The Grace of Generosity: A Sermon on 2 Corinthians 8-9

[Sermon begins at the 55 minute mark.]

How do you persuade a wealthy congregation in Corinth to share their resources with an impoverished and ethnically different group of people in Jerusalem almost 1,000 miles distant?

When they shared from their resources with the Jerusalem believers, Paul wrote, they would “glorify God by [their] obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ” (2 Corinthians 9:13). But Paul did not command them to share (2 Corinthians 8:8). Rather, he probed whether they truly believed the story of God in Christ.

If they believe that they have been made rich by the grace of God’s Son, who though being rich became poor for our sakes, then the Corinthians should share their blessings with those who are poor (2 Corinthians 8:9-10).

In other words, the Corinthians were not commanded to obey a rule, but invited to participate in the story of God. And when they participated, they would then obey the gospel (or conform themselves to the image of Christ).

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