Answered by: BibleAsk Team

Date:

What’s the meaning of Paul’s fundraising?

Automatic Transcript Generated

Speaker 1

Julie is asking, can you unpack the concept of Paul fundraising in light of two corinthians eight? So I love this question, Julie, and honestly, I think it’s a really important one. I think there’s a lot of lessons into it. It really helps us understand what’s going on during the New Testament Church time. And so I’m going to give it disappointing me by my long answer before the night, but I think it’s going to be a great, interesting experience for all of us.

Speaker 1

So let’s dive in and I’m going to give us like full context. I hope it’s full context. I’m sure there’s always a whole lot more we don’t know, but maybe some greater context to understand what this is that’s happening. Because again, I’ve seen people defend false doctrines based on misunderstanding, even what Paul is trying to do, maybe not even in this verse, but even in other books that are all actually related to this. So first it’s important to understand the big picture, which actually goes all the way back to Genesis 1032.

Speaker 1

And that’s where we have the whole table of nations, as it’s called in Genesis ten. And that chapter ends with this. It says, These were the families of the nations of Noah according to their generations in their nations, and from these nations were divided on the earth after the Flood. And that dividing came about during the Tower of Babel, and people then spread out were all over the place. And we’re now separate nations as opposed to having one language and a bit more unity there.

Speaker 1

And God starts hinting throughout the Old Testament that God is going to bring back these nations into the fold, that his plan someday was. It wouldn’t be just all about the Jews, but the Gentiles and the Jews would all come together again into God’s family.

Speaker 1

And there’s this interesting verse that’s going to be, I think, very related to what we’re talking about today and was probably very much on Paul’s mind as he was the minister, the apostle to the nations, sorry. To the gentiles. And we read Malachi 111. It says, or from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, my name shall be great among the Gentiles in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering for My name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. So this isn’t the only one.

Speaker 1

There’s other verses you could check out, like Isaiah 56, six to seven. But Paul knows, okay, there’s going to be this gathering of the Gentiles. I’m supposed to be preaching to the Gentiles. And there’s this aspect of an offering. Then we also need to think back of what’s going on during this time.

Speaker 1

The Christian Church started off with Jews, and they had the Ten Commandments, they had all the traditions, they had all the rules, the Levitical rules, all these things, the ceremonies. And there was this sort of this debate going on during the early church of how much of this do we still need to keep? And a lot of these Jews are now Christians start thinking and promoting this idea that as the Gentiles join the Christian church, they need to look more like Jews, and they need to start being like Jews. They need to be circumcised. They need to do all these things that Jews do.

Speaker 1

And there’s almost also like this, animosity xenophobias in the church, right? All of a sudden, can imagine being around all Jews, and then the next year, all of a sudden, there’s all these Gentiles now on your church. I think we even today as Christians deal with this, where a lot of people get too comfortable in the church with their friends and people they already know, and you start bringing in the people off the street, and now they’re like, oh, this isn’t the church I want. And they intentionally discourage the very people from coming to church that we should be bringing into church. And this is kind of what’s going on.

Speaker 1

And Paul needs to deal with this issue. So how can he get the Jews excited about the Gentiles joining the church? And he wants to use this idea of an offering. He wants to show that these people, the Gentiles, are excited about their faith, and they want to support the Jews. So he’s collecting money from them.

Speaker 1

And let’s read what Paul has to say about this in the book of Romans. Romans 15, sign of verse 25, he says, but now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints, for it pleased those from Macedonia and Archaea to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of the spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. So you’re saying, like, they received a lot of benefit from the Jews.

Speaker 1

The Jews had the oracles of truth. Jesus was a Jew. The Jews are preaching to the gentiles. They should be grateful to the Jews and return that financially. So going back to Romans 15 now, verse 28 says, therefore, if I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain.

Speaker 1

Why is Spain? Well, people in Spain actually are part of that table of nations, and he wants to get to all the nations. Going back to his thinking, verse 29, he says, but I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ. Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints. So he’s burning.

Speaker 1

He’s concerned about how he’s going to be received in Jerusalem. He wants these people to be excited again about the Gentiles that are entering into the church. And there’s also now a third reason, I would say, why Paul is wanting to take this offer. And this was a big thing he did for almost all the churches he went through. He would prep them for a big offering.

Speaker 1

Acts 26 20. Paul speaking sort of looking backwards, talking about what he did with the Gentiles. He says Acts 26, verse 21st, he was speaking in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles. I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. Now, we spoke previously that faith that does not express itself in works is not really living faith, it’s not really legit faith that’s going to save.

Speaker 1

And Paul’s showing them, you guys need to show, prove your faith to outward acts. And I believe he’s referring here as part of it, by generous giving, showing that gratitude, god has blessed you, Jews have bless you, now return that with what you have, which for these people would be financial means. So we’re talking about two Corinthians. The second Corinthians is second, because there’s actually a letter before, so there’s some context that Paul can even give us. In that first letter regarding what’s going on.

Speaker 1

In the second, Paul writes, one Corinthians 16, one to three says, now, concerning the collections for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do. Also, on the first day of the week, let each one of you lay something aside, storing up, as he may prosper that there be no collection when I come. What’s he saying you guys should be ready, setting aside, ready to start collecting money on your own. Store it up, like on your own in your house, so that when I show up, I’m going to be able to collect it. Verse three, he says, When I come, whoever you approve by your letters, I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.

Speaker 1

So Paul’s saying, I’m coming, I’m coming to make a big collection. Start sending that money aside at the first day of every week at your home. A lot of people use this as proof and somehow evidence that, see, look, Christian church was meeting on Sundays because they’re taking, they’re collecting offerings on Sunday. This is not what Paul’s talk about. He’s talked about like, you guys should be continually now setting aside money on the first day of the week, making this a priority in your life.

Speaker 1

This is a big deal. Set aside money your first day of the week for a collection that will then be sent to Jerusalem.

Speaker 1

So we then come now to two Corinthians, eight, six to seven. Let’s see now if this background makes sense. Now, two Corinthians eight, verse six to seven. I’m reading from the NIV here, and it says, so we urge Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything, in faith and speech and knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in the love we have kindled in you, see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

Speaker 1

Two Corinthians 813 to 15, he says, For I do not mean that others should be eased and you be burdened, but by an equality that now, at this time your abundancy may supply their lack, and that their abundance may also supply your lack, that there may be equality. As it is written, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. This is a profound statement here where, again, what I was talking about earlier. The Jews had the knowledge, they had the spiritual understanding, they had the oracles of God, so they could give that. But they were poor, they were broke, they were under oppression and persecution, worse than the Gentiles were at the time.

Speaker 1

But the Gentiles, paul’s going to the big cities, the Chambers of Commerce, all these places, and they had plenty of money. So Paul’s saying, Use your money to fund them. Jews are going to support you spiritually. And that way everybody within the church is taken care of. And this is kind of almost like an internal insurance policy where the church should, through the diversity of members and everybody giving, nobody should be homeless, nobody should be destitute, because when someone’s doing great financially, their means can help somebody else.

Speaker 1

And then maybe that person then will have a good year, and they could take care of the person who had a great year earlier, but maybe suffering now. This is how church should be. And it’s sort of as a failure of the churches to do this job, maybe, that we’ve ended up with this system we have now where it’s the government doing this and insurance doing it. And really, church should be that place where we take care of each other, support each other. So hope that gives you an interesting background.

Speaker 1

Definitely a lot going on here. And it was a big deal to Paul to take these offerings, and we don’t speak of it as being such a big deal these days. Thank you for asking. King.

For the full episode:
https://youtu.be/MOET9YdRN2s

Share this video with a friend:
https://youtu.be/_OszTJp_l5s

In His Service
BibleAsk Team

More Answers: