2 Corinthians 8:1-15

1 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia.
2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.
3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.
4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.
5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving.
7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.
8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.
9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it.
11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have.
12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.
13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality.
14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.
15 As the Scriptures say, “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.”
2 Corinthians 8:1-15 (NLT)

Welcome to my engineering Bible study blog. Let me share some background on why I write on this. As this blog develops, I have received some comments along the way. Some of them are from people who have benefited from my writings and they wrote in to thank me for it. I am happy to see them. This means my seeds are working. In other words, my harvests are going to be great. I look forward for my abundant prosperity.

There are also oppositions. I am sure Satan will not sit still and let me destroy his kingdom. He sent theologians to advise me to repent from the heresy on believing in Jesus and return into lies of theology. One of the them called me a liar and said Jesus never die poor for us to live rich. When I showed him the evidence, he changed the meaning of it just like any good theologian. He even asked me to read 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 as though it will change the meaning of the Gospel.

Since I have finished writing on the book of 1 Samuel, so why not? This is another opportunity for us to learn more about the true meaning of the Bible and at the same time expose the lies of theology. I am going to analyze verse by verse in the above passage to discover their meaning and applications. Are you ready? Let us begin.

1 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia.
2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.
2 Corinthians 8:1-2 (NLT)

In Verse 1, Paul shared what God has done through the churches in Macedonia in his kindness. Verse 2 tells us what happened to them.

The churches in Macedonia were going through some setbacks. They were being tested by many troubles and they were very poor. Yet they were also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.

I am sure theologians will tell us that God can give us troubles and make us poor in order for us to be filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity just like what he did to the churches in Macedonia. This is nothing more than theology, a lie from the pit of hell. Paul never said that.

The truth is all of us have been through tough times or setbacks in our lives. The churches in Macedonia were no different. They went through troubles like us. These troubles can be in the form of lack, or poverty. There are Christians who are physically poor. You may even be physically in poverty right now but that is not the end.

God can still prosper you even if you are physically poor right now. All you need to do is to continue to believe in his faithfulness and refuse to give up. This was what the churches in Macedonia did. Outwardly, they had many troubles and were poor but they refused to allow their external circumstances to rob them of their joy and their rich generosity. They were rich in the inside. In other words they still believed God wanted them to be rich even if they could not experience it outwardly. They chose to believe in the truth of God and not on the lies of theology.

3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.
4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.
2 Corinthians 8:3-4 (NLT)

They wanted to sow. They even begged Paul “for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.” They were givers. Why would they be so eager to give when they were outwardly poor themselves? The answer is, they must be very rich in the inside. They must have strong faith and wanted to sow for their prosperity. They were practicing the principle of sowing and reaping. If there were theologians there, I am sure these churches would be labeled as “Prosperity Churches”.

5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
2 Corinthians 8:5 (NLT)

They did more than what Paul had hoped for. Their priority was to give themselves to the Lord and to the apostles. They obeyed God. Likewise, we need to realize that we need to set our priorities right. If you really want to be rich beyond your wildest dreams, you need to get your priorities right. Once your will is in line with God’s will, there is no limit on how much prosperity you can have.

6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving.
7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.
2 Corinthians 8:6-7 (NLT)

In Verse 6, Paul wanted the Corinthians to learn more about giving. Verse 7 tells us that the Corinthians had excelled in many areas but not in giving. So, Paul wanted them to excel in it as well. Why was that so? In God’s mind, giving is the vital source of prosperity. The Bible is full of passages that tell us the benefits of giving. In God’s system, giving will make us rich. Paul must be serious in wanting the Corinthians to be rich.

8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.
2 Corinthians 8:8 (NLT)

This verse sets Paul apart from the theologians. Paul had never manipulated people for money the way religious pastors have done. He was not after their money. He wanted to know the level of the Corinthians love compared to other churches. In other words, Paul wanted to find out what the weak points are in order to fix them. Paul was an engineer.

9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9 (NLT)

This is the truth that is able to shatter the foundation of theology. Jesus died poor at the Cross, to make us rich. Paul was trying to convince his audience that God is committed to make them rich. He even sent Jesus to die poor for us to live rich. How can Christians ever be poor? A poor Christian is a contradiction in terms. If you are a Christian and you are poor, it is not God’s fault. He had done the extreme to make you rich. He sent Jesus to die poor for you to live rich. The question here is, are you using his way to get rich? Are you giving? Are you sowing seeds for your prosperity?

10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it.
11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have.
2 Corinthians 8:10-11 (NLT)

Looks like the Corinthians were eager to give but along the way their enthusiasm died off. Why? They must have heard theologians telling them that giving does not work. So and so had given a lot of money but is still very poor. This is the common tactic used by religious people. No matter what the Bible says, they will find some examples that show otherwise. What do you think will happen if you listen to them? The answer is nothing. Your situation will not change.

God may have sent Jesus to die poor for us to live rich but we need to activate our riches with our giving. Giving is the solution to poverty. If you do not wish to live poor, start giving.

In Verse 11, Paul advised the Corinthians to start giving. The last part says “Give in proportion to what you have.” By the way, I am doing the same now. There are 2 implications to this principle of giving in proportion.

The first is, we can always afford to give. Assuming that you have fixed the proportion of 10% of you income and you have earned $10, then give $1.

The second implication is, it will result in exponential growth in your wealth. Let us do some projections. Let us assume that you intend to give 10% of your income and receive 100 times of harvest from your giving.

 You have $10.
 You give away 10%, which is $1.
 You get 100 times of what you have given, which is $100.
 You give away 10% of that harvest, which is $10.
 You get 100 times of what you have given, which is $1,000.
 You give away 10% of that harvest, which is $100.
 You get 100 times of what you have given, which is $10,000.
 You give away 10% of that harvest, which is $1,000.
 You get 100 times of what you have given, which is $100,000.
 You give away 10% of that harvest, which is $10,000.
 You get 100 times of what you have given, which is $1,000,000.

You can be a millionaire by starting to give $1! This is what happens when we give in proportion to what we have.

12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.
13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality.
2 Corinthians 8:12-13 (NLT)

Another condition we need to fulfil in our sowing is we must do it willingly. If you were forced to give, you will not receive any harvest. Give what you have and do it eagerly. Give because you believe in God’s faithfulness in keeping his promises and not because you are threatened by anyone.

Don’t over-give either. Farmers do not sow all their seeds. They keep some for their daily expenses until the next harvest. So, you must not give anything away unless God specifically told you to do so. If God really tells you that, he himself will ensure that your daily needs will be met until you receive your harvest.

14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.
2 Corinthians 8:14 (NLT)

Paul was looking at the churches as a part of a global community. Not all of us experience setbacks at the same time. So, if we have a good network those who are prospering can help those who are facing difficulties. In this way, we can ensure that the body of Christ will never be poor. However, I don’t see such network in place. Maybe should start one.

15 As the Scriptures say, “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.”
2 Corinthians 8:15 (NLT)

Paul was reminding his audience that God’s system of giving is different from the world’s system. In the world’s system, giving makes you poorer. However, in God’s system, giving makes you richer. So, don’t see giving as a burden or a sacrifice to your finances. Giving is an opportunity to be rich. Look forward to it!

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2 Responses to “2 Corinthians 8:1-15”

  1. y Says:

    “When you are criticizing and trying to bring someone down, without ever praying for him, you are just a big liar.”
    – ST

    Pray for Mr Yeap. 🙂
    He is just another sinner, like you, like me; no better, no worse.

    “If any theologian thinks I should not be a christian, my response is :I do not need your permission.” – Mr Yeap
    Exactly, very true, Mr Yeap! 😀
    In the same way, GOD is never obliged to prosper anyone, mister.
    GOD’s plan for you, be it a prosperity plan or a poverty plan, be it a healthy plan or a sickening plan, is the best plan and your will must joyfully adjust with His’.
    And I wonder if you can use bible verses for other things besides prosperity, Mr Yeap.

    If through being poor and sick, we can glorify GOD and conform Christ, do not ever let poverty and disease leave us, Father.

    Have a healthy serious discussion. 😀
    Signing off.

    soli DEO gloria

  2. Yeap Chee Seng Says:

    I would like to point out that my latest guest y has the highest level of theology compared to the rest. I have never seen the rest praying for poverty and disease.

    As for the rest of you, learn from y. This guy is truly committed to theology.


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