It is a Divine grace to happily support the church financially. A person who gladly gives to the cause of the Gospel has been blessed by God with such affection. This is noted in 2 Corinthians 8:1. Paul testifies to the grace of God which was given in the churches of Macedonia (v.1). This kind of giving is a fruit of the Spirit (see vv.1-6).
Financially supporting the church is also a gracious work (v.7) reflective of Christ’s gracious work on the church’s behalf (v.9). Paul’s argument in verse 8 is especially intriguing.
“I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.”
In verses 1-7, the churches of Macedonia are examples of what the grace of God works within His people. Paul says clearly that this testimony proves through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love. How is it that the attributes of another person’s love prove the sincerity of another person’s love?
Because God is the Giver of the love present in both persons. Paul argues, implicitly, that the love of every Christian is the same in nature. Each Christian is a new creation (5:17) via the power of God in regeneration. This is the act of God whereby the God-hating heart is replaced with a God-loving heart. Nothing is more fundamental to the believer than affections for Christ (ex. Jn 1:9-13) as his entire existence is now happy with a Christocentric universe (Phil 1:21; Col 1:15-17).
Paul says that loving Christ more than money is a product of God in the Christian’s life (vv.1-6). He then implies something radical: it is always a mark of the Christian (v.8). And this makes sense, right? To love money more than Christ is to worship a monetary idol, to make a golden calf of George Washington. True Christianity, then, is always evident in a congregation’s willingness to abandon earthly riches for the Gospel’s sake.