Exhortations on Giving
2 Corinthians 8 – 9
2 Corinthians 8 – 9
The Generosity of the Poor Macedonian Saints (8:1-5)
1 But we make known to you, brethren, the grace of God bestowed in the assemblies of Macedonia; 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty has abounded to the riches of their free-hearted liberality. 3 For according to their power, I bear witness, and beyond their power, they were willing of their own accord, 4 begging of us with much entreaty to give effect to the grace and fellowship of the service which was to be rendered to the saints. 5 And not according as we hoped, but they gave themselves first to the Lord, and to us by God’s will.
Paul’s Confidence in the Wealthy Corinthians’ Generosity (8:6-17)
6 So that we begged Titus that, according as he had before begun, so he would also complete as to you this grace also; 7 but even as ye abound in every way, in faith, and word, and knowledge, and all diligence, and in love from you to us, that ye may abound in this grace also. 8 I do not speak as commanding it, but through the zeal of others, and proving the genuineness of your love. 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sakes he, being rich, became poor, in order that “ye” by “his” poverty might be enriched. 10 And I give my opinion in this, for this is profitable for you who began before, not only to do, but also to be willing, a year ago. 11 But now also complete the doing of it; so that as there was the readiness to be willing, so also to complete out of what ye have. 12 For if the readiness be there, a man is accepted according to what he may have, not according to what he has not. 13 For it is not in order that there may be ease for others, and for you distress, 14 but on the principle of equality; in the present time your abundance for their lack, that their abundance may be for your lack, so that there should be equality. 15 According as it is written, He who gathered much had no excess, and he who gathered little was nothing short. 16 But thanks be to God, who gives the same diligent zeal for you in the heart of Titus. 17 For he received indeed the entreaty, but, being full of zeal, he went of his own accord to you;
Details of the Collection Being Gathered for Jerusalem (8:18-24)
18 but we have sent with him the brother whose praise is in the glad tidings through all the assemblies; 19 and not only so, but is also chosen by the assemblies as our fellow-traveller with this grace, ministered by us to the glory of the Lord himself, and a witness of our readiness; 20 avoiding this, that any one should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us; 21 for we provide for things honest, not only before the Lord, but also before men. 22 And we have sent with them our brother whom we have often proved to be of diligent zeal in many things, and now more diligently zealous through the great confidence he has as to you. 23 Whether as regards Titus, he is my companion and fellow-labourer in your behalf; or our brethren, they are deputed messengers of assemblies, Christ’s glory. 24 Shew therefore to them, before the assemblies, the proof of your love, and of our boasting about you.
Paul’s Boast to Macedonia: Importance of Cheerful, Bountiful Giving (Ch. 9)
1 For concerning the ministration which is for the saints, it is superfluous my writing to you. 2 For I know your readiness, which I boast of as respects you to Macedonians, that Achaia is prepared since a year ago, and the zeal reported of you has stimulated the mass of the brethren. 3 But I have sent the brethren, in order that our boasting about you may not be made void in this respect, in order that, as I have said, ye may be prepared; 4 lest haply, if Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, “we”, that we say not “ye”, may be put to shame in this confidence. 5 I thought it necessary therefore to beg the brethren that they would come to you, and complete beforehand your fore-announced blessing, that this may be ready thus as blessing, and not as got out of you. 6 But this is true, he that sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that sows in the spirit of blessing shall reap also in blessing: 7 each according as he is purposed in his heart; not grievingly, or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 But God is able to make every gracious gift abound towards you, that, having in every way always all-sufficiency, ye may abound to every good work: 9 according as it is written, He has scattered abroad, he has given to the poor, his righteousness remains for ever. 10 Now he that supplies seed to the sower and bread for eating shall supply and make abundant your sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness: 11 enriched in every way unto all free-hearted liberality, which works through us thanksgiving to God. 12 Because the ministration of this service is not only filling up the measure of what is lacking to the saints, but also abounding by many thanksgivings to God; 13 they glorifying God through the proof of this ministration, by reason of your subjection, by profession, to the glad tidings of the Christ, and your free-hearted liberality in communicating towards them and towards all; 14 and in their supplication for you, full of ardent desire for you, on account of the exceeding grace of God which is upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for his unspeakable free gift.