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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to “The Archives Page”: More Bible Study Outlines.




August 12, 2018


SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthians 8:7-15


KEY VERSE: For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)




·        2 Corinthians chapters 8–9 focus on the offering Paul was taking for the needy believers in Judea.


The Corinthian church had agreed to share in the collection but had been negligent in doing so. Paul reminded them of their promise and at the same time explained some principles of Christian giving.


·        Christian giving begins with surrender to the Lord (See 2 Corinthians 8:1–7).


We cannot give our substance until we first give ourselves (2 Corinthians 8:5; Romans 12:1–2). When we belong to the Lord, we start looking for opportunities to give instead of excuses not to give.



·        2 Corinthians chapters 8–9 focus on the offering Paul was taking for the needy believers in JUDEA.


The Corinthian church had agreed to share in the collection but had been negligent in doing so. (1) Paul reminded them of their promise (2) and at the same time explained some principles of Christian giving.


·        Christian giving begins with surrender to the Lord (See 2 Corinthians 8:1–7).


We cannot give our substance until we first give ourselves (2 Corinthians 8:5; Romans 12:1–2). When we belong to the Lord, we start looking for opportunities to give instead of excuses not to give.


INSIGHT: [Two chapters, 2 Corinthians 8 & 9] give us the most extended and complete section on Christian giving that we have in the Scriptures. Actually, all we need to know is here. There are no rules, but there are certain clear-cut principles for giving.


That may strike you as being unusual. Someone may say, “I thought we were to give a tithe.” No, that is not the rule for today. It might be a principle that you would like to follow, but it is NOT a rule for anyone today.


The word that is important in this section is the word GRACE. In 2 Corinthians 8 the word grace occurs seven times, and it occurs three times in chapter 9 — ten times in these two chapters. The subject is THE GRACE OF GIVING.  -- by Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, 2 Corinthians


I. THE GRACE OF GIVING. (2 Corinthians 8:7-9)


A. The Macedonians’ Giving Was, Like Christ’s Giving, Motivated By Love. (2 Corinthians 8:7-8).


(2 Corinthians 8:7-8) Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.


1. What a rebuke to the Corinthians who were so enriched with spiritual blessings (See 1 Corinthians 1:4-5).


They were so wrapped up in the gifts of the Holy Spirit that they had neglected the graces of the Holy Spirit, including the grace of giving. The Macedonian churches had an “abundance of deep poverty” (2 Corinthians 8:2), and yet they abounded in their liberality. The Corinthians had an abundance of spiritual gifts, yet they were lax in keeping their promise and sharing in the collection.


2. The Apostle Paul was careful that they understood that he was NOT ordering them to give.


Actually, he was contrasting the attitude of the Macedonians with that of the Corinthians. He was pointing out that the Macedonians were following the example of the Lord: they were poor, yet they gave. The Corinthians said that they loved the Apostle Paul; now he asked them to PROVE that love by sharing in the offering. Grace giving is an evidence of love -- love for Christ, love for God’s servants who have ministered to us, and love for those who have special needs that we are able to help meet.


B. The Macedonians Giving Was Sacrificial Giving. (2 Corinthians 8:9)


(2 Corinthians 8:9) For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.


INSIGHT: In what ways was Jesus rich? (1) Certainly He was rich in His person, for He is eternal God. (2) He is rich in His possessions and in His position as King of kings and Lord of lords. (3) He is rich in His power, for He can do anything. (4) Yet, in spite of the fact that He had all these riches -- and more -- He became POOR.


1. The tense of the verb in verse 9 indicates that it is Christ’s incarnation (Christ’s birth at Bethlehem) that is meant here.


He united Himself to mankind and took on Himself a human body. He left the throne to become a servant. He laid aside all His possessions so that He did not even have a place to lay His head. Jesus Christ’s ultimate experience of poverty was when He was made sin for us on the cross. Hell is eternal poverty, and on the cross Jesus Christ became the poorest of the poor.


2. Why did Christ do it? Why did He choose poverty? That WE might become rich!


This suggests that we were poor before we met Jesus Christ, and we were -- totally bankrupt. But now that we have trusted Him, we share in all of His riches! We are now the children of God, “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ” (Romans 8:17). Since this is true, how can we refuse to give to others? He became poor to make us rich! Can we not follow His example, as did the Macedonian churches, which out of their deep poverty abounded in liberality?


INSIGHT: We do not take 10 per cent and give it to the Lord and the 90 per cent remains ours. That is NOT Christian giving! 100 per cent of it belongs to God. The true Christian attitude is, “It is all yours, Lord. You do what You want with it. Whatever You tell me to do with it; I'll do, because it belongs to You, not to me. I am merely a steward, a trustee of it, responsible to distribute it for Your name's sake.” That is what these Macedonians had seen, and, therefore, having given themselves, they freely followed up with everything they had.” – Statement by Ray C. Stedman, Guidelines on Giving


II. GIVING FROM WHAT YOU HAVE. (2 Corinthians 8:10-15)


A. We Are To Give Willingly. (2 Cor. 8:10-12)


(2 Cor. 8:10-12) 10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. 12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.


1. There is a great difference between promise and performance.


The Corinthians had boasted to Titus a year before that they would share in the special collection (2 Corinthians 8:6), but they did not keep their promise. Note that in 2 Corinthians 8:10-12 Paul emphasized willingness. Grace giving must come from a willing heart; it cannot be coerced or forced.


INSIGHT: Warren Wiersbe’s statement: “During my years of ministry, I have endured many offering appeals. I have listened to pathetic tales about unbelievable needs. I have forced myself to laugh at old jokes that were supposed to make it easier for me to part with my money. I have been scolded, shamed, and almost threatened, and I must confess that none of these approaches has ever stirred me to give more than I planned to give. In fact, more than once I gave less because I was so disgusted with the worldly approach. (However, I have never gotten like Mark Twain, who said that he was so sickened by the long appeal that he not only did not give what he planned to give, but he took a bill out of the plate!) –by Warren Wiersbe, Wiersbe’s “Be” books


2. We must be careful here not to confuse willing with doing, because the two must go together.


If the willing is sincere and in the will of God, then there must be “a performance also” (2 Corinthians 8:11; Philippians 2:12-13). Paul did not say that willing was a substitute for doing, because it is not. But if our giving is motivated by grace, we will give willingly, and not because we have been forced to give.


3. God sees the “heart gift” and not the “hand gift.”


If the heart wanted to give more, but was unable to do so, God sees it and records it accordingly. But if the hand gives more than the heart wants to give, God records what is in the heart, no matter how big the offering in the hand might be.


4. God sees, not the portion, but the proportion.


If we could have given more, and did not, God notes it. If we wanted to give more, and could not, God also notes that. When we give willingly, according to what we have, we are practicing grace giving.


B. We Are To Give By Faith. (2 Corinthians 8:13-15)


(2 Corinthians 8:13-15) 13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.


1. Paul did not suggest that the rich become poor so that the poor might become rich.


It would be unwise for a Christian to go into debt in order to relieve somebody else’s debt, unless, of course, he was able to handle the responsibility of paying the debt back. Paul saw an “equality” in the whole procedure: the Gentiles were enriched spiritually by the Jews, so the Jews should be enriched materially by the Gentiles (see Romans 15:25-28). Furthermore, the Gentile churches at that time were enjoying some measure of material wealth, while the believers in Judea were suffering. That situation could one day be reversed. There might come a time when the Jewish believers would be assisting the Gentiles.


INSIGHT: Who does the equalizing? God does! Paul used the miracle of the manna as an illustration of the principle (Exodus 16:18). No matter how much manna the Jews gathered each day, they always had what they needed. Those who tried to hoard the manna discovered that it was impossible, because the manna would decay and smell (Exodus 16:20).


The lesson is clear: (1) gather what you need, (2) share what you can, and (3) don’t try to hoard God’s blessings. God will see to it that you will not be in need if you trust Him and obey His Word.


2. Our motive for giving is God’s spiritual blessing in our lives, but our measure for giving is God’s material blessing.


Paul made this clear when he wrote to the Corinthians in his first letter, “Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him” (1 Cor. 16:2). Paul did not lay down any mathematical formula, because grace giving is not limited by a tithe (10 percent). Grace giving is systematic, but it is not legalistic. It is not satisfied with only the minimum, whatever that minimum might be.


3. The early Christians (like many Christians today) VOLUNTARILY shared what they had.


But they did not force people to participate. The Apostle Paul even took up a special collection (a free-will offering) to relieve the needs of fellow Christians.


4. Grace giving is a matter of faith: we obey God and believe that He will meet our needs as we help to meet the needs of others.


Just as the Jews gathered the manna each day, so we must depend on God to “give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). We must not waste or squander what God gives us, neither must we hoard it. In the will of God, it is right to save money.


INSIGHT: The Jews saved Friday’s manna to eat on the Sabbath, and the manna did not decay (see Exodus 16:22-26). But out of God’s will, the wealth that we hoard will harm us rather than help us (see James 5:1-6).


The Joy of Giving
By Leslie Koh


Comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (1 Thessalonians 5:14b)


·        It was a dreary week. I had been feeling lethargic and listless, although I couldn’t figure out why.


Near the end of the week, I found out that an aunt had kidney failure. I knew I had to visit her -- but to be honest, I felt like postponing the visit. Still, I made my way to her place, where we had dinner, chatted, and prayed together. An hour later, I left her home feeling upbeat for the first time in days. Focusing on someone else rather than myself had somehow improved my mood.


·        Psychologists have found that the act of giving can produce satisfaction, which comes when the giver sees the recipient’s gratitude.


Some experts even believe that humans are wired to be generous! Perhaps that’s why Paul, when encouraging the church in Thessalonica to build up their faith community, urged them to “help the weak” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Earlier, he had also cited Jesus’s words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). While this was said in the context of giving financially, it applies as well to the giving of time and effort.


·        When we give, we get an insight into how God feels.


We understand why He’s so delighted to give us His love, and we share in His joy and the satisfaction of blessing others. I think I’ll be visiting my aunt again soon. -- Leslie Koh


 -- Adapted from Leslie Koh, Our Daily Bread, August 6, 2018


CONCLUSION: What have we learned from our study of 2 Corinthians chapter 8?


First: We Learned That Christian Giving Is Motivated By Grace.


Jesus was rich in heaven but became poor on earth (even to death on a cross!) that we might share His eternal riches. It was all by grace because giving is a grace. Law commands, but grace consents and does so joyfully.


Second: We Learned That Christian Giving Requires Faith.


The example of the manna (Exodus 16) shows that God always provides what we need. Paul also used the image of sowing to encourage generous giving (2 Corinthians 9:6). God’s promises can be trusted.


Third: We Learned That Christian Giving Also Requires Faithfulness.


Those who handle the Lord’s money (i.e., stewards) should be dedicated and faithful, making certain that everything is honest and honorable.


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “The Christian giver is the greatest recipient.”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


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