Full Of Grace

2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”

Grace is a beautiful word. We use it today to speak of the beauty of motion. We might refer to the “grace” of a gymnast or a figure skater. The word used in the Bible speaks of the giving nature of God. Webster defines it as, “the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from Him.” In other words, grace is the character trait of God that causes Him to want to give what is best to men. This grace is immeasurable. Paul wrote to the Ephesians regarding the giving nature of God,

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. . . “ Ephesians 1:7

“. . . that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7

Notice, he spoke of the riches of grace, and of the exceeding riches of grace. Riches refer to having a great amount. The term exceeding, means too much, or an over abundance. We could say, God has too much grace. So much, He cannot help but pour it out on those who belong to Him.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”

While His grace is more than we could ever completely fathom, it is also something we can measure and experience. It is measured at the cross. It was on the cross, ‘the exceeding riches of His grace” was poured out; Jesus used the simple phrase “He gave His only Son.” Because of the gift of Christ, the grace of God should never be questioned. Instead, it should be scrutinized. We should take our experiences, and measure them in light of the cross of Christ. While I will not even pretend to understand why each of us experiences the particular trial we are facing, I will take my trial and look at it through the eyes of grace, or the shadow of the cross. At the place where Jesus laid down the riches of His glory, in order to pave a way for me to come to God.

His grace is not only measured at the cross, but can also be experienced daily by the believer. Paul wrote, “for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…” This grace was something they were experiencing; because He became poor, they were becoming rich. Now, it is important we understand the language that Paul is using. He is not stating that following Jesus is the path to financial success or great earthly wealth. This is not a get rich quick scheme where, if you follow Jesus and are a faithful tither, you will end up the richest guy on the block. Paul is referring to the wealth of spiritual blessings that belong to the child of God. Earlier in the chapter, he spoke of the Macedonians who, though they were very poor, they were big givers and filled with great joy. As you daily walk with Jesus, you will experience the abundance of His grace flowing out to minister to you, regardless of the difficulty you are facing. If you are questioning His grace, go back to the cross and measure it. Reflect on how God gave His Son.

Pastor Jim

Questions for 2 Corinthians 8

  1. The church back in Jerusalem was experiencing persecution and hard, lean times.  Paul made it his habit to take up a monetary collection for them from the churches he visited, and later to present this gift to the church at Jerusalem.  In verse 1 Paul brings up the churches in Macedonia, who although they were not well off financially, were generous in their giving. Read Luke 21:1-4.  What is important to God about our giving?  In God’s eyes, does having a lot mean that you can give more?
  2. Look at verse 3 and 4. Write down some of the things that characterized the Macedonian church’s giving.
  3. Notice verse 5.  What is the most important part of giving to God?
  4. Look at verse 6 and verses 10-11.  It seems that the Corinthians had made some kind of commitment to give to the church in Jerusalem.  Paul had sent Titus to make sure that they followed through on that commitment.  How important is it to you to keep your word?  What things get in the way of us keeping our promises?  Read Matt 5:33-37 and James 5:12.  Is God reminding you of a commitment that He wants you to follow through on?
  5. Read verses 7-9.  Paul is not giving a legalistic outward command to give.  Rather, he is calling them to follow the example of Jesus in giving all of ourselves for the cause of the kingdom.  Is loving generosity an important value to you?  Do your actions bear this out?
  6. In verses 12-15, Paul builds on the idea that the church is the body of Christ.  Read 1Cor 12:12-27.  Do you consider other as often as you consider yourself?  Especially do you care for others in the body of Christ that way?
  7. Titus had a tremendous reputation.  As you read through this chapter, note some qualities about Titus that are listed here.  This is the same Titus that Paul writes to later in the book of Titus, so keep him in mind when we come to Titus in the regular bible reading in a few weeks.

Old Testament:
Job 33- Ransom
Job 34- Mr. Fix It

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