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. His use of “brethren” indicates that he is now approaching the Corinthians about giving in a collegial way.
we make known to you
Paul makes it plain that he wants the Corinthians to know something in particular.
the grace of God
“Grace” in this context means that the Macedonian churches experience 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 ten 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 to the Corinthian church.
New Testament giving is unique.
Grace-giving is different than Jewish giving. In the Old Testament, you had to give percentages of income, which averaged 23 and 1/3% per year. This is not “thou shalt” but “if you will” give. It up to the heart’s desire of each Christian as to how much they should contribute to the Lord.