Unbelief seeks to undermine spiritual authority. Without integrity, authority undermines itself. In 2 Corinthians 13, Paul continues to write about what Spirit-filled authority with integrity is and does.
C.H. Spurgeon wrote in Lectures to My Students, "Cautious hesitancy is, in 9 cases out of 10, cowardly betrayal. The best policy is never to be diplomatic but to proclaim every atom of the truth of God's Word so far as God has taught it to you."
Paul continues to protect the Corinthian church with humility and transparency, pouring himself out so they will avoid spiritual relapse. He does not want them to entertain those seeking to pull them away from the sufficiency of Christ.
God uses broken people and makes us strong in Christ (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). Though they were still spiritually rehabilitating, the Corinthians were enlisted by Paul to join in protecting their Gospel future.
Paul continues to call the Corinthian believers alongside himself to participate in protecting the church. Every believer has a role to build up and protect the church, not destroy.
Spirit-filled people who are walking with God love and protect the church. Paul calls the Corinthians alongside to help protect their own congregation.
Last week, we looked at the first two of four virtues found in 2 Corinthians 10:1-6. Passion is seen in calling others to work alongside oneself for Gospel progress. Being principled requires courage to be godly rather than worldly.
2 Corinthians 10:1-6 cover several spiritual virtues that protect both churches and the Gospel upon which the church is founded. These virtues should be owned and lived by every believer.
Grace bookends this passage in 2 Corinthians. Those who are overwhelmed with grace are compelled to share their resources. God is the centerpiece of today's passage, 2 Corinthians 9:8-15. He gives to us first; we realize many benefits from His giving.
Remember that this whole section of 2 Corinthians 8-9 is bookended by grace. In 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, God is mentioned repeatedly, and His work is cause for rejoicing. When God is at the controls of our lives, He will care for those who share resources because they care for His cause. If we want to know the full capability of God's grace, we will meditate on Christ's riches generously shared with us. His divine reciprocity was given for a cause.
This passage in Corinthians discusses what Christians do with the normal excess that the Lord provides.
The primary application of this chapter is not an individual giving to their local church, but local churches helping one another meet needs for Gospel purposes.
We have been studying the character of the saved heart that desires to share resources to meet the needs of the church Body in order to share the Gospel more effectively. The context of 2 Corinthians 8-9 is that of one church giving to another. The giver's heart is based in the principle that everything we own is God's, not ours.
The Corinthian church had been distracted by an unbelieving group among them from an important part of worship. They had responded well to Paul's correction in his first letter. In 2 Corinthians, he has continued to explain what growing Christians do.
2 Corinthians 8:7-8 discusses the position of a believer. As they are grown by grace, they will exhibit a series of virtues, of which giving is the last that Paul lists. These virtues work together and are only the result of God's work. Paul compliments the Corinthians and assumes they will keep growing.
We will continue to study how the flock cares for itself and is instructed by grace in 2 Corinthians 8:4-6.
The word “grace” begins this section in verse 1 and also appears as “favor” and “gracious” in this passage. Since God’s Word is unchanging, grace teaches every believer how to give in the same way through the Spirit of God. The verb “gave” reverberates through descriptions of intention, motivation, and methodology of how the Macedonians gave.
It is easy to forget that the Church exists for Christ and His mission. Jesus said, "Freely you received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). The nature of grace is free and generous, and so should be its influence in our lives.
On Memorial Day, we often hear the phrase, “All gave some; some gave all.” Scripture also says that the greatest love that can be shown is giving one’s life for another (John 15:13). The ultimate example of this is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
What is invaluable to you? Usually the greatest blessings in our life are given to us without being earned or deserved. As treasured as some possessions are to us, no material gift can change a heart and mind forever. This is something that God's grace does, and only it can do.
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