Thursday, August 6, 2020

Thursday – 2nd Corinthians 8 - Material Equality in the Church



AVING attended good Bible believing churches all my life, it is sad that I have never heard a message on material equality in the church. It is strange because material equality was present in the first church (Acts 4:32 & 2:45-46). It is strange because Paul clearly addressed this issue here in 2nd Corinthians 8. Paul was certainly not preaching modern socialism of communism of any sort (especially not by coercion or administered by secular government). The equality that Paul promoted (vs. 13-15) was supposed to be a natural outgrowth of Christian love. It was a voluntary thing (vs. 12). And Paul was an ardent proponent of hard work (Ephesians 4:28 & 2nd Thessalonians 3:10-12).


Now, while we are referencing support passages (1st Tim. 6:17-18), let's include the wisdom of Solomon from passages like Proverbs 3:27-28 & 19:17. And Moses addressed this topic as well in Leviticus 19:10 & 23:22. There it is recorded that the Jews who had plenty were supposed to share with folks who had so much less. Jesus preached this generosity as well in His strong support for the giving of alms (Luke 11:41& 12:33-34), & of general generosity (Luke 6:38).


It's not complicated. God had something that we needed, so He shared. Now He enables us to follow His example. Those of us who have more than we need should be obliged to give to others who have less than they need. Here Paul complimented the Corinthians on their compassion & their generous intentions; their "ready mind" (vs. 19). He bragged unabashedly about the gracious generosity, benevolence, & philanthropy of the Macedonians.

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