Christian Hope and Money – Gospel in Life

Christian Hope and Money

Tim Keller |  May 2, 2004

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  • Stewardship, Generosity and Money
2 Corinthians 8:8-15, 9:6-12
RS 173-7


There’s more emphasis in our culture on getting and spending money, on consuming goods, than in any culture in history. In his book, The Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope, Andrew Delbanco says we’ve lost the sense that there’s something beyond this world, so we use money to distract ourselves from the fear that our lives aren’t going anywhere.

Paul agrees with that, that what you believe your ultimate future to be will have a huge impact on how you use your money. In these two famous chapters in 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about money. He says there’s a way to use your money that will make your life an exciting story.

If you want to have that, you have to see three things: 1) there is a problem, 2) there is a key to the problem, and 3) there is a power to use the key.

2 Corinthians 8:8–15; 9:6–12

We need to consider some big ideas, like seeing life as a meaningful story, noticing how our society doesn’t really think about God anymore, and understanding how money can distract us from finding a deeper purpose. What we believe about the future can really impact how we use our money. Let’s dive deeper into what Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 regarding money—what’s wrong, what’s the solution, and how we can apply it.

1. There is a problem

Paul was asking the church in Corinth to help those suffering from famine in Judea. He highlights that it’s not about giving because you have to, but because you want to. Real generosity isn’t about how much you give, but about the love behind your giving. This kind of generosity goes beyond what we normally think about and requires us to really work at it.

2. There is a key to the problem

Paul uses Exodus 16 to teach us about fairness and generosity, especially when it comes to money. He reminds us that money is a gift from God, not just a reward for hard work, and if we hoard it, it can harm our spirit. Our community shapes our view on greed and generosity. By being part of a diverse church community, we can learn a new way to handle money, guided by mature Christians who can help us understand how we can give more.

3. Our hope in the future gives us the power to use the key

Paul compares giving money to planting seeds, saying that being generous will lead to a greater spiritual harvest, not just more money (as some people wrongly believe). This spiritual harvest makes us more righteous, as Psalm 112 reminds us. The big idea is this: we should use our resources and power to help others, just like Jesus did with his miracles. And remembering that Jesus himself is the ultimate gift changes how we see money—it becomes a symbol of hope, not just security.



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