2 Corinthians 8:12
For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man has, and not according to that he has not.
Justice is distinctive of all the demands and of all the proceedings of the providence of God. Often, as in the case before us, the righteousness of the principles of the Divine government is so apparent that no question can possibly be raised concerning it.
I. THE GENERAL PRINCIPLE HERE PROPOUNDED. It is that the requirements of God correspond to the possessions of man.
1. What men have, they have received from the undeserved bounty of their Creator. This holds good with regard to property and to talents and opportunities.
2. An account is expected from every man by him who is the Judge and sovereign Lord of all. We are to some extent and in some matters accountable to our fellow men, but foreverything to him in whom "we live, and move, and have our being."
3. The rule according to which the supreme Governor will judge mankind is one of absolute rectitude - "according to that a man hath." The feeble man will not be expected to have done the work of the strong; the dull man the work of the genius; the peasant the work of the prince; nor the beggar to have given with the generosity of the millionaire. But each must answer for that which has been entrusted to himself. In all things the disposition, the spirit, the endeavour, will be taken into account; "if there be first the ready mind" - "if the forward zeal be at hand." Such is the universal condition of Divine acceptance and approval.
II. THE SPECIAL APPLICATION OF THE PRINCIPLE HERE DEDUCED.
1. In the matter of gifts there is scope for moral culture and watchfulness. Unless liberality be shown upon definite principle, it will most likely not be shown at all. There is need of watching against selfishness and avarice.
2. It is well for every Christian to anticipate and apply beforehand the Divine principle - to judge himself, that he may not be judged by God; to put to himself the question, "How much owest thou unto thy Lord?"
3. Especially should the inspired rule of liberality be observed by those who are prospering in the world. As means increase, let gifts be enlarged. The Judge cannot accept from the wealthy the gifts which were approved when offered by the poor. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.