Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, joins host Rev. Brady Finnern to study 2 Corinthians 8:1-15.
“See that you excel in this act of grace (giving) also.” Paul highlights the generosity of the Macedonian churches to encourage the Corinthian church to be generous to the poor saints in Jerusalem. To be generous is an act of grace which flows from the grace of God in Christ who, though he was rich, yet for your sake became poor. “O Lord, grant us a generous heart for the poor that flows from the generosity we have from You. Grant our churches a merciful heart to love and care for our neighbors. In Christ, Amen”
Thy Strong Word reveals the light of our salvation in Christ through study of God’s Word, breaking our darkness with His redeeming light. Each weekday, two LCMS pastors fix our eyes on Jesus by considering Holy Scripture, verse by verse, in order to be strengthened in the Word and be equipped to faithfully serve in our daily vocations.
Thy Strong Word is hosted by Rev. Brady Finnern, pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Sartell, MN, and graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation.
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
Encouragement to Give Generously
8 We want you to know, brothers,[a] about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor[b] of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you[c]—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
- 2 Corinthians 8:1 Or brothers and sisters
- 2 Corinthians 8:4 The Greek word charis can mean favor or grace or thanks, depending on the context
- 2 Corinthians 8:7 Some manuscripts in your love for us
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org