Today's passage: 2 Corinthians 9:1-5
- The generosity of the Corinthian church had encouraged others to give as well. Paul now exhorts them to follow through with what he already knows they will do.
- Paul had shared with others such high hopes for the generosity of this church, it would have been an embarrassment to him if they didn't give.
- The offering of the church was to be given willingly. It was not required of them and it was not in return for services (Exaction).
- It was good for Paul to ask, to encourage, etc. He stopped short of any demanding.
Questions to consider:
- Why is it important we have a right understanding of the word, “exaction?” If someone gave to the church “in return of services” how could that go wrong? Why wouldn't it be right for a person to give to a church and then demand certain things be done according to their personal wishes? Or, why wouldn't it be right for a person to “withhold their tithe” until they got what they wanted?
- How does the fact that Paul was an Apostle help us to rightly understand his role in asking the church in Corinth for this gift? Are there people outside of our local church that could do something like this with the same authority today?
- Why do you think Paul wanted to make sure the gift remained a “willing” one? What didn't he want to rob the church of in their giving? What do we lose (Or miss out on) when we are demanded to pay up as opposed to being offered an opportunity to give?