"excel in this grace of giving" (2 Cor. 8:7)

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Overflowing grace: 2 Corinthians

This three-session bible study looks at Paul's sensitive, detailed and challenging teaching about giving. As the church in Corinth loses enthusiasm for its gift to Jerusalem, Paul encourages the members to understand giving as the overflow of God's grace, obedient discipleship and as sowing a seed of spiritual blessing.
In 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, Paul offers the most detailed teaching on giving in the bible. Never losing sight of the material needs of the impoverished church in Jerusalem, Paul directs the attention of his hearers (the letter would have been read aloud in the church assembly) to the heart of the giver. He urges the Corinthian church to see giving as an act of grace that will result in both praise to God and a spiritual reward to the church. Yet Paul is also at pains to show that the money is being handled well and that the church should be practical in preparing the gift. His writing has much to teach us about giving as a commitment of the heart and of the will.