by Gene Heacock (Interim Teaching Pastor)
First The Gospel Then Giving
Focus on the new nature that we receive through conversion. I will preach the gospel in a different format and then return to the Macedonians.
The big idea: All giving is grace based (8:1), inspired by the sacrifice of Christ (8:9), and prompted by the Holy Spirit (8:10).
How do you and I learn something deeply, at our core? Albert Switzer said there are 3 ways: by example, by example, and by example.
And so it is with us by Christ’s sacrifice, by Christ’s sacrifice, and by Christ’s sacrifice.
The Gospel is not only about the forgiveness of sin but the heart of the gospel is that we are given a new heart.
What is the first two-letter word a child will say?? “NO!” And the first four-letter word is usually, “MINE!!”
When we come to Christ our nature changes so not only do we have a new position with the Father but now we possess the nature of the Father.
- The heart of the gospel is not just the forgiveness of sins
- The heart of the gospel is that we might share His nature
- The heart of the gospel is that we can have a new heart
Illustration – Forgiveness like sanitizing the kitchen. Our nature change is like having an impartation of a great chef’s DNA who now creates banquets for the benefit of others.
The Gospel in metaphor…
- The Eternal flame and gasoline
- International Terrorist and an Adoption Agency
- Capitan Francesco Schettino and Jesus The Captain of our Souls
- A High School Student Who Got it Right
- Macedonians and The Manchesterians — you and I
Expound the metaphor as they unfold the nature of God, the work of Christ, and the impartation of our new nature.
Examine scripture that states we have a problem with actions-sins but much, much deeper is our nature (Eph:2:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ identified with our fallen nature and was consumed by God’s justice so that we did not have to endure the judgment of God and not only did He give us forgiveness but a brand new nature, His DNA – His heart of generosity
A High School Student who got it right – the story of John Cecil Rhodes…
Paul uses a Spirit-led strategy to build the case for giving through Christ’s sacrifice, the Macedonians example, and the Spirits leading.
2 Cor 8:8-12:
- v8 not commanding but calling out your new nature to respond like others-beauty of example
- v9 Christ gave His utmost and now we are related to Him follow the family line
- v 10 Listen to the Spirit’s prompting
- v 11 Allow generosity to flow out of your heart and trust that there is a provision of resurrection.
- As the Spirit prompts so the Spirit provides
- v 12 Consistency reflects the sacrifice of Christ staying on the Cross to accomplish the work, without faltering and with follow through
Summary: Their new Nature led the Macedonians.
- They loved people they did not know
- They loved people they could not see
- They loved people that were not like them
- They loved people that exceeded human limitations
Their act of giving transcended their circumstances. It was a Holy revolt against their horrible circumstances.
They gave to the one above their circumstances so as not to be controlled by their present pain.
Illustration Ann Marie Kurko – laughing at grace and her story of generosity hilarious 2 Cor 9:7
Taking it Home SBF questions from Pastor Gregg:
- How does the sacrifice of Christ effect your time, talents, and treasure?
- In what ways has God been generous to you? What does Paul mean that through Christ’s poverty we have become “rich”?
- How does generosity preach the gospel to those in need?
- What do your finances say about your theology?
- What sparks “desire”?
- Are you generous in proportion to your ability?
- Why or why not?
- How does our generosity reveal our heart and our idols?
 Within the depravity of the human heart there is a need, a hunger to idolize. Tim Keller, in his book, Counterfeit Gods, explains that Scripture teaches the human heart is an “idol factory” (p. xiv). Idolatry quietly and subtly slips into our lives when we allow good things to become ultimate things. Another way to understand this is to think of idols as functional saviors (Jerry Bridges, The Bookends of the Christian Life, p 72).