Tracing the Argument of 2 Corinthians 8-9

8:1-9:15: The Giving Ministry Exhorted

8:1-6: By way of Example

1-2: Introduction to the Example of Macedonia

God’s grace appeared in Macedonia’s generous collection, despite their trial and affliction

3-5: Manner Evident in the Example of Macedonia

Their generosity was so apparent, that they gave

i. Abundantly: Gave beyond their power

ii. Entreatingly: Entreated Paul to receive this gift as a token of fellowship and ministry to the saints

iii. Genuinely: Gave themselves first to the Lord and next to Paul by the will of God.

6: The Result Flowing from their Example

Paul desired to register the same grace in them as well.

8:7-15: By way of Appeal

7: The Appeal Itself

Paul desires that they would abound in the grace of giving, as they abound in many graces (faith, utterance, knowledge, diligence, love).

8-15: The Motives Attached to the Appeal

i. 8-9: To test their grace in the light of their knowledge of Christ’s grace

Ground: 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Explanation: that yet for your sakes he became poor,

Concessive that, though he was rich,

Result: that ye through his poverty might be rich.

ii. 10-12: To confirm their past (indication of ) willingness

Proposition 10 You were willing to take this on in the past

Inference: 11 Now therefore perform the doing of it;

Result: that as there was a readiness to will (comparison), so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.

Explanation 12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

iii. 13-15: To demonstrate the principle of equality


Negative 13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:

Positive 14 But by an equality,

Result: that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want,

Result: that their abundance also may be a supply for your want:

Result: that there may be equality:

Comparison: 15 As it is written,
He that had gathered much had nothing over;
and he that had gathered little had no lack.

8:16-24: By way of commending his emissaries

16-22: The Introduction of the Brothers

15-17: Titus

Proposition: 16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.

Explanation: 17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.

18-22: The Brothers Accompanying Titus

Proposition: 18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;

Explanation: 19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:

Purpose 20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:

Manner: 21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

Series: 22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.

23: The Recommendation of the Emissaries

Series: 23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.

24: The Admonition to Show them their love

Inference: 24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

9: 7-9: Text Focus

Inference: 7 Therefore, see that ye abound in this grace also.
Comparison: as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us

Explanation: 8 Negative I speak not by commandment,

Positive but by occasion of the forwardness of others,
and to prove the sincerity of your love.

Ground: 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Explanation: that yet for your sakes he became poor,

Concessive that, though he was rich,

Result: that ye through his poverty might be rich.

Paul exhorts the Corinthians to show liberality and generosity to needy saints as an outgrowth and evidence of a heart transformed by the self-sacrificing grace that was in evidence as that which motivated Christ to lay aside his riches in order to make others rich.
Paul exhorts to the grace of abundant giving

1. the nature of this grace displayed in Christ

2. the participation in this grace by believers

3. the abundance of this grace in forward giving

Extravagant Grace

1. Exhibited in Christ’s sacrifice

2. Elicited by Christ’s servant