8:1 Moreover, 1 brethren, we do you to wit of the a grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
(1) The sixth part of this epistle containing different exhortations to stir up the Corinthians to liberality, with which the poverty of the church of Jerusalem might be helped at an appropriate time. And first of all he sets before them the example of the churches of Macedonia, which otherwise were brought by great misery to extreme poverty, so that the Corinthians should follow them. 8:2 How that in a b great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
(a) The benefit that God bestowed upon the Corinthians.
(b) For those manifold afflictions with which the Lord tried them did not stop their joyful readiness, but also made it much more excellent and well-known. 8:3 For to [their] power, I bear record, yea, and beyond [their] power [they were] c willing of themselves;
(c) Of their own accord they were generous. 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the d gift, and [take upon us] the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
(d) He calls that "gift" which other men would have called a burden. And this verse is to be explained by ( 2 Corinthians 8:6 ). 8:5 2 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.
(2) He amplifies the eagerness of the Macedonians in this, that they also desired Paul to stir up the Corinthians to accomplish the giving of alms by sending Titus to them again. 8:8 3 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the e forwardness of others, and to prove the f sincerity of your love.
(3) Thirdly, he warns them to live up to the expectation which Paul and his companions have conceived of them. 8:9 4 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
(e) At the request of the Macedonians.
(f) The naturalness of our love appears when we truly, and that frankly and freely, help our brethren even for Christs sake.
(4) The fourth argument taken from the example of Christ. 8:10 5 And herein I give [my] advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to g be forward a year ago.
(5) He takes good heed that he seem not to wrest it out of them by force, for unless it is voluntary, God does not accept it. 8:12 6 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.
(g) Not only to do, but also to do willingly: for he notes out of a ready willingness, without any enforcement by any other men. And much less did it come out of ambition and vain glory.
(6) Against those who excused themselves because they are not rich, as though it were only the duty of rich men to help the poor. 8:13 7 For [I mean] not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
(7) Christian liberality is mutual, so that one does not have too much, and the other to little. 8:14 But by an h equality, [that] now at this time your abundance [may be a supply] for their want, that their abundance also may be [a supply] for your want: that there may be equality:
(h) That as now in your abundance you help others with a share of your goods, so should others in the same way bestow some of their goods upon you. 8:16 8 But thanks [be] to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.
(8) He commends Titus and his two companions for many reasons, both that their credit might not be suspected, as though he had sent them slyly to rob the churches, and also so that they might be all the more ready to contribute. 8:18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise [is] i in the gospel throughout all the churches;
(i) In the preaching of the Gospel. 8:19 And not [that] only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this k grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and [declaration of] your ready mind:
(k) These alms which are bestowed for the relief of the church of Jerusalem. 8:20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this l abundance which is administered by us:
(l) In this plentiful liberality of the churches, which is committed to our trust. 8:23 Whether [any do enquire] of Titus, [he is] my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our m brethren [be enquired of, they are] the messengers of the churches, [and] the n glory of Christ.
(m) The two companions of Titus. 8:24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the o churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.
(n) By whom the glory of Christ is set forth.
(o) All the churches in whose presence you are in will be witnesses of this your godly behaviour, for these men are the messengers whom they have chosen by common consent, and sent to you.