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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's SECOND letter to the Corinthians

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 FRAMEWORKS: 2 Corinthians 8

In this ‘Framework' we use our usual text PLUS comment style to enable you, as simply as possible, to catch the sense of his writing.

     

FRAMEWORKS: 2 Corinthians 8: About the Collections

 

v.1-5 The Generosity of the Macedonian churches

v.6-15 The Challenge to the Corinthians to give likewise

v.16-24 Titus Coming to Receive the Collection

 

[Chapter Synopsis: This chapter moves away from such necessary bridge building to the challenge and practicalities of taking a collection for the needs of the mother church in Jerusalem.

 

 

v.1-5 The Generosity of the Macedonian churches

 

v.1 (he uses the Macedonian churches as an example) And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.

v.2 (although going through difficult times, they were very generous) In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

v.3,4 (he shares how eager they were to give) For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord's people.

v.5 (they had given over and above what might be expected) And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

 

[Passage Synopsis: He starts with the example of the Macedonian churches.]

 

 

v.6-15 The Challenge to the Corinthians to give likewise

 

v.6 (they urged Titus to spur on the Corinth church) So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part.

v.7 (as they already excel in so much, he hoped they would excel in giving) But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

v.8 (there was no instruction here, just a chance to be seen as others in this opportunity) I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.

v.9 (in one sense, to follow the example of Jesus) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

v.10 (the previous year they had been out front in this giving) And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.

v.11 (he hopes that in this year they will match that) Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.

v.12 (willingness is all-important) For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

v.13 (they want all to have equal provision) Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.

v.14,15 (yes, the goal is equality in provision) At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” [Exo 16:18]

 

[Passage Synopsis: He moves on to challenge the Corinth church to match both the Macedonian churches' giving and what they themselves gave last year. His desire is not that any church is in a superior or inferior position financially, but they will be equal.]

 

 

v.16-24 Titus Coming to Receive the Collection

 

v.16 (Titus felt the same way) Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you.

v.17 (and will be coming back to them soon) For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative.

v.18,19 (he is coming with another who is known to be trustworthy in bringing the offering) And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honour the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help.

v.20 (we want it to be all above board and seen to be properly administered) We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift.

v.21 (… in order that all may see and approve) For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

v.22 (there will also be a third team member, equally zealous) In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you.

v.23 (they all come with a great reputation) As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honour to Christ.

v.24 (so he hopes they will respond well to them so their reputation will spread even more) Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.

 

[Passage Synopsis: The team that will come to collect and take the collection will comprise Titus plus two other highly reputable men so the whole church can see it is being done in a most reputable way.]

   

Chapter Brief Summary/Recap:

Ch. 8: About the Collection

•  approaching the plan for a collection he tells of how the Macedonians gave

•  he hoped they would now give in the same way

•  they would shortly be sending Titus with two others to take the collection

   

        

Continue to Chapter 9