2nd Corinthians – Wayne Barber/Part 30
By: Dr. Wayne Barber
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2006|
|We’re going to be talking about a brand new subject, as Paul brings it up in chapter 8 and chapter 9. We’re going to be talking about the grace of giving, and this is part 1. Our first message is going to be on the miracle of grace giving.|
The Miracle of Grace Giving – 2 Cor 8:1-5
Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 8. We’re going to be talking about a brand new subject, as Paul brings it up in chapter 8 and chapter 9. We’re going to be talking about the grace of giving, and this is part 1. Our first message is going to be on the miracle of grace giving. You know, it is a miracle when the human heart is turned to giving towards others. And we want to see this today, the miracle of grace giving.
Now let’s go back and let me get you into this. The apostle Paul has said something to us in 6:1 that’s very important for us to remember. He says, “Being workers together with God, we urge you,” and he speaks now to the church of Corinth, “we urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” Now what is he talking about when he says that? And hopefully we’re understanding this. What he’s saying is there are many people who get excited about receiving Christ into their life and they overlook the fact that He is to live His life through their life.
You see, the reason Christ came to live in us, to do through us what we could not do is because He’s the only one that can live the Christian life. No one has ever lived the Christian life but the Lord Jesus. And for a believer to think that he can live the Christian life in his own strength and ability is to receive the grace of God in vain. Christ is the grace of God. He’s the divine enabler of all that He demands in us. In other words, He enables whatever He demands of our life.
I have a friend that preaches this message of Christ in you, the hope of glory and he said a woman came up to him one day and she said, “You know, you preach a God that’s out to hurt us.” And he said, “Oh no, you’re mistaken. He’s not out to hurt us. He’s out to kill us.” He says, “Until we learn to die to ourselves we will never know the fullness of His living through us.” There cannot be two masters here. There’s got to be one living in the life.
Paul says this in Galatians 2:19-21. He says “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live unto God. I have been crucified with Christ.” And, by the way, that word “crucified” is not a nice word. He says, “And it’s no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not nullify, I do not set aside, I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law then Christ died needlessly.”
Well, His enabling grace has been seen in the life of Paul all the way from chapter 1 through chapter 7. In chapter 1 we saw how when Paul was falsely accused and maligned the grace of God in him caused him not to try to handle it by himself. The grace of God, Christ in him, turned him rather to the God of all comfort, and he not only understood that, but he experienced for himself the comfort that only God could give.
In chapter 2 we saw how Paul experienced the grace of God in having a walk that matched his talk. You see, when we yield to Him then our testimony is clear. And this resulted in Paul’s having a clear conscious when he was falsely accused there in chapter 2.
In chapter 3 Paul explains how the glory of God, Christ Himself has come to live in him. He says, “My adequacy is no longer of myself.” He says, “I find my adequacy in the Lord Jesus.” He said, “I don’t consider anything as worthy as coming from myself.” And because of this his ministry was authentic. You see, he was adequate as a minister because of Christ. Therefore his ministry could be authentic.
It was also because of this new covenant living that in chapter 4, Paul never lost heart. Paul had learned the basics. And one of the basics he tells us is we’re earthen vessels. There’s a treasure within us, but we’re just earthen vessels. And that word means an empty clay pot, longing to be filled. With this message pounding in his heart, and with Christ living His life through him, Paul became an ambassador for Christ wherever he went, an official representative of the Lord Jesus. He says he now has a ministry of reconciliation, not just with the lost, but with the believers in the church, because that’s why he’s writing 2 Corinthians is to try to right that relationship that had been broken between those and with him.
I hope you’re seeing this. When we live allowing Christ to be our adequacy, our comfort, our testimony, our ministry, our message then what happens is it’s going to start showing up in our relationships with each other. You see, when you hear a person talk about how they love God and then look at their relationship something’s missing. But when we walk the way we’re supposed to walk then our relationships are what God says they ought to be.
Well, that’s what we saw the last four times. And today we enter into the 8th chapter of our study in 2 Corinthians. And Paul’s going to show the Corinthian church that giving is a result of the grace of God working in a person’s life. What Paul is about to bring up he’s already brought up in his first epistle to them that we have in our Bibles of 1 Corinthians. He said something to them in 1 Corinthians 16, and he said, listen, when I see you the next time I want you to be prepared to give an offering to the poor that are over in Jerusalem and all of Judea. And he hasn’t been back yet. Obviously they have done nothing about what he requested, and so therefore he’s bringing it up again in 2 Corinthians 8.
But in doing so he’s going to help you and me see that giving is a part of the grace of God, of Christ living in us. He produces in us a giving heart. “For God so loved the world that He gave.” This is the heart of God that He wants to produce in you and within me. Giving is not an investment program as some people try to make it in the Christian world. Giving is not a guilt trip that we get on, but it’s the evidence of Christ living His life in and through us. In fact, there’s no other way to see the evidence in our life. I mean, we can see it in evangelism. We can see it in all these other things, but this is one of the key ways. Jesus mentioned more about treasure than He did hell in the things that He said while He was here on this earth. It’s important for us to understand this. And when a person is willing to give graciously and generously that’s a work of the Holy Spirit of God within that individual’s life. There’s no way in the world a person can say I’m walking with God and be stingy at the same time. That’s an oxymoron. You can’t do that. Living grace is giving grace. All that Paul’s been talking about has been about God’s grace.
Now, for him to bring up giving at this point as we’ve studied through chapter by chapter and verse by verse it shouldn’t surprise us whatsoever, because it’s a part of the whole message. It’s a piece of the puzzle when we try to put it altogether, it fits the Christian life. Giving is another form of God’s enabling power in the yielded believer who knows that his adequacy is in Christ.
The proof of giving grace
Now, there are three things that I want us to see that he begins to teach us in 2 Corinthians 8. It’s all about giving, but I want us to understand it from the perspective that we have been studying for so long. First of all, I want us to look at the proof of giving grace. Now he has an illustration here that there’s absolutely no way to get around. This illustration is powerful. He says in verse 1, “Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in their great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.”
Now what a picture Paul paints for the wealthy believers who are over in Corinth. He’s going to contrast the stinginess of the wealthy believers in Corinth with the tremendous grace giving of the poor and destitute Macedonian churches. He says, “We wish to make known to you.” The Greek word for “known” there is the word gnorizo, and it means that if I didn’t tell you this you would never know it any other way. It’s kind of, Paul uses it a lot in his epistles. He says, I want you to know brethren. I do not want you to be unaware, he says in other places. There’s something he wants these Corinthians to get a hold of that evidently has gone over their heads. Paul wants them to see what true giving is all about. He wants them to realize that giving is a consequence. It’s a consequence to Christ living His life in and through the believer. It’s a consequence. It’s not something we come up with. It’s something God comes up with in our hearts.
He says, “Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia.” When Paul mentions the churches of Macedonia there are three specific churches that he had something very clearly to do with. The church of Philippi was one, the church of Thessaloniki or Thessalonica as we would say, and the church at Beria. God had done a great work in these churches and with a great expense. There was a lot of persecution that went on with these three churches. But the way it was evidenced in their life was through the generous giving that came out of them. Remember Philippians and Paul, they had sent their man over, Epaphroditus, and he came just to bring a gift to Paul. You just see the giving, the generosity of these churches. Paul says, “we wish to make known to you the grace of God.” He wants to show you that this is the enabling power of God. This is God doing something in these people’s lives.
Now how was this grace of God illustrated? Why is he bringing this up? Verse 2: “that in a great ordeal of affliction,” and notice the words carefully, “their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.” You see, it wasn’t just giving. That wasn’t the key. But it was in giving in the midst of the very worst of circumstances. When Paul says “that in a great ordeal of affliction” he’s describing the worst of times. Now our fleshly minds tell us, doesn’t it, that people don’t give in bad times. “Oh brother Wayne, I mean the Social Security is dying, brother Wayne. The country’s in a recession and we’ve had hurricanes and we’ve had 9/11 and we just can’t give anymore.” That’s what our minds tell us. Typically that is true in the fleshly mindset of believers. But if we’re letting Jesus be Jesus in us giving is never a problem no matter the circumstances that are around us.
The word “great” in the phrase “great ordeal of affliction” is the word polus. It’s the word that means great in number. The word “ordeal” is the word dokime, which means a severe test that somebody goes through, but is being proven genuine in the midst of that test. And then the word “affliction” is the word we’ve seen several times in 2 Corinthians, it’s the word thlipsis. Thlipsis refers to the inner stress that a person is under when the difficult times come his way. So it was in the midst of several different kinds of terrible situations in their life when the believers at Macedonia were suffering that they gave, they gave to the needs of others, and this is what Paul is trying to bring out.
Their giving stands in contrast to the wealthy Corinthians who got all they could, canned all they got, sat on the can, poisoned the rest. Quite a difference in the spirit of the two groups of believers. Both of these groups are believers. He says again “that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.” They overflowed with joy even in the midst of terrible times. That’s one of the first signals that God’s doing a work in their life. You see, times had brought them to the point of destitute poverty. Now probably these tough times came because of their Christian testimony. And several things could have happened and that we don’t know. Because of their Christianity they lost their jobs. Because of their Christianity they were denied the right to buy food for their families. They were at a point of poverty.
The word “poverty” here is the word ptocheia. It’s the word which means total destitution. It’s the word used in Matthew 5 in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” those who cannot help themselves, those who understand that they’re up under a standard they cannot live up to, those who realized that their need for God’s grace. The word “poverty” has the idea that a man is in a situation to where he cannot dig himself out of it. He is so low, he’s in such destitution at this point. And it was in the midst of this, in the midst of the worst times you can possibly imagine, that they gave to the needs of others. “That in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.”
The word “overflowed” in the phrase “overflowed” is the word perisseuo. Perisseuo means to be in excess, to exceed what was even needed. They went over and above. The word “wealth” is the word that doesn’t mean riches as we would think of it. It means abundance. And yet, they didn’t have any money. So in the abundance, out of the goodness of the heart of God within them they gave. And this is so exciting to me. You can seek evidences of Christ working in a person’s life in many ways, but this is a way that the world steps back and they just don’t know what to do when they see this kind of giving regardless of the circumstances of one’s life.
The word “liberality” is the word haplotes. It’s used over in Romans 12 when he talks about the gift of giving. It means without any double motive. There was no string that was attached to their giving. They didn’t use their giving as a sense of power to manipulate people to get what they wanted. They had no double motive. Their motive was absolutely pure before God. The believers in Macedonia gave with a pure motive. There was no strings attached to what they gave. Now Paul is overwhelmed at the generosity of these people in Macedonia. Their giving was much beyond what was even needed and they gave with no strings attached. Paul wants the church of Corinth to understand this. He wants them to understand what grace giving really is. It was a part of the stewardship of a man’s life.
You know, it’s interesting in the 21st century among Baptists for sure. We think stewardship means money, and you mention stewardship and people hit the backdoor as fast as they can, scared to death. Oh no! Preacher’s going to talk about money. Stewardship, folks, is much more than money. Money’s on the list, but stewardship involves everything: my time, my efforts, my emotions, everything about me it involves a stewardship of living. And money is a part of it. Grace giving is a product of God’s grace working in the hearts of His people.
Several years ago I was on the International Congress on Revival and we preached worldwide for about 11 years. And I was over in Austria and it was right before Kosovo, or during Kosovo. And I don’t know if you know this or not, but there were a lot of believers there in Kosovo and we had five different translation booths that we were speaking to there in Austria and one of them happened to be the Romanians. And for all of these people that came to the conference we raised the money in the states and we paid their gasoline, we paid their food, we paid their hotel, we paid their gasoline back because they don’t get to do this ever. This is the greatest thing in their life is to come to a conference like this.
And one day one of the Romanians, the poorest people in the group, stood up and said to our translator in Romanian, “Can you ask the people if we can take up an offering for the folks in Kosovo?” And I couldn’t believe this. These are the poorest people in the whole conference and they were the ones who brought it up. And those precious little people gave everything that they had. That really challenged the Americans that were there, the “rich Corinthians” that were there. And as a result of it the offering was staggering. But it was led by people that were the poorest in the group.
This is exactly what Paul’s saying here to the church of Corinth. He says, look what you have. Look what you have and look what they don’t have. And look what you’re not doing, but look what they are doing. And he draws the contrast as clear as anything that you could possibly see. You see, when you say that you’re walking with God and you’re a stingy individual, that’s an oxymoron. You can’t do that. A person who walks with God gives because that is the heart of God.
The passion of grace giving
Secondly, I want you to see the passion of grace giving. They didn’t just give, folks, they gave with a passion. This takes it far beyond what the human being can do in his own flesh. It says in 2 Corinthians 8:3, “For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.” Man, what a picture he draws for us here. Paul presents himself as standing before a tribunal that’s hostile. And he’s giving defense of what giving really is. He says, “For I testify.” The word “testify” is martureo. It’s the word that means I’m a witness in a courtroom and I’m giving witness to a truth that needs to be heard in order for that case to be solved. The poor Macedonians were living examples to them and to us about how God works in the heart of a believer. Paul says that “according to their ability they gave.”
Now the word for “ability” is the word dunamis. It expresses the ability to accomplish or to do something. Now if he stopped right there some people would say, well, there isn’t much to that. They gave what they could and that’s okay. Some people would say, yeah, big deal. I mean, my goodness, they gave what they were able to give. So what? What do you mean, so what? In the Christian world today if God’s people gave only according to what they could we would never have a need again for ministry anywhere in the world. You see, even giving according to what one can is still an act of God’s grace working in a person’s heart.
But God’s grace is abundant. It goes far beyond that. Paul says, “For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave.” The word “beyond,” huper, is the word that means that which is over and above what they were able to do. When God’s grace is working in the believer’s life it’s overwhelming how that person will give. He doesn’t just give out of his economy. He gives out of God’s economy. He gives over and above that which he is able to do. Now this again is stunning to the lost world. They can’t figure this out. Matter of fact, you start giving and you watch the IRS start checking your income tax records. They think something’s wrong with you. Why in the world would a person do that? You check it out.
But this is the thing that’s a testimony for us. You see, when we say that we’re believers, we say that Christ lives in our life and the world looks at us and says show me, show me. And you can say, well, I went on a mission or I sung in the choir. People don’t even turn their head. But, buddy, when they see this kind of giving in a believer’s life it turns their head. They know that this is not natural. They know this has to come from the very heart of God.
Now, I can hear somebody; I guarantee you, somebody’s out there saying, “yeah, I bet they pressured him. I bet Paul put the pressure on them, that’s why they gave.” Well, Paul figured somebody would say that so he says, “For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability,” listen to this, “they gave of their own accord.” They gave of their own accord. Paul means that no one, including Paul, coerced them to give anything. It was Christ in them that caused them to give like they gave. In fact, Paul shows how Christ was behind all of this because of the way they turned around and the passion that was in it. He says in verse 4, “begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.”
You know, this is hard for us to understand in the 21st century, isn’t it. We live in the greedy 21st century. Somebody said a long time ago, very wisely, we live such subnormal lives we see something that’s normal and we think it’s abnormal. We don’t even understand it. Many believers do not live yielded to Christ. They’ve fallen into the trap of fleshly greed and they think that money is power or money is a tool or that at least money is for themselves. When will we finally learn to yield our whole lives including our wealth to Christ, to the point where giving becomes a natural reflex of our life? And I’ll guarantee you it gives a witness, it gives a witness. Grace giving is a passion to those who love Christ and seek to walk with Him.
I’ll never forget years ago when I was pasturing in another city, we grew so much we had a 155 people in each service for four times on Sunday, so finally we said we’ve got to build a building. Well, when we started building the building we didn’t know how to do it, not a one of us knew what to do first. And so we asked our people. We said, listen, why don’t you just trust the Lord and give something to help us get started like they did in the Old Testament and the people gave and they had to just stop them finally, they had so much that was being given. He said why don’t you do this? And so we asked them to do that. All of a sudden people started bringing all kinds of things. Man they gave cars. They gave houses. They gave land. They gave everything. Most of them would give it to us and we had to sell it. We learned a lesson—you sell it and give us the money. It’s a lot harder to get rid of. But I mean it was amazing.
And one night we had an evangelist in our church and somebody had given him a diamond ring. And I don’t know how much it’s worth, but more than I have. I mean, it was a lot of money. It was a big diamond. I mean a big diamond. And during the service one night he came forward, this evangelist who happened to be in that weekend. And he said, “Listen, I want to give this to the church. If somebody wants to buy it they can take the money and give it to our building program.” And the people were so excited. And there was one of the ushers in front. I said, “Does anybody want to buy this and then turn around and sell it and we can give it twice to the church?” And one of the ushers was standing there in the front. And he said, “I’ll buy it.” And I knew him, and I knew he didn’t have it. And so I just ignored it. And I said “Does anybody want to buy it?” He standing there with his hand up. “I’ll buy it.” And I didn’t pay him a bit of attention. I kept looking. And finally the third time he said “I’ll buy it.” I said all right, you can buy it. I didn’t know he had a little bit set aside. And he bought that, and that money went to the church. Then he turned around and sold it and took that money and then gave it to the church. And it was amazing to watch people who said, how can we give more? How can we give more?
How can we give more? That’s what he’s trying to tell you. That happened at a church in Macedonia. Poor churches, destitute churches. They don’t have what we have. They don’t have a three-car garage. They don’t have money in the bank. They don’t have food on the table. But these people were touched by the grace of God. And when the grace of God touches a person’s heart he changes, not from without, but from within and there’s a desire, there’s a desire to give particularly when it comes to ministering to the saints of God. So the proof of grace giving was the churches in Macedonia, those three churches. They were destitute. They were at the lowest point of poverty and the passion of that grace giving was such that they begged to be able to give more. And they gave far beyond what was even needed.
The priority of grace giving
Well finally, the priority of grace giving comes in here in verse 5. The apostle Paul begins verse 5 and says, “And this, not as we had expected.” Paul was taken back. Paul knew the limited resources they had. He knew how they were overwhelmed in the situations they were facing. And Paul said this wasn’t what we expected. I mean, this is something beyond that. But Paul also realized that this kind of gracious, generous giving was the result of surrendered believers living under the Lordship of Christ.
Paul knew that a believer does not begin with giving his money. You know, don’t hear that wrong. I’m just telling you what he said. But don’t ever think that if you start giving your money you’ll have a better relationship with God. That’s not it. You start with a relationship with God and then the giving flows out of that walk that you have with Him. “And this, not as we had expected,” he says in verse 5, “but they first gave themselves to the Lord.”
Now Paul shows you the secret right here. This is the key to giving. This is the key to giving anywhere you go. It’s got to be first of all a giving of yourself to Him and surrendering to the Lordship of Christ in your life. He says, “And this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord.” This is the priority that we’re talking about. It has to be there. It starts this way. When a believer gives himself to the Lord he gives everything. And the word “Lord” is used here to show you the sovereign control He has over everything in our life. If I say that Jesus is my Lord then that means He owns me. He doesn’t just own me, He owns everything that I thought I owned, everything. I don’t have my money in the bank; I have His money in the bank. I don’t have my money in my billfold; I have His money in my billfold and He is Lord of all. That’s where it starts.
Again the word “Lord” is a special word used here. Giving is never an emotional reaction to a need. I’ve watched this and I’ve wondered in our country how people quickly respond and give before they even hear from God as to what they’re supposed to do. It’s not a gamble like we see on television, that if we’ll give we’ll get something back. No, it’s a direct response of obedience to the One who has given everything to us and now owns everything that we have. In Philippians it says that Christ lives in us to will and to work. He’s the One who gives us the directive as to what to do with that which He owns, which is in our lives. The desire to give is His desire, and the resource that He demands is His to begin with. Do we understand if we’re going to walk with God we can’t help but give because God is the greatest giver that ever lived? And if He’s living in us then we’re going to want to do what He wants to do.
Well, perfect love cast out any kind of fear that we have of this kind of lifestyle. Some people are afraid to get into it. They don’t understand faith. And they don’t understand that perfect love cast out that fear. But you say, “Well, there’s one thing bothering me. Paul and those leaders were the ones who told them what they needed to give, that they needed to give, not what, but that they needed to give. And, Wayne, we just can’t trust people anymore. We live in the 21st century and we can’t trust men because men are fallible and we’re not going to give just because men tell us to give.” Paul anticipates that reaction, so he says, “And this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord,” and look at this, look at this, “and then to,” what? “To us.” Who’s he talking about? Who are the “us?” That’s the leaders of the church in that day. Once they surrendered to Christ; see something happens when you surrender to Christ. Once you surrender to Him, He owns it all, and you’re not really giving because a man said it. You’re not giving to, you’re giving it back to Him and He does with it what He chooses to do with it.
You can trust God’s people because you trust the God that lives in people. That’s what he’s trying to get across to them. It wasn’t blind submission. It was by the will of God. The divine intention of God was that He wanted to communicate a need of what people needed to do with what He owns to start with, but He wanted to communicate it through the leaders that He had placed over the people. The word “will,” again, is His divine intention that He wants to see done in our lives. So the submission to the leadership was submission to Christ to start with. That’s why they could trust the leaders, they trusted the Christ in the leaders. True giving which involves one’s money, one’s total resources, is absolutely the result of one’s surrender, one’s surrender to the Lordship of Christ. It is then and only then that we can respond to leadership that’s put over us.
You know, I kind of understand some things that are going on here. I kind of hear what people say from time to time. “Wayne, we don’t have a trust of leaders. We don’t trust you. We don’t trust anybody”. Well, listen folks, I’m not asking you to trust me, and our leadership is not asking you to trust them. We’re asking you to trust God and do with what He owns in your life what He tells you to do. By the way, let me ask you a question. Do you think He might be able to cover the base if a leader uses it the wrong way? I want you to understand, folks. I’m not out to get anybody. I’m just trying to help you understand that when God brings us into situations that He’s brought us in He’s just trying to test us. “Do you trust Me? Do you understand that I have the resources for everything you’re supposed to be? I have it and it’s sitting right out here.” And what he’s simply saying is listen, just do what I tell you to do and rejoice in what you’ll see comes forth. That’s all he’s saying.
It’s not a matter of, boy, I’d better give. No, it’s a matter of I love Jesus and therefore I want to do what He wants me to do. That’s what it’s the matter of and I’ll guarantee you if down the road it doesn’t come in for whatever reason, I guarantee you that’s going to be the root of it right there. Now you may use the fact I don’t trust the leadership and God says I’m not impressed with that answer. I’m asking you do you trust Me? And do you understand that your money is not yours to start with? Now if you’ll just walk with Me I’m going to show you something that you’ve never experienced before in your life. I’m going to teach you what giving really is all about.
So what have we learned so far as we inch our way through this chapter? First of all we’ve learned that giving is an act of God’s grace working in the heart of a believer. Secondly we’ve learned that when God motivates the heart giving takes place, no matter how tough times may be, no matter how tough times may be. We’ve learned that we don’t own anything. Everything we have is His. We’re just stewards of it and we need to hear Him. We’ve learned that accompanying our giving will be His joy even in the midst of destitute poverty. We have learned that before we ever start thinking about giving our money we need to learn to give ourselves to God. And when we give ourselves that means everything, lock, stock and barrel. We have learned that it is God’s will that we trust those that He has put over us. He’s the one who does that. I know you think you got the, shafted. But God’s the one who puts people over others. I didn’t set this up, God did. He will many times communicate the need of what He wants to give, people to give by the leadership that He puts over them. But it’s really Him, of what He wants to do in the individual’s life.
Giving, grace giving is an absolute miracle and to me is one of the greatest evidences that a person, first of all knows Christ and secondly is walking with Christ. It’s an oxymoron to say I’m letting Jesus be Jesus in me and be stingy at the same time, distrustful at the same time. There’s no possible way because you’re not really trusting men. You’re trusting God who lives in men. Living grace is giving grace. We can never say Christ is living through us and at the same time be stingy or manipulative with the money that He’s loaned us.