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For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

8:2 their joy. The grace of joy accompanies the grace of giving, especially when both are refined in the furnace of affliction and poverty. This is one of the paradoxes of the genuine Christian life. Like the widow and her mite (Mark 12:41-44), the Philippians “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (II Corinthians 8:5), and then could share generously with others, since they naturally regarded their possessions also as belonging to the Lord. Therefore, the Apostle could promise them that God would “supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Much of Paul’s teaching in this and other epistles on the matter of Christian giving centered on a collection for the impoverished Christians in the “mother church” at Jerusalem, but the principles apply to Christian stewardship and Christian giving in general. See notes on I Corinthians 16:1-3.

8:6 this same grace. Note that giving and sharing of one’s means is called a “grace”—just as faith, love, etc. (note II Corinthians 6:7).

8:8 not by commandment. Giving is not commanded for a Christian by some Biblical law, either Old Testament or New Testament. It is a “grace,” and is a measure of one’s love for Christ.

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