2 Corinthians 8:24


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Therefore show to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf. 2 Corinthians 8:24

Paul finishes this chapter with his appeal to the Corinthians to put their words into action. He begins with “therefore.” This actually covers the entire discourse on the matter to this point as he weaves together his words for them to consider.

His words, “show to them” are speaking specifically of Titus and the other two who will be coming to them for the very purpose of gathering up the gift that had been promised by the Corinthians. Next he says, “…and before the churches” which probably is referring specifically to the Macedonian churches he has mentioned in detail during this chapter. This would include Philippi, Berea, and Thessalonica. It may also include other churches that Paul had boasted to concerning the promised gift from those in Corinth.

In these two separate appeals, it is clearly evident that Paul is trying to get the Corinthians to save themselves from an embarrassing situation. If their actions didn’t meet their words, there would only be a sense of dishonor concerning them in the eyes of those who gave so willingly, even out of their poverty. In order for this not to happen, he mentions to them that this gift would show “the proof of your love.”

This thought takes us back to verse 8 which said –

“I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others.” 2 Corinthians 8:8

Verse 8 was placed between the verses concerning the Macedonians and the verse concerning what Christ did in the giving of Himself. These were diligent in proving their love through action. Now it was the Corinthian’s chance to do the same. Along with that, there was the matter which was “our boasting on your behalf.”

They had spoken, Paul and the others had accepted their words at face value, and boasting of what was coming from them went out. In the case of boasting to Titus, it was something that would now become either proven true or proven false. If false, he would be embarrassed to return with such a paltry gift. His boasting to Titus is recorded in verse 7:14.

In his boasting to the Macedonians, it led to their giving in an immense way. If his words proved false, then those in Macedonia would naturally feel used and hurt. This boasting to the Macedonians was mentioned in verse 8:2.

Life application: We use the term, “This is where the rubber meets the road” to indicate that specific moment when something which should happen actually comes about. If it doesn’t, then there will be negative consequences. In the case of a car, it may lose traction, or it may get stalled out. Either way, disaster could result. When we make promises, they are only realized when the rubber meets the road. And so let us have plenty of tread on our tires as we fulfill what we have spoken with our lips.

Lord God, if I were a tire, would I have plenty of tread for the road set before me? I make promises, and I need to keep them. I set goals, and I need to attain them. I have a race set before me, and I need to reach the finish line. Help me to be an untiring tire – one which is grounded on the path of my commitment and which avoids the potholes, sharp objects, and unseen black ice which could drive me off my course. Eyes on Jesus! The road is marked out! Be with me on this track of life. Amen.




2 Corinthians 8:23


Saturday, 17 October 2015

If anyone inquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. 2 Corinthians 8:23

The words “anyone inquires” are inserted by the translators and they may or may not convey the proper sense of what is being intended. In Greek, the idea here could more clearly be stated “As to Titus” or “Regarding Titus.” In other words, as there were factions at Corinth (which is addressed in detail in 1 Corinthians), some of the church might question Titus’ authority to conduct the affairs that he will carry on. It also could be that Paul had heaped such praise upon the others that are going with Titus (as noted in verses 18 and 22), that he felt it was necessary to also show that Titus has the same level of approval and is just as trustworthy as he noted they are.

And so to bolster Titus in the eyes of those in Corinth, he says that “he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you.” As a “partner,” Titus is placed on an equal footing with Paul at least in the labors which they conduct. As a “fellow worker,” Titus is shown to have the same end goal for the labors with which they labored. They are, in essence, a harmonious team concerning the church in Corinth.

Continuing on, he says, “Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.” If questions were to arise concerning the other brethren, Paul lets them know that they are speaking on behalf of the churches and are not working independently of them.

The word here for “messengers” is from the Greek word meaning “apostles.” In this case, it is used in the non-technical sense of “delegates.” As there is no article in front of the word “apostles,” it indicates that they are not of the chosen “apostles” who are delegates of Christ, but are rather “apostles” in the lower sense of those who are “delegates for the churches.”

Paul’s final words, “the glory of Christ,” show that these men had such favorable reputations, and were to be considered so trustworthy, that they actually displayed in themselves the glory of Christ. They brought such honor to the churches that they reflected His glory in every way.

Life application: As Paul has shown consistently in his words, it is right and proper to acknowledge those who minister on behalf of others, not just in words of praise, but in words of trust. We can say, “This person is a really nice guy,” and yet not tell the entire story that needs to be told. By adding in, “This person can be fully trusted,” they are elevated to an entirely new level in the eyes of the recipients of those words. Be ready to support those who have shown themselves faithful in this way.

Heavenly Father, glorious God – I am so thankful for those who have been placed in my path of life who have had such a strong and positive influence over me. It would be impossible to remember them all, but You know who they are and how they have molded and guided me in ways either little or great, but which have brought me to where I am as a person. Thank You for the path of life You have placed me on which has included these wonderful souls. Praise You for Your guiding hand of care in my life. Amen.




2 Corinthians 8:22


Friday, 16 October 2015

And we have sent with them our brother whom we have often proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, because of the great confidence which we have in you. 2 Corinthians 8:22

Again we have an unnamed brother who is being sent along with Titus and the other unnamed brother of verse 18. It is impossible to definitively identify who this is. The long list of those who have been named by past scholars shows the futility of being dogmatic about it. Some suggested names have been Tychicus, Apollos, Silas, Timothy, Trophimus, Clement, Epaenetus, Luke, Zenas, and Sosthenes. Maybe others have been named as well, but this long list shows that it really could be one of a number of people.

Regardless of who it is, he “often proved diligent in many things.” As he was known for this, he would certainly be a good choice for such a delicate mission. And he certainly wanted to go as well. The note that he was “now much more diligent” shows that he was actually excited about the challenge and was ready to get on with it. And the reason for his diligence was “because of the great confidence which we have in you.”

The confidence of Paul and the others concerning the Corinthians to step up and fulfill the promise they previously made spurred this brother on to joining in the task. He was ready to travel there and then all the way to Jerusalem, carrying this precious gift to the saints in need.

In this verse are two of only three times that the word spoudaios, or diligent, is used in the Bible. The other use was in verse 17. Charles Ellicott notes that, “It implies what we might almost call the ‘business-like’ side of the Christian type of character, and is therefore employed with special fitness here.”

Life application: Some people’s names are left out of the biblical record, and yet they have had a great impact on what occurred in the narrative. The words about them are also inspiring and praiseworthy. If you are doing a service for the Lord and yet have been unnamed and not recognized, don’t be disheartened. The same Lord who withheld the names of these faithful people from His superior word knows everything you have done and are doing for him.

Lord God, there are many people recorded for their notable deeds in the Bible, and yet their names are left out. You allowed them to remain hidden in obscurity, but showed us the great things they did at the same time. May this be an encouragement to anyone who is doing quiet deeds behind the scenes for You. Help them to understand that You know who they are, and that You are aware of each thing they do. Thank You Lord for such diligent people! Yes, please honor them openly at Your judgment seat. Amen.



2 Corinthians 8:21


Thursday, 15 October 2015

…providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
2 Corinthians 8:21

Paul’s words here are also reflected in Romans 12:17 –

“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.”

Together, they find their source in the Greek translation of Proverbs 3:4 –

And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.”

Paul knew his own conscience, and he was fully aware that God knew it as well. As he said in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “…we are well known to God.” He could easily have collected all of the money, put it in a traveling bag, and headed to Jerusalem without any notion of taking a penny for himself. Upon arrival, he would have presented it to the saints there with a clear conscience within himself and before the Lord.

However, he was not the only person who was involved in the process. There were the many who gave, and there were those who would receive. If even one person had ill thoughts about how Paul would handle such a gift, then it would taint the entire process. Suppose he was robbed during the journey. Would those who had so faithfully given believe his story? Questions would surely arise in their minds as to what “really” happened to this immense gift.

And so it was his intent to always be “providing honorable things.” It is a lesson each one of us should carry with us at all times. Others are evaluating us, even if we have a clear conscience towards God. For a list of other verses which carry this or a similar idea by Paul, you can refer to Romans 14:6; 2 Corinthians 6:3, 1 Timothy 5:14; 1 Timothy 6:1; Titus 2:8.

Life application: If we believe that God is watching us and will hold us accountable for our actions, and if we actually care that this will occur, then we will tend to act in a morally proper manner. However, those around us cannot get inside our heads and discern what God can. Therefore, it is right that our external actions are guided by safeguarding principles which will keep others from making unfounded, negative deductions about our actions.

Heavenly Father, as followers of the Lord, help us to remember that even if our hearts are directed to You and our consciences are clear in dealings with others, still they don’t know us as You do. And so help our actions to be appropriate in all ways and at all times so that they will never be misinterpreted. Help us to be regarded as upright by men so that Your name will be exalted when we speak of You. Amen.



2 Corinthians 8:20


Wednesday, 14 October 2015

…avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us—
2 Corinthians 8:20

This verse explains why the person is going along with Titus “who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift.” It was Paul’s explicit intent to avoid any hint of impropriety in the giving of this gift. The word for “avoiding this” is stelló. It is described by Vincent’s Word Studies –

“The verb, which occurs only here and 2 Thessalonians 3:6, means to arrange or provide for. As preparation involves a getting together of things, it passes into the meaning of collect, gather: then contract, as the furling of sails; so, to draw back, draw one’s self away.”

Paul used this particular word to show that he wanted to avoid even the smallest hint that he or anyone else would dream of misusing what had been so faithfully entrusted into their care. The thing he most wanted to do in this was to avoid the chance that “anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us.”

The word translated as “lavish gift” is a word unique to the New Testament, hadrotés. It comes from hadros meaning “plumpness.” It then gives the idea of lavish generosity. What had already been prepared by those in Macedonia, and what was hoped for from those in Corinth, was to be a sizeable amount. Paul wanted everything concerning its handling to be done with the greatest care.

But Paul’s word concerning the “lavish gift” may also be used to continue to encourage the Corinthians on to greater giving. Remember that he has not yet received anything but a promise from them. Now he is mentally preparing them for fulfilling that promise.

Life application: Gifts to a church or ministry must be handled with the highest care. Any hint of impropriety will cause those not in the church to question Christian honesty. Those in the church may become disheartened and even walk away from the fellowship as well. Pray that those who receive from you will be scrupulous in how they handle what they have received.

Lord, if You endured the cross for a sinner like me, then surely I can endure hardships and difficulties for the sake of Your name when I interact with others. Help me to forgive easily, be careful in my words of counsel, and to act uprightly in my actions towards others. Help me Lord to be a person who will bring credit and honor to Your wonderful name. Amen.