In 2 Corinthians 8:1-6, we saw Paul gently call the church in Corinth to give sacrificially to a collection he planned to deliver to Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. We saw that Paul chiefly desired to use the collection to strengthen the unity of the church (Jews with Gentiles) for the sake of the advance of the Gospel. In the text for this Lord’s Day (2 Corinthians 8:7-15), Paul explained that sacrificial giving proves the genuineness of the Christian’s love because it exhibits true Christ-likeness.
The hymns in our worship service will draw out the connection between Christ’s sacrifice of love and the Christian’s generous giving.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship Psalm 100
Notes: This hymn begins with amazement the we mortals have the privilege of joining the angels to proclaim the praise of our mighty God. In view of Christ’s “free redemption,” we resolve to break our “guilty silence.” The third verse echoes the truth of 2 Corinthians 8:9: “Sing the Lord who came to die; From the highest throne of glory, to the cross of deepest woe . . . .”
Worship through Giving
Response: Hymn 72 Glory Be to God the Father
Notes: The offering is an essential component of worship. It expresses our praise to God—praise for his greatness and his goodness. Because he is great, all that we have and all that we are comes from him. Because he is good, he is the source of all blessing. Chief among these blessings is the love whereby he “washed us from each spot and stain.”
Hymn 335 And Can It Be?
Notes: Charles Wesley’s magnificent hymn vividly recounts the story of Christ’s saving work. The third verse makes unmistakable reference to Philippians 2:6-8, a passage that describes Christ’s incarnation as self “emptying” (v. 7), an event described in 8:9 of the sermon text.
Scripture Reading Philippians 2:1-18
Notes: Paul tells us that Christ emptied himself, i.e., laid aside the display of his attributes (his glory), in order to become one of us. As one of us, he lived and died for us. Truly, he who was rich became poor for our sakes.
Hymn 462 Be Thou My Vision
Notes: Faith in Christ gives the believer a new worldview. Our driving passions transcend the creation; our ultimate longings focus on our Creator. Therefore we sing, “Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise; Thou mine inheritance, now and always.”
Message Gracious Giving: The Supreme Example
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn Insert (Tune: 643) All Praise to Thee, for Thou, O King Divine
Notes: The lyrics to this hymn are new to us, but the tune is very familiar. It is a prayer that the transforming work of the gospel will enable us to live out the imperative we find in Philippians 2:5 and expresses our longing for that day when every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Prayer Response Mark Williams
Benediction John Miles