Apostle Paul led the Christians from Corinth to Christ and he taught them the Holy Scriptures. He hid nothing from God’s plan neither from Corinthians nor from other disciples of his. That’s why, he also taught them about the subject of generosity, and when they didn’t get this subject so well, he urged them on generosity. Paul writes about Corinthians that one year before the letter was written, they took the initiative to participate in the support of the saints. But, up to that moment Corinthians hadn’t yet finished that charity. Paul urges them on generosity and here it is why he does this:
So that the disciples may realize their good intentions
Many times people intend to make a donation or a sacrifice, but when they come to the point they have to give, they change their mind, or delay for another time. I have heard a case about a Christian, who was coming home from the mill and on his way, he decided to give a bag of flour to a widow who had many children. When he was in front of her gate, he was doubting, and the horses pulled the cart on. Then, our good Christian, led the horses back and said: “Go Satan, if you say one more word, I will give three bags of flour, but now I will give two to this widow and her children.” This case shows that when a good intention of generosity is put off, it faces the danger not to be accomplished. Here it is why Apostle Paul sent Titus to Corinthians and wrote them:
So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well. (2 Corinthians 8:6)(NASB)
So that disciples may grow up spiritually in everything
Spiritual growth of a Christian is similar to the polish of the diamond. If this precious stone has at least one un-polished side, it will never have the beauty, brilliancy and splendor all of us know it has. The features of the Christian’s character are as the sides of this diamond, and generosity is one of this sides. That’s why, we can not say that we have a healthy spiritual growth if we disconsider generosity, as Apostle Paul says:
But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. (2 Corinthians 8:7)(NASB)
So that disciples may motivate others on generosity using their own example
Beautiful examples of generosity have always arouse the passion and the desire of the Christians to be generous. So, the Christians in the primary church from Jerusalem practiced a special generosity and they were motivated from one another on generosity. Here is a good example the Bible relates us:
Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4:36–37)(NASB)
This money was used by the apostles to fulfill the needs of the saints and to spread the Gospel.
Apostle Paul doesn’t command the Corinthians to give from their wealth, but through this advice, and using the example of Macedonians, he wants to arouse their passion and then, through their generosity to arouse the passion of other Christians, who still wanted to be unfruitful. He wrote:
I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. (2 Corinthians 8:8)(NASB)
So that disciples may evaluate the sincerity of their love for others
This was another motive mentioned by Paul in the verse cited above. Love words are important, but we can really know how much we love someone by how much we involve in the life of that person.
So that the disciples may follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ
Paul wrote them:
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 through His poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)(NASB)
We know this great grace of the Lord Jesus Christ not from what we have heard or from books about His grace, but from personal experience. We have experienced and experience this great grace through which we were saved and can have a godly life. This was possible only due to our Lord Jesus Christ’s generosity, who didn’t spare His life for us. That’s why, we are called to follow His example of generosity, to feel with one another and if it is needed, to give our life for others.
May God help us so!
Translated by Felicia Djugostran