Wednesday, 30 September 2015
So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well.
2 Corinthians 8:6
The idea of Paul’s words here is that because of the immense generosity of those in Macedonia, the apostles were greatly encouraged in the idea of gathering the gift for the saints in Jerusalem. They may not have expected such an immense outpouring of generosity. However, if the poor churches of Macedonia could give such a marvelous gift, then perhaps it would be an exceedingly great one when the other offerings of other churches were added into it.
With this renewed sense of vigor, it says, “…we urged Titus.” As in other instances, Titus has been the “front man” for such things. He is sent with the desires of the apostles, or with their instructions for various things. As he was the one who brought back the report from the Corinthians which precipitated the writing of this epistle, he would be the logical choice to go back and finish the front work for the offering. As it says, “…that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well.”
“This grace” is certainly speaking of the gift which those in Corinth had promised. With the great show of giving in Macedonia, Paul was truly encouraged to get about the business of a collection from the Corinthians. In addition to the gift itself, the words “this grace” may also be hinting at the other principle tenets of the letter as well. In combining the gift with the doctrinal instruction, there would be a smoothing over of both as they were being worked on at the same time.
What is implied in the coming verses is that the Corinthians had talked openly and in a large way about helping out in the offering Paul is discussing. By sending Titus along with this letter, he would be preparing them ahead of time for his arrival and keeping them from any embarrassing shortfalls in the actual gift compared to the grand promises of the past.
Life application: Paul’s use of Titus as a front man for handling the issues which have arisen in Corinth is a wise one. It avoids confrontation by having the issues settled without his personal intervention. Keeping such matters at the lowest level possible will normally avoid hierarchal conflicts which may otherwise arise.
Lord God, at times there are trials and difficulties within given congregations which can easily lead to people leaving the church or even having the church divide. Wisdom is needed at such times, but it must be wisdom based on Your word. Help us to remember to always go to the manual of instruction You have given us and to use those guidelines. Relying on this, along with prayer to Your throne of grace, is always the best avenue to take. Help us to rely on You as we should. Thank You Lord. Amen.