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2 Corinthians 8

SUMMARY.--The Liberality of the Macedonian Brethren. Exhortation to the Corinthians to Abound in the Same Grace. The Example of Christ. The Spiritual Blessing of Liberal Giving. Titus and Another Brother Sent to Corinth to Aid and Encourage Them.

      10-15. Herein I give my advice. Not a "commandment" ( verse 8 ), but advice. That is, that it is expedient to complete the work begun "a year ago," or as we would say, "last year." 11. Therefore, perform the doing of it. Finish it up. As there was "a readiness to will," let there be "a performance" by giving out of what "you have." 12. For if there is first a willing mind. The willing mind had been shown in the readiness "to will." The willing mind is essential to the acceptance of the gift. If there be this pre-requisite, then God accepts the gift and measures it according to a man's means. 13. I mean not that other men be eased. I wish all to give according to what they have, other churches as well as you. Nor do I mean to burden you that the saints at Jerusalem may be at ease. 14. But by an equality. There is a lack at Jerusalem; let your abundance supply it. So, too, if you be in want, they must supply it if they have abundance. The church is a band of loving brethren. Where one lacks others should supply, that all may be equally provided. 15. It is written. In Exodus 16:18 . When the manna fell, whatever each individual gathered, there was found to be, on measuring, "an omer to a man." So brotherly love is to effect such a distribution that no saint will be in want, and none have what is superfluous.

      16-21. But thanks be to God. Because Titus is ready to return to Corinth and help in the work. 17. For indeed he accepted the exhortation. Readily accepted the work when Paul suggested it; nay more, of his own accord, he desired and chose it. 18. We have sent with him the brother. Two brethren are sent with Titus. These are not named, and we can only conjecture who they were. As verse 19 says that he "was chosen of the churches to travel with us in this grace," and as Acts 20:4 says that the Macedonian brethren, Sopater, Aristarchus and Secundus did travel with him to Jerusalem, one of these is probably meant. Many have held that Luke was the person, nor is this improbable. 19. Chosen of the churches. Paul desired, for the reasons given in 2 Corinthians 8:20 2 Corinthians 8:21 , that the churches should send along messengers in charge of their gifts. 20. Avoiding this. There were evil-minded persons who might charge that the apostle had used the gifts of his own advantage unless the messengers could report just how the funds were used. Paul was careful ( 21 ) to provide what was honest, in the sight of God, for his conscience's sake, and in the sight of men for his work's sake.

      22-24. We have sent with them. With Titus and the brother named in verse 18 . The brother referred to here and commended so highly is nowhere named. 23. Whether any do inquire of Titus. The commendation given of these three brethren is official. Titus had long been a fellow laborer, and had recently visited Corinth. The other two were messengers of the Macedonian churches. Not only of the churches but of the glory of Christ, the Lord's messengers to show forth his glory in a great work of mercy. 24. Therefore, shew ye to them. Since these are representative men, delegates of the churches, and of Christ, receive them cordially. Give proof of your love, and show that when we have boasted of your excellencies that our boasting was not empty. An ill reputation would not only reflect upon the churches, but upon Paul himself.

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