Commentary on Second Corinthians (Commentary on the New Testament Book #8)

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Under the header JavaScript select the following radio button: Allow all sites to run JavaScript recommended. We found 35 results. Robert H. Gundry : We found 35 results. Filter Sort. Sorted By: Top Matches. Filtered By:. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. The grace of God : Paul will now write about other churches and their example in giving. In his first few words on this subject, Paul shows he considers both the opportunity and the willingness to give a gift from the grace of God. The churches of Macedonia : The northern part of Greece was called Macedonia. The southern part was called Achaia , and the city of Corinth was in the region of Achaia.

Paul writes about the example he sees in the churches of Macedonia. The churches of Macedonia were in cities such as Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. That in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality : Paul reports to the Corinthian Christians the example of the Macedonian Christians. The Macedonians, though they were in a great trial of affliction and though they were in deep poverty , still gave generously abounded in the riches of their liberality. Why did Paul write about giving at all?

Enduring Word Bible Commentary 2 Corinthians Chapter 8

What was he collecting money for? Paul was raising money to help the Christians in Jerusalem, who were very poor.

II Corinthians Bible Study

He had previously mentioned this effort in 1 Corinthians The poverty of the Macedonians is confirmed by secular history. The Romans took most of their wealth when they conquered this former homeland of Alexander the Great. For I bear witness : Paul knew that the Macedonians gave in two ways. Secondly, since their heart was freely willing to give , and they gave in proportion to the little they did have, they gave beyond their ability.

Guidelines on Giving

She only gave two mites , which was a very small amount of money. In that sense, she gave according to [her] ability. Nevertheless, since she gave all she had — after all, she might have kept one mite to herself — she gave beyond [her] ability. The same principle of giving was evident in the Macedonian Christians. Instead, they were begging him imploring us to receive the gift! Imploring us means that it was the Macedonians who begged Paul for the privilege of giving, not Paul who begged them for money.

They saw it as a privilege to give. Often those who have less are more generous with what they have. The most genuine liberality is frequently displayed by those who have least to give. Christian giving is estimated in terms not of quantity but of sacrifice. Not as we hoped : The Macedonian Christians gave far beyond what Paul hoped for. What made their giving so spectacular? It was that they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. Why were the Macedonians such good examples of giving?

Because they first gave themselves to the Lord ; then they gave their trust to Paul and the other apostles. It is giving ourselves to the Lord. If we really give ourselves to the Lord, then the right kind of material giving will naturally follow.


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So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well. But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us— see that you abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. He was supposed to make certain that they actually followed through on what they had intended to do earlier.

We might imagine that the Corinthian Christians were willing to take up a collection for the saints in Jerusalem and give that money to Paul to take with him to Jerusalem.


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One reason Titus was sent with this letter was to complete this grace in the Corinthian Christians and make certain they followed through on their original intent. Complete this grace : The Corinthian Christians may have intended to give. They may have thought about giving. They may have been favorable to the idea of giving. Yet all of this was useless unless they did in fact complete this grace. Our intentions, vows, and resolutions are useless without action.

It was time for the Corinthian Christians to act, and Titus was sent to help them do this. As you abound in everything : Is Paul being sarcastic here? If the Corinthian Christians did indeed abound in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in… love for Paul, they had just started to do these things.

But the Corinthian Christians probably thought of themselves as abounding in all those things. You do abound in all these things. So now, abound in this grace also. This grace also : Now, for the fourth time since the beginning of the chapter, Paul refers to giving money as a grace grace of God… receive the gift… complete this grace. The fact that Paul uses the ancient Greek word charis to describe financial giving means a few things.

Reward Yourself

The ability to give and the heart to give is a free gift from God. When you see a believer who is truly generous, a great work of God has been done in their heart. When God gives to us out of grace, the motive for His giving is in Him , not based in the one who receives. That is how we should give — because the motive of the love and generosity of God is so big in our heart that we simply must give.

We can just serve Him and love Him in return. It lifts us up into the most lovely atmosphere of an activity which seeks by giving to convey to others all that is lovely, all that is beautiful, all that is good, and all that is glorious. What a lovely word this word is… For there is no area in the Christian life in which grace shines out so much, so beautifully, so delightfully, and so happily as when giving comes from the background of poverty.


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I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others : Paul makes two important points here. First, giving can measure the sincerity of your love. Second, Paul openly compared the giving of the Corinthian Christians to the giving of the Macedonian Christians testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. Many of us like to think that we can love without giving, but what does 1 John say? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Jesus said much the same in Matthew For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. What we give, and how we follow through on our commitment to give, are valid tests of our love. Also, it is not unfair to compare our giving with the giving of others, at least in some sense. Jesus compared the giving of the poor widow with the giving of others Luke He simply uses the Macedonians who gave so much even in their poverty as an example of giving. Since the Corinthians had more than the Macedonians did, they should give more. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

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