1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:
Chapters 8 and 9 are two of the crucial chapters on biblical giving. We learn more about biblical giving in these chapters than anywhere else in Scripture.
1 Moreover, brethren,
The word “moreover” transitions to the new subject of biblical giving. Paul’s use of “brethren” indicates that he was now approaching the Corinthians about giving in a collegial way.
we make known to you
Paul made it plain that he wanted the Corinthians to know something in particular.
the grace of God
“Grace” in this context means that the Macedonian churches experienced God’s grace in salvation and the Christian way of life; the grace that impacted their lives manifested itself in generosity toward the poor Jerusalem church.
“Grace” occurs 10 times in chapters 8 and 9. It is at the core of what it means to give (18 times in 2 Corinthians). There are several renderings of the Greek word “grace” in chapters 8 and 9, such as “grace,” “favor,” “gift,” and “thanks.”
bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:
The churches in the Macedonian province in northern Greece gave to the needy church in Jerusalem (Ro 15:26; 1 Co 16:3). This would include churches in Philippi, Berea, and Thessalonica, churches that Paul visited on his second and third missionary enterprises (Ac 16-17:15; 20:1-6). These churches were examples for the Corinthian church.
New Testament giving is unique.
Grace-giving is different than Jewish giving. In the Old Testament, you had to give a percentage of income, which was 23.3% per year if you average the tithes over three years. That is set in contrast to New Testament giving, which is whatever God puts on a person’s heart. It is up to the heart’s desire of individual Christians as to how much they should contribute to the Lord.