-40), knowledge (8:7; 1Cor. 12:8), in all diligence (8:7; 7:11), in love (8:7; 1Cor. 13:1-13), and in the grace of giving (8:7).

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