Introduction: This Sunday we continued our 'What If?' Series and our Big Idea was that God’s promises are true no matter how laughable they may seem. Tonight we continue to studying the promises of God



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Introduction: This Sunday we continued our 'What If?' Series and our Big Idea was that God’s promises are true no matter how laughable they may seem. Tonight we continue to studying the promises of God, specifically looking at God's promise to make us "rich." One small note, this passage refers heavily to the Macedonian churches, and it's important to note that the church in Phillipi, which we read about last week, is one of these Macedonian churches.
Step 1: Life Group Leader asks for a volunteer in the group to read the passage of scripture
2 Corinthians 8:1-7
1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lords people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
Step 2: Life Group Leader asks the group 'What are some things that you observe from this passage?
This is also a place for your Life Group Participants to ask questions about the passage. Questions are a form

of observation. 'What questions do you have about the passage we just read?'


Life Group Leader Resources on Possible Observations

Vs. 1-2 - The opportunity for the Macedonian churches to be generous was God's grace to them.

Vs. 3 - The Macedonian churches didn't give only what they were able to give. They gave beyond their ability.

Vs. 4 - The Macedonian churches begged for the privilege of giving their resources to the work of God.

Vs. 5 - Ultimately, the Macedonian's generosity was first and foremost given to the Lord.

Vs. 6-7 - Paul wants the Macedonian's generosity to encourage the Corinthians to excel in the grace of giving as well.


Step 3: Life Group Leader asks the group 'How can we apply this passage to our lives?'
Life Group Leader Resources on Possible Applications
Vs. 1-2 - I need to look at generosity not as something I am "supposed to do", but an opportunity of God's grace towards me.

Vs. 3 - I am called to not ask what can I give, but God what would you have me give.

Vs. 4 - I should not wait for opportunities to arise to be generous. I should be asking God and others how I can be generous.

Vs. 5 - I need to ultimately see my generosity first as a gift to God, and secondly as a gift to his church and his people.

Vs. 6-7 - I need to make it a point to learn from the generosity of others, to compel me to grow in the discipline myself.
Commentary on 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
In this series, we have been meditating on 28 of the promises of God. As we look at the rest of this passage, make sure to pay attention to the promise given in verse 9.
Step 1: Life Group Leader asks for a volunteer in the group to read the passage of scripture
2 Corinthians 8:8-9
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
Step 2: Life Group Leader asks the group 'What are some things that you observe from this passage?
This is also a place for your Life Group Participants to ask questions about the passage. Questions are a form of observation. 'What questions do you have about the passage we just read?'
Life Group Leader Resources on Possible Observations

Vs. 8 - Paul used the Corinthians generosity as a litmus test to the sincerity of their love.

Vs. 8 - Paul isn't giving them a mandate, but he wants their hearts to be transformed to be generous.

Vs. 9 - God's grace to us was that he was rich, yet became poor, that he might make us rich. He did this so that we could live in the PROMISE of living in His riches.

Vs. 9 - Paul used the generosity of the Macedonians, and now of Jesus, so that the Corinthians would also be generous. IF they would be generous in the same way, Paul is PROMISING they would live in the riches of righteousness found in Jesus.

Vs. 9 - Jesus' sacrifice for us is our ultimate model of generosity.


Step 3: Life Group Leader asks the group 'How can we apply this passage to our lives?'
Life Group Leader Resources on Possible Applications

Vs. 8 - I need to start checking the level of my love by measuring my generosity.

Vs. 9 - I need to discipline myself to meditate on the gospel more, to help me develop a discipline of generosity.
Step 4: Life Group Leaders leads the group into a time of prayer: 'Let's pray that God would help us take next steps to apply this passage to our lives.'
Life Group Leader Resources on Possible Prayers

Father, give me a heart to see opportunities for generosity as your grace towards me.

Father, give me ears to hear what you want me to give, not what I want to give.

Father, I don't want to cheat you of gifts that only you deserve.



Father, help me understand your grace towards me.

Commentary on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9
The present passage suggests that the Macedonian churches were poorer than the assembly in Corinth. This is understandable given the wealth of the Achaian capital, which was proverbial. Yet the northern cities of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Beroea where the Macedonian churches were located, though exploited by their Roman masters, were by no means indigent. This raises the question why Paul should speak of the “deep poverty” of these churches. The most likely explanation is probably to be found in the words “in great testing of [their] affliction,” which point to persecution of the believers in the the Macedonian churches. Local social ostracism with its accompanying economic disadvantages to believers perhaps best explains Paul’s reference to the Macedonians’ “great testing of affliction.” (New International Commentary 2 Corinthians, Barnett)
The failure of the Corinthians to complete the collection forms the background to the writing of chapters 8–9 in the present letter. These chapters are written in the expectation that the collection at Corinth will be completed in time for Paul’s impending final visit (8:11, 24; 9:4). (New International Commentary 2 Corinthians, Barnett)
This is an important statement in the flow of the letter. Now (at last!) Paul explains to the church in Corinth why he has sent Titus back to them. He had prepared the readers for this moment by his joyful account of Titus’s affection for the Corinthians when he was recently with them, which he gave at the close of the previous passage (7:13–15). Titus’s return to the Achaian capital was prompted by the Macedonian churches’ unanticipated interest in, and, indeed, their unexpected generosity toward, the collection (vv. 1–5). So, mindful that Titus had initiated the collection, Paul has urged him to return to Corinth to bring it to completion. (New International Commentary 2 Corinthians, Barnett)
Now that Titus has returned from Corinth with good news of the discipline of the offender (7:6–12) Paul, further encouraged by Macedonian interest in the collection, but aware of the difficulties in Corinth on account of it, urges Titus to return to Achaia to bring it to finality. Titus would be the bearer of the present letter (cf. 8:16–17; 12:17–18), whose chapters 8–9 were devoted to the exhortation that the Corinthians bring it to completion. Let the Corinthians resolve this matter before the Macedonian representatives arrive, so as to be spared embarrassment (cf. 9:4). (New International Commentary 2 Corinthians, Barnett)
Most probably Paul would have the Corinthians and other readers understand that believers are “rich” in the “righteousness of God” through Jesus’ death for them, as proclaimed by the ministers of reconciliation. The possession of these riches is, by God’s promise, “now,” although their inheritance is physically entered into at the end time, the gift of the Holy Spirit being the “deposit” in the meantime of what is to come (5:5; cf. Gal 5:5; Rom 8:23–24). (New International Commentary 2 Corinthians, Barnett)




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