Verse three through five speaks of the fact that the three ***church’s gifts were given out of their love for the Lord, those gifts were sacrificial in nature and were beyond their ability to give. All that they did came out of their own desire to give to God and not because Paul urged them to give, but they pleaded for the privilege to give. Life Application Bible Commentary says, “The point of giving is not so much the amount we give, but why and how we give.”
Many times when we give an offering we do so not really thinking much about it, but the Macedonians ***“first gave themselves to the Lord” and then decided what to give. Is it any wonder that they gave beyond what they thought they could give! They were obediently listening to the Lord who gave His grace freely among them; His gift stimulated their desire to give even more than they thought they could give. Paul was so excited that he could see the fruit of all that he had taught, knowing the Holy Spirit had told them to surrender their lives to God first and then do what was spiritually right in regard to their offering before the eyes of the Lord. Paul then saw that they gave themselves, as well, to Paul and his team, What rejoicing there must have been.
Paul then writes to the church that he had instructed Titus, reading in verse 6, to encourage the Corinthians to respond to ***the grace of God in like manner. The church is reminded by Paul that they excelled in many things, which always is good to hear and the Paul lists those things: “in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in love.” But Paul, seeking to motivate them gives one last encouraging thought…***see that you excel in this ‘grace of giving.’
Once again from the Life Application Bible Commentary, “Paul wanted them to also be leaders in giving. Giving is a natural response of love. Paul did not order the Corinthians to give, but he encouraged them to prove that their love was sincere. When you love someone, you want to give him or her your time and attention and to provide for his or her needs. If you refuse to help, your love is not as genuine as you say.”
In James 2:14-17 we read,