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The Scriptorium

Grace Enriched

Grace and the mind of Christ. 2 Corinthians 8.6-9

2 Corinthians 8 (2)

Pray Psalm 33.1-5
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the LORD with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the LORD is right,
And all His work is done in truth.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

Sing Psalm 33.1-5.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
Sing with rejoicing in the LORD, for praise becomes His righteous ones!
With harps and songs raise grateful words, and let new songs of praise be sung!

Joyfully shout! His Word is true; He does His work in faithfulness.
His love prevails the whole world through; the LORD loves truth and righteousness.

Read 2 Corinthians 8.1-9; meditate on verses 6-9.

1. How did Paul refer to Titus’ mission to the Corinthians?

2. What example did Paul give the Corinthians?

Here Paul summarizes the operation of grace, as embodied in our Lord Jesus Christ, and shows us why grace is so much to be desired in the churches of the Lord.

Grace is self-denying, for it focuses on the need of others and seeks their enrichment, that is, that they might be brought near to God and reign with Him. By his going to the Corinthians, Titus sought to enrich them in the grace of God, and Paul “urged” him to do so (v. 6). He hoped that Titus’ work among them might result in their abounding in the grace of giving as well as in returning to the Yes Path with Jesus (v. 7).

Paul sought to develop the Corinthians’ love for others (v. 8). He set the example of Jesus before them. Jesus ruled with the Father, in all the joy, might, beauty, and pleasure such a position entails; yet He laid aside all those great riches and became poor (v. 9). That is, He came among us, identified with us, saw our need, and gave Himself to meet our need, that we in Him might be exalted to the right hand of the Father, seated with Jesus in glory, ruling in His Kingdom, and growing in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit.

Where people imitate Jesus, they will deny themselves, seek the wellbeing and prosperity of their neighbors, and give of themselves and their time, treasure, and talent so that others might be exalted into the Presence of Jesus, and there know fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.

Thus the grace God shows us we show to others, and grace is greatly enriched all around for Jesus’ sake.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162.
“See that you abound in this grace also” (2 Cor. 8.7).

Having the mind of Christ is this “also” grace. As Paul wrote, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2.4-8).

Most fairy tales and novels dwell on the theme of “rags to riches” as the quintessential ending to the story being told. Some, no doubt, digress, but most that we enjoy employ this genre. Jesus, however, did the opposite. Do we ever stop to think about the grandeur He left to take our sins upon Himself? I mean really think about it? He had to agree to forego indoor plumbing and hot and cold running water to be hated, abused, and gruesomely killed. He had to leave the Presence of His Father, and angels who did His every bidding, to be spurned and taken advantage of. For thirty-three long years. To become grace and love personified. For His enemies. (Rom. 5.8). “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people” (Ps. 22.6).

That is the mind that should be in us (1 Cor. 2.16). That is how we, too, can abound in grace. When we set our mind on the things above, not on things on the earth (Col. 3.2). The Kingdom reality is thus: “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3.3). Therefore, this can be our mindset if we so choose.

“His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (1 Pet. 1.3, 4).

Dwelling upon the incredible love and grace of Jesus Christ, and considering what He gave up to come and save us, encourages us to a life of extreme grace-spreading, setting our minds to “abound in this grace also.”

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home there was found no room
For Thy holy nativity:
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus!
There is room in my heart for Thee.

(E.E.S. Elliott, 1864)

For reflection
1. We have the mind of Christ. How do you experience that?

2. How does having the mind of Christ help us as grace-spreaders in the world?

3. What can you do to be more consistent in thinking with the mind of Christ?

To all these good things the apostle desires them to add this grace also, to abound in charity to the poor. The best arguments for Christian duties, are drawn from the grace and love of Christ. Though he was rich, as being God, equal in power and glory with the Father, yet he not only became man for us, but became poor also.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on 2 Corinthians 8.7-9

Pray Psalm 33.13-22.
Pray that God will prepare the hearts of the people you see today to know and receive His grace from you. Pray that He will use you to enrich others with His grace by all your words and deeds.

Sing Psalm 33.13-22.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
God from His throne looks down on men; He knows our works and made our hearts.
Let not Your Church, let none depend on strength or skill or human arts.

God watches those who fear His Name, who hope upon His grace and love:
He keeps their souls from death and shame who trust in Him Who reigns above.

God is our Helper and our Shield; upon us let Your grace descend!
We hope in You; to You we yield; we trust in Jesus to the end.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Need some help in reading, studying, and hearing the Word of God? Our book, The Joy and Rejoicing of My Heart, can help. Learn more and order your copy here or a free PDF of the book here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable by 
clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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