The general theme of 8: 1 through 9: 15 is the collection for the Judean Christians.  This offering was to be taken at Corinth on behalf of all the poor people in judea.  Pau spoke about this int he context of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 16: 1.  There was a dire need.  Paul begins this section by speaking about the liberality of the Macedonian congregations and how this should serve as an example to the Corinthian congregation.

1.  The example of the Macedonian Christians. Vs 1 – 5

  1. Heaven’s Missionary program.1, 2
    1. the opportunity and the willingness to give a gift is called grace (kindness)
      1. Macedonia is the northern part of Greece
      2. the churches in this area that we know are Phillippi, Thessalonica, and Berea.
    2. In spite of the great affliction and poverty that the are experiencing, they are commended for their generosity.
      1. Paul warns a number of churches about their problems, but he has only good to say about Macedonia and the churches there.
      2. God’s eyes are always on the needs of the poor around us.
    3. Christian giving  is estimated not in terms of quantity but of sacrifice.
    5. Note Luke 21: 1 – 4 and the woman who gave two mites.
  2. The Macedonians did wait to give.  they considered it a primary duty as well as a privilege. Vs 3 – 5
    1. They begged Paul for the honor of being able to give.  Paul was not hitting up the Macedonians for money.
    2. often those who have less are more generous than those who have a lot
    3. their motivation was not to get rid of their money that was so needed, they saw it a giving of themselves to the Lord first.
      1. Money is traded for my time and in giving, I am giving of myself to God.
      2. When we give ourselves to the Lord, money is a natural outflow.
      3. Self giving is the basis for self-sacrifice.

2. Paul’s Argument for giving. Vs 6 – 8

  1. Titus came to retrieve the offering.
    1. They may have made a pledge to give to Paul but when things got bad between them, they may have been reluctant to give to Paul.  titus came to encourage them to fulfill their pledges.
  2. As the Corinthians abounded in spiritual gifts. (maybe being sarcastic)
    1. Faith – wonder working faith in addition to faith in Jesus
    2. Utterance – the ability to evangelize and speak truth not the gift of tongues
    3. Knowledge – the word of knowledge
    4. diligence. earnestness in striving after something
    5. Love – agape, the greatest of all virtues.
  3. So also abound in the grace of giving.
    1. the grace of giving is proof of the others being true.
    2. 1 John 3: 17, 18 Whoever has worldly goods and sees his brother in need and does not do something about it, how can the love of God be in them.
    3. Matthew 6: 21Where your treasure is your heart is also.
  4. Manipulation to force giving is wrong Vs 8

3. Giving Self and Giving Money Mark 10: 17 – 31

  1. Rich Ruler, how do I attain favor? Vs 18
  2. Obey the commandments Vs 19
  3. Jesus loved him Vs 21
  4. Go sell all you have Vs 21
    1. Chance to be one of the disciples.
  5. Rich man to go get to heaven
    1. Mark 4: 19 concern for wealth chocks out our passion.
  6. Everything is possible with God. Vs 27
    1. The text contains two thoughts the question salvation and of following Christ by a holy life.
    2. Along side of these it states that what is impossible with man is possible with God.
    3. the first lesson is a hard one as we continually try to earn our salvation and please God through our own efforts.
    4. God is the only one who can accomplish this work in us.
  7. We have left all to follow you Vs 28
  8. You will receive a return in this life and the one to come. Vs 29 – 31
  9. You will be one of the followers 32
    1. Following in fear
    2. Following in Awe
    3. Following the will of God for our lives.