In 2nd corinthians 8:5 at the end I don’t quite understand if it means to also give yourselves to the people or just to God. I was wondering if you could help since i am teaching a class on stewardship.


In the passage in question, Paul describes how the Macedonian Christians had given themselves "first to the Lord and then to us, in keeping with God’s will."   What Paul is referring to here is giving, first, to the needs of the local church (first to the Lord), then, when the needs of the local church are met, to give to the special contribution that Paul was arranging to take care of the needs of the Jerusalem church.   I do not believe there is much of a doctrinal nature to learn here.  I believe we are being given a principle rather than a command.  The context implies this.   The principle is that the local church ought to meet the local needs, but they ought, if at all possible, help other ministries, such as other churches or needs of other sorts.  The possibilities are very broad.  The other needs to be met might be benevolent ministries, missions or many other things.

John Oakes

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