Paul is taking a collection for the church in Jerusalem and speaks firmly to the people of Corinth encouraging them to give in 2 Corinthians 8:8 (LEB) “I am not saying this as a command, but proving the genuineness of your love by means of the diligence of others”. This gift was a way for them to express the God’s grace as Jesus did in 2 Corinthians 8:9 (LEB) “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, for your sake he became poor, in order that you, by his poverty, may become rich”. This was an important offering so great care was taken to ensure the administration and at least seven men accompanied Paul to Jerusalem to deliver it. Paul is also careful to explain the firmness, the boldness of some of the things he has said because people are easily offended and he anticipates their response in 2 Corinthians 10:7 (LEB) “You are looking at things according to appearance. If anyone is convinced he himself is Christ’s, he should consider this concerning himself again: that just as Christ himself is, so also are we” and we are to in Ephesians 4:15 (LEB) “But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow into him with reference to all things, who is the head, Christ”. Any correction is to be taken as from the Lord in Hebrews 12:5–6 (LEB) “And have you completely forgotten the exhortation which instructs you as sons? “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, or give up when you are corrected by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one whom he loves, and punishes every son whom he accepts”.
Proving the Genuineness of Your Love
2 Corinthians 8:1–15
Paul had received a vision, a call to go to Macedonia and he had been there beginning in
Acts 16:9-10 (LEB) ‘And a vision appeared to Paul during the night: a certain Macedonian man was standing there and imploring him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and* help us!” 10 And when he had seen the vision, we wanted at once to go away to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them’.
Now, Paul has returned to Macedonia in his third missionary journey but it has been hard going in
2 Corinthians 7:5 (LEB) “For even when we arrived in Macedonia, our body had no rest, but we were afflicted in every way—quarrels outside, fears within”
but this hardness was not in their receptiveness to the gospel because the people did give themselves to the Lord, it was the poverty of the region that made it so difficult even-so, they had contributed to the collection that was being gathered for the church in Jerusalem as described in
2 Corinthians 8:1–5 (LEB) “Now we make known to you, brothers, the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 that with a great ordeal of affliction, the abundance of their joy and the extreme depth of their poverty have overflowed to the wealth of their generosity. 3 I testify that they gave* according to their ability, and beyond their ability, by their own choice, 4 requesting of us with much exhortation the favor and the fellowship of the ministry to the saints, 5 and not just as we had hoped, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us, by the will of God”
As Paul continued his work in Macedonia he sent Titus to Corinth where they might find additional support to send to Jerusalem. This is a very forward-looking action by Titus because it has been planned, desired and begun more than a year before and Paul is encouraging the Corinthian believers to follow through in
2 Corinthians 8:6 (LEB) “So we urged Titus that, just as he had previously begun it, thus he would also complete for you this act of grace”
While “this act of grace” was support for the church in Jerusalem, Paul describes it as a benefit to them, the Corinthians who by this action are proving their love just as Christ had done for them in
2 Corinthians 8:9–10 (LEB) “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, for your sake he became poor, in order that you, by his poverty, may become rich. 10 And I am giving an opinion in this matter, because this is profitable for you who not only began previously, a year ago, to do something, but also to want to do it”.
They are Messengers of the Churches
2 Corinthians 8:16–24
They, these messengers, who are those “chosen by the churches” in 2 Corinthians 8:19 to oversee the administration of this collection that was made and described here are first Titus in
2 Corinthians 8:16 (LEB) “But thanks be to God, who has put in the heart of Titus the same devotion on your behalf,
then is “the brother whose praise is in all the churches, is usually identiﬁed with Luke”1 in
2 Corinthians 8:18 (LEB) “And we have sent at the same time with him the brother whose praise in the gospel has become known throughout all the churches”
then, later on, there were other companions of Paul named when he arrives in Jerusalem in
Acts 20:4 (LEB) “And Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, and Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, and Gaius from Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia, were accompanying him”
More important than the names though, is the concept of ensuring that this gift was delivered without reproach, in a way that no one could question their veracity. This team then included a representative known and trusted by Paul and also people known and trusted by the churches that were contributing the funds.
Your Zeal has Stirred up the Majority
Just as Christ Himself Is, So Also are We
2 Corinthians 10:1–10
We were born into this world and raised according to our culture which focuses on outward appearance. In the world, it is survival of the fittest. In the world, boldness takes what it wants. Jesus taught though, that to be great in the kingdom of God we were to be a servant of all and this is the message Paul is bringing in
2 Corinthians 10:7 (LEB) “You are looking at things according to appearance. If anyone is convinced he himself is Christ’s, he should consider this concerning himself again: that just as Christ himself is, so also are we”
Though Paul has authority as an Apostle and he also has a responsibility to establish righteousness and holiness, he is not speaking boldly “for tearing you down” as the world does, instead, his boldness is “for building you up” in
2 Corinthians 10:8 (LEB) “For even if I boast somewhat more about our authority that the Lord gave us for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be put to shame”
This is a difficult concept in the world today because so many families have been torn apart and few children experience the real love of a father who wants only the very best for his children. Too many have instead of love and nurture, experienced abuse and rejection and have forgotten, if they ever knew, the value of discipline in
Hebrews 12:5–6 (LEB) “And have you completely forgotten the exhortation which instructs you as sons? “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, or give up when you are corrected by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one whom he loves, and punishes every son whom he accepts.”
Proclaim the Gospel in the Regions That lie Beyond
2 Corinthians 10:11–18
- 2 Corinthians 8:1–15 Proving the Genuineness of Your Love
- 2 Corinthians 8:16–24 They are Messengers of the Churches
- 2 Corinthians 10:1–10 Just as Christ Himself Is, So Also are We
- 2 Corinthians 8:1-24
- 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
- 2 Corinthians 10:1-18
- 1. Barclay, W. (2002). The Letters to the Corinthians (3rd ed., p. 274). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.