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2 Corinthians Chapter 8

Paul informs those at Corinth of the monetary collection donated by the believers in Macedonia (v1) (though he does not identify it clearly as monetary, in case the letter becomes the cause of search and seizure) whom had suffered much poverty but with the joyful receipt of the gospel shown themselves very generous in kind. (v2) The macedonians showing themselves very moved to give - (v3) pleading Paul that their collection be found acceptable to be carried by him so that they could be enjoined to the believers also ministered to by Paul - in fellowship with his other ministries elsewhere. (v4)

The macedonians had done so monetarily - not as Paul had hoped (For he would that they would be joined in the unity of the faith rather than of monetary charity) Yet they had submitted in obedience to God first, and done so under the grace extended by God through the gospel preached there. (v5) Paul writes that because of the corinthians, he had instructed Titus to gather from Corinth a collection to match the grace of the macedonian believers. Grace that is, of donation in respect of the spiritual things ministered to them. (Do not muzzle the ox whilst it is treading out the grain.) (v6)

As the corinthians show themselves to be obedient in faith, the confessing of Jesus Christ and knowledge of the gospel Paul encourages them to likewise be gracious with the bounty of their own collection. (v7) In giving plentifully and cheerfully Paul hopes the macedonians by their example provoke greater sincerity of love in the corinthians, (v8) after the manner of Christ who came as one obedient (to display the fulfillment of the law) and not for Himself - but for us, in that He was made as a man and not to the glory of His true self. (v9) Being reduced in His own glory but to the hope of the glory of God though the bounty of His elect. (v9)

Paul advises them to continue to show the same grace of giving because the corinthians having been established a year before, are at an advantage (or disadvantage) to show themselves established (v10) (in the same manner of giving) - as they had begun a year ago. Paul now commands them to give, so that they wouldn't show themselves merely willing to give, but actually having obeyed Paul in this thing. (v11) For a willing mind is the state of one who has not yet given, but a given gift is the mind after the loss of the gift's substance. (v12) Paul doesn't mean here that giving should be easy for some or hard for others (v13) But instead that giving should be done as from those with to those without. (v14) Therefore as abundance is given, so should giving to those in want. Paul cites a verse that shows that redistribution according to need is a good thing; but of the believer and not as out of anything except the liberty of the donor. (v15) There is no tax. (c.f v14)

Then Paul commends Titus, who had shown likewise the nature of donation to those at Corinth. (v16) For Titus had accepted the task of accompanying the gift from the corinthians (v17) along with another brother who was trustworthy (v18) and had been appointed to accompany the collection from other churches also. Paul asserts that this collection is to be for glorifying God and is to the credit of the believers willingness; that they be praised when the gift is finally taken to the saints at Jerusalem. (v19)

The donation therefore is being strictly kept so that Titus and company would not take more than small cost from it in their travels (v20) so they are blameless before all. (v21) Paul also sent along one other who has shown himself trustworthy, and now more so that he is given the task of accompanying the donation from them which Paul has great confidence will be liberally given. (v22 c.f v15)

Paul commends them to accept Titus and those travelling with him to all that might enquire of them; as they are Paul's fellow ministers and (v23) the representatives of the other fellowships who choose them as trustworthy - and also the messengers of the gospel. Paul commends them to show them warm welcome and willingness in the collection to prove their love for all - as well as Paul's great confidence in them to continue to give as they had begun a year ago.(v24)


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