New Defender's Study Bible Notes
8:1 do you to wit. The words “do you to wit,” a common expression in Elizabethan England, would be rendered “make you to be aware of” in modern English.
8:1 grace. The “grace” mentioned here is not in reference to salvation, but to Christian character, which should exhibit many Christian graces in word (e.g., Colossians 4:6) and deed (e.g., II Corinthians 9:8), as well as the Christian life as a whole (e.g., II Peter 3:18). In I Corinthians 8 and 9, Paul is especially referring to “this grace also” (II Corinthians 8:6-7), meaning the grace of giving.
8:1 churches of Macedonia. The “churches of Macedonia” included Thessalonica and Berea, and especially the church at Philippi, from which Paul was writing and sending this second letter to the churches of Achaia, notably that at Corinth.
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.
8:9 grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The premier example of giving, of course, is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and it is significant that this beautiful gospel verse is given in the midst of Paul’s exhortation concerning the grace of Christian giving. He was the Creator of the entire cosmos (Colossians 1:16), with all its infinite riches, yet He left it all to die a cruel death, utterly impoverished, with even His meager garments stripped away as He was spiked to the cross. See also the even more graphic testimony in Philippians 2:5-8. This great gift of grace is the standard against which our own practice of the grace of giving must always be compared.
8:12 according to that a man hath. Although the New Testament does not specify tithing, as the Old Testament does, the principle of proportionate giving is advocated (see also I Corinthians 16:2). The key measure is not the proportion given, but the amount retained.
8:15 As it is written. This example is cited from Exodus 16:18.
8:21 sight of men. In the work of Christ, the end does not justify the use of questionable means. Our testimony before men must be credible if we expect it to be effective for the Lord. See also Proverbs 3:4 and I Peter 2:12.