Christ Our Pattern

A little child in church for the first time watched as the ushers passed the offering plates.When they neared the pew where he sat, the youngster piped up so that everyone could hear: “Don’t pay for me Daddy. I’m under five.” (Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author). … More


I have known  pastors, missionaries  and Bible school students who argue that since they devote their whole life to serving the Lord, they are not obligated to give financially to the Lord’s work. This passage says just the opposite is true (vv. 7-8). If you are wonderfully gifted from God, you ought to want to give more. You know that our Lord Jesus Christ was kind enough to give up all his riches and become poor, so that you could become rich (v. 9). Paul had every right to expect the Corinthian church to participate in  this  special offering. This was their expressed desire more than a  year before this. He is only asking that they follow through with their original commitment (vv. 10-11). How disappointing it must be to our Lord to see an individual or  church promise to support a missionary and then when he gets on the mission field they drop him.

Dr. Charles Ryrie in his teaching on this book says that we should study “Faith  Promise” giving in the context of verse 12, where it states that a gift “is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” The whole emphasis of “Faith Promise” giving is that we don’t promise to  give something that we have, but instead promise to give something that we don’t have. Then we will trust the Lord to provide. Our giving needs to be in proportion to our income. Paul says, I am not trying to make life easier for others by making life harder for you (v. 13). But it is only fair for you to share with them when you have so much, and they have so little (vv 14-15).

Three Levels of Giving:

  1. You have to. (law)
  2. You ought to. (obligation)
  3. You want to. (grace)


I need to be a good steward by example. I will look for opportunities to teach others how they can give to the Lord’s work if they just trust the Lord to meet their needs instead of going into debt.

II Corinthians 8:7-15 (English Standard Version)

But as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you--see that you excel in this act of grace also. I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 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 by his poverty might become rich. And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, "Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »