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2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 8

KJV    NAS

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1 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 

 

2Cor 8,1-16

(121c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Hope >> Expectation >> Hope is the expectation to receive >> Expectation based on hope

2Cor 8,1-15

(88a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith produces works >> Relationship between faith and works >> Works establish your faith

(101i) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Investing spiritual currency -- These verses go with verse 22

(129c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing the fruit of evangelism >> Feed the people with the fruit of your walk

(236h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Invest your treasures into the kingdom >> Invest everything you value – This chapter and the next are about giving money; more than that, they are about cultivating a charitable heart. If your giving never translates to money, then your giving is incomplete. Some of the churches in the surrounding area were begging for an opportunity to participate in the support of the saints, the saints referring to Paul and the other apostles, that is to missionary work, and also to the poor within the Church. In almost every church today they make a weekly collection of money, but little of it goes to missions or to help the poor, but goes to the building project and to pay the pastor’s salary. The Macedonians were by no means rich people; they experienced deep poverty of their own, yet they overflowed in their wealth of liberality. So often the poor do the most giving, while the wealthier hold on to their money, under the principle that the more people have the more they want to keep it, but the less they have the less they need it. The poor give because they need money less than wealthier people, while wealthy people need lots of more money to sustain their standard of living.

2Cor 8,1-9

(34l) Gift of God >> Be generous like your Father >> Give to your brother – Paul is saying that he wants the Corinthian Church to prove their sincerity through giving. There are all kinds of ways to prove our sincerity, but because money has such a value in this world, it is a wonderful way to prove our faith and sincerity, by giving for the sake of those in need. The one who hoards his money Paul would say has no faith, which Jesus also said to the rich young ruler, advising him to liquidated his assets and give all the proceeds to the poor. The rich young ruler could say well enough that he believed in God, but he couldn’t prove it. Like James said in chapter two of his epistle, if a brother is in need and he comes to us for assistance and we close our heart against him, “what use is that?” James didn’t ask us to become our brother’s source of food and clothing; he just asked us to help him for one day, but if we can’t even do that, then we have no faith. There were many poor people in the Corinthian Church, and Paul was saying that it is a disgrace to allow a fellow Christian suffer while we have the means to help him. He was saying to those who could help that this was an opportunity, not a drudgery. Without proof of faith in a world of poverty and want, where opportunities to help abound, it is the same as having no faith at all. He was telling them to be like Jesus, who is seated at the right-hand of God the Father, who shed His power and deity and came in the weakness of human flesh and suffered with us and became poor, “that we through His poverty might become rich.” If Jesus did this for us and we have the means to help others, then we should take the opportunity to help them and demonstrate our faith and love for God toward the brethren.

(118k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Law of the spirit >> Law of liberty – Paul had no authority to command the saints to help the weak, for to make a command would decree a law of giving. If we were required to give, our love would become a tax. When we pay our taxes, we are not demonstrating any kind of faith toward our government or love for people in office. There is no faith or love involved in paying taxes; it is a law. Paul couldn’t command anyone to be generous, because he would be bypassing faith and love, which can only be expressed willingly, being the whole concept behind the new covenant, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who gives us a willingness to serve God.

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2Cor 8,1-5

(11o) Servant >> Example of God’s people >> The Church – Usually you have to beg people to give to a good cause, but the Church of Macedonia wanted the opportunity to participate in helping their own brothers and sisters in Christ get through their ordeal, even though the Macedonians themselves had their own difficulties. On the surface it would seem like an act of altruism, but underneath the gears of faith, love was compelling them to help their fellow believers; they had to give or they would bust! With these attributes fathering such an urgency to help proves that godly compassion wants to get involved in other people’s suffering. 

(13h) Servant >> Support the body >> Serve selflessly – These verses go with verses 12-15.

(74h) Thy kingdom come >> Heart is central value system >> The heart is what drives man’s desire -- These verses go with verses 10-12

(94b) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective on wealth in this life

(96i) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Positive attitude about giving -- These verses go with verses 10-15

(124b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Acts of love >> Love takes from the rich and gives to the poor >> love is the act of giving to the poor

(130f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Committed to caring for the needs of the body >> Committed to supporting one another -- These verses go with verses 12-15

(189d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Holy sacrifice >> Costly sacrifice -- These verses go with verses 10-15

(230f) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking >> Partaking of the ministry of the saints

(234j) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Relinquishing your assets to Christ >> Investing every asset into Christ

(235d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Tithing >> Offerings >> Help your weaker brother -- These verses go with verses 7-15

2Cor 8,1-4

(23f) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Rich are those who are poor in their own minds -- These verses go with verse 9

(120k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Contentment >> Content with your standard of living >> Free from greed

2Cor 8,1-3

(116j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through giving

2Cor 8-1,2

(125i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of giving

2Cor 8-1

(31i) Gift of God >> Grace >> Having the ability to respond to the word -- This verse goes with verse 9

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

2-6 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. 3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.

 

2Cor 8-2

(188g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering >> Enduring your circumstances

2Cor 8-3

(75c) Thy kingdom come >> Motives of the heart >> Being motivated to do the will of God

2Cor 8-5

(247a) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> God’s interests >> God is interested in His people >> God is interested in the Church

2Cor 8-6,7

(44i) Judgment >> Transformed >> Fulfill your ministry >> Calling from God >> Complete it -- These verses go with verses 10-16

2Cor 8-6

(44c) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Complete >> Fulfill the requirements -- This verse goes with verses 10&11


7-9 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. 8 I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. 9 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.

 

2Cor 8,7-15

(235d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Tithing >> Offerings >> Help your weaker brother -- These verses go with verses 1-5. Paul taught that giving is based on what a person has, not on what he does not have. If you are ready to give a million dollars, but you don’t have a million dollars, that doesn’t count. The joy of giving can thrive only if everyone feels the same way about giving, but if you have one or two cheerful givers in the Church and the rest clam-up, thinking those who give have lots of money, so they don’t have to give, this attitude will breakdown the joy of giving in the Church, so that pulling a nickel from the congregation will be like pulling teeth. If not everyone is giving, then eventually no one will give. There is a principle at work here. Giving does not happen between your pocketbook and your hand; it transpires from your heart. If you don’t give from your heart, then eventually you will quit giving altogether.

2Cor 8-7,8

(78f) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity >> Embracing your first love >> Single devotion -- These verses go with verses 16&17

(101b) Thy kingdom come >> Zeal >> For the manifestation of God’s kingdom >> Zealous for good works -- These verses go with verse 16. It’s good to be spiritual, but if your spirituality never manifests in the natural realm, then it is impotent. Part of manifesting your faith in the natural realm is giving, and part of giving is money. Paul’s request for money was not a command, nor was it for money's sake, but for the Corinthians to get involved in giving to prove their desire to help others from their abundance. Had the Corinthians not gotten involved and given of their surplus to help the needs of the saints, those in need would have gotten what they needed by some other means. The ones who suffer most are the ones who don't get involved in giving. Too often they are not aware of what they have missed. In this case no one suffered, and Paul made sure of it; he was sincere when he described his heartfelt desire for the Corinthians. 

2Cor 8-7

(80i) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word to minister to God >> To know Him

(85e) Thy kingdom come >> Words that are spoken in faith >> Powerful when spoken by the Spirit >> by the anointing

(250b) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> In all things ... >> Be obedient in all things

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

2Cor 8-8

(156c) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Loving God is evidence of salvation >> Expressing your feelings toward Him -- This verse goes with verse 24

2Cor 8-9

(12l) Servant >> Jesus is the servant of man – Jesus left the glory of the Father to come live with us, trading His eternal frame for our mortality, His purity for our grit, His heavenly existence for our earthly struggle. He did it so we could trade our poverty for His riches, our sin for His perfection, our futility for His purpose. God’s loving-kindness demonstrates His infinite character and has earned our complete trust. First God created us like Him (Genesis 1-26), then He became like us when He was born through the Virgin Mary, so that at the resurrection we will become like Him (1Jn 3-2). We’re like Him and He’s like us, so in heaven He will invite us to sit next to Him on His Father’s throne to become managers with Him of His creation.

(23f) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Rich are those who are poor in their own minds -- This verse goes with verses 1-4

(31i) Gift of God >> Grace >> Having the ability to respond to the word -- This verse goes with verse 1

(35a) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> He is generous with the flesh of His Son

(37i) Judgment >> Blood of Jesus >> He emptied Himself >> From equality with God to human frailty

(57g) Paradox >> Opposites >> We become rich through His poverty

(64i) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> God subjects himself to human frailty >> His weakness makes Him small compared to men

(64j) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> Foolishness of God – Jesus lived in heaven as the king of all creation, except that He didn’t reign over man and demons, being in rebellion against Him. Through His sovereignty and infinite wisdom He became poor and dwelled in a body of human weakness and died in utter shame and was raised by the power and glory of His Father, so that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. He will seat us with Him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and we will become rich like Him, and He will be our king. He also holds His sovereign rule over the contents of hell. He reigns over the righteous and the wicked, His entire creation, and we will reign with Him. God will make us rich like His Son, and we will sit next to Him on His throne as He sits on His Father’s throne, and it was through weakness that God was able to subject all things to Himself.

(227h) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Dependence on Jesus >> Depending on Jesus to impart His gifts into us >> He gives us what we give to each other

(249h) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> Being rich in Jesus – This verse refers to a transfer of wealth and poverty. Jesus took on our poverty while we took on His wealth. Jesus came from heaven and disrobed Himself of all His glory and went from owning the universe itself and heaven to peeling off layer after layer of power and glory, took on human flesh and became naked like one of us, was born in a manger and suffered with us to the point of death, even on a cross. This he did according to God’s plan to make it possible to bless the human race with everything He values. For Jesus to be born in a manger on Christmas Eve was for God to approach the human race with everything He loved and cherished and offered Him to us. We need to stand firmly on the platform of faith to inherit this abundance through His Spirit. When Jesus emptied Himself and became poor like us, even in the depth of His poverty He was far richer than the wealthiest king. The one thing he retained from God was the Holy Spirit, which was His very essence, hence the essence of heaven, so when God took even that from Him while He was being nailed on a cross, He cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?” Through all the hellish things that led to the cross did He ever think God was forsaking Him, but the moment the Spirit of God left Him, He cried those words, and then died moments later. Jesus could not live without the Holy Spirit, and now that He dwells in us, neither could we. The Holy Spirit is God’s means of transferring all His wealth to us through the cross. Having the Holy Spirit dwelling in us is our ticket to heaven and our way of communicating with God, and His way of transferring His truth to us, along with His anointing and His spiritual gifts and fruit and the blessings....

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

10&11 I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. 11 But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.

 

2Cor 8,10-16

(44i) Judgment >> Transformed >> Fulfill your ministry >> Calling from God >> Complete it -- These verses go with verses 6&7

2Cor 8,10-15

(7l) Responsibility >> Use time wisely >> Get ready >> Use this time to gather

(96i) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Positive attitude about giving -- These verses go with verses 1-5. Desiring to give is just as important as giving. He later talks about giving from a cheerful heart, not grudgingly, but to have a proper attitude of giving. If you give grudgingly, it is the same as not giving, because the only thing you are giving is the gift, but there is much more to giving than the gift itself. Money does not solve problems, people do. The attitude of cheerful giving will solve some of the biggest problems, but the grudging attitude gives so little that he cannot even for-give. Forgiveness is the highest form of giving. To forgive a person means more than money. The forgiving man actually helps himself more than he is helping the person he is forgiving, more even than a thousand dollars could help the situation. To line up a desire to give with a cheerful heart completes the ensemble when you finally give the gift.

(189d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Holy sacrifice >> Costly sacrifice -- These verses go with verses 1-5

2Cor 8,10-12 

(74h) Thy kingdom come >> Heart is central value system >> The heart is what drives man’s desire -- These verses go with verses 1-5

2Cor 8-10,11

(44c) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Complete >> Fulfill the requirements -- These verses go with verse 6

(76j) Thy kingdom come >> Desires of your heart >> Desiring to do the will of God

(232c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> If you must count the cost, the price is always too high

(246j) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of God’s kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Outward demonstration of an inward work

 

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

12-15 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality - 14 at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; 15 as it is written, "HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK."

 

2Cor 8,12-15

(13h) Servant >> Support the body >> Serve selflessly – These verses go with verses 1-5.

(130f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Committed to caring for the needs of the body >> Committed to supporting one another -- These verses go with verses 1-5. Giving from your abundance is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality, meaning that everyone must desire to give. That phrase “must desire” is an oxymoron, suggesting that this is the hard part. Instilling a desire in people to give is a divine act of God, and is based on a vision, not so much on what their giving can buy, but on what their vision can see. Each person is one piston in a fine-tuned engine that is helping to push horsepower to perform the will of God, and the pastor leading the flock is fully engaged and overseeing the work of the ministry.

(131g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependence >> Serving one another – There may be a day when you have given from your abundance and now you are lacking; people have seen your giving, and since giving is for missionary work and for helping the poor, you become a recipient of people’s giving by way of equality. This has always been Paul’s aim and it was something Jesus tried to instill in His disciples, especially in the later chapters of the gospel of John where He talked about the deeper things of His will. Jesus spoke in no uncertain terms that He wanted unity in the body of Christ. It was His number one goal and prayer, hence the reason it is the prime target of satanic attack. Unity has the power to minimize Satan’s influence in the world, so he works day and night to destroy unity in the Church. Without unity for the sake of equality, not even giving can continue in abundance, so that everyone is benefited, both the giver and the receiver. If circumstances change and the giver becomes the receiver, the things they need will be supplied.

2Cor 8-12

(11g) Servant >> God’s standard is in proportion to our output

2Cor 8,13-15

(57i) Paradox >> Opposites >> Less I have the more I receive / my abundance is a Supply for their need – Paul was saying that giving is comparable to collecting manna in the wilderness in the days of Moses, for he who gathered much did not have too much and he who gathered little had no lack. There were some of the Israelites who did not gather much, but there were others who gathered more than they needed for one day, so when someone lacked, they assisted their neighbors through their abundance. The manna would spoil over night, so it was advantageous to give away what they wouldn’t eat that day. God wants us thinking like the animals, one day at a time, not storing up resources to last weeks, months and years, equating money with manna. In hard times the option of storing is unavailable. Living from day to day from hand to mouth is not a bad thing. It is how mankind has lived throughout the millennia. What money you make today is spent that day. The next day you go back to work and make more money for that day; this is the concept of manna; God does not condemn anyone for having to live this way. If your life is reduced to this level, there is still no cause for alarm. It has only been in the last few centuries that we have been able to store-up sustenance for the future, and now it seems we are returning to the old way of life.

2Cor 8-15

(141i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> Old Testament is for our instruction >> Teaching from the Old Testament

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16&17 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnestness on your behalf in the heart of Titus. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord.

 

2Cor 8,16-24

(72j) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> More Authority The More Responsibility >> The strong shall help the weak – Paul had high regard for the people who helped him. He honored them greatly and couldn’t speak well enough of them. Paul needed encouragement from his helpers more than he needed their help. He needed to see that people loved God as much as he did. When people like Titus came along and demonstrated a genuine zeal for God, and proved they were true servants both of the Lord and of the Church, he lifted them up very highly and commanded the Church to honor and respect them as they would him. The Kingdom of God is all about servanthood, and those who serve understand God and His will like no one else.

2Cor 8,16-20

(144a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Popularity >> Men who follow God are popular – Paul talks about Titus as though he were famous, and maybe he is famous now in heaven, but in the world no Christian was famous, but among Christians perhaps he was famous. Who is famous in Christendom today and for what? Whomever, they are probably not famous for the same reason that Titus was popular among the saints. People in Christendom today are mostly faithful to their unrighteous mammon. Titus was a man of God, whom Paul completely trusted with money. Titus cared about missionaries and the poor, which both were synonymous with Christianity back then. He cared about allocating the money to the right people, but how do famous people in Christendom allocate money? They generally live better than the people who give to their ministries, which is evil. This is certainly something Paul did not do; he ministered mostly to the poor, yet he lived poorer even than the poor. This is the kind of sacrifice that Christianity requires to remain spiritually healthy and its head above greed. Without nurturing the gospel to this extent, without giving to it more than taking from it, they do more damage to the gospel than help it, even if “the man of God” is a big mega-preacher espousing his grandiose theories.

2Cor 8-16,17

(78f) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity >> Embracing your first love >> Single devotion -- These verses go with verses 7&8

2Cor 8-16

(101b) Thy kingdom come >> Zeal >> For the manifestation of God’s kingdom >> Zealous for good works -- This verse goes with verses 7&8

2Cor 8-17

(4l) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Being accountable to your brother

 

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

18-21 We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches; 19 and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness, 20 taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift; 21 for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

 

2Cor 8-18

(142i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a reputable ministry >> A reputation of ministry in the word

2Cor 8-19,20

(62g) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Maintaining a blameless reputation

2Cor 8-19

(72f) Authority >> Transferring authority >> Receiving the delegated authority of men – This verse is talking about Titus traveling with Paul and his companions, and it says that it was not Paul’s choice that Titus should come with him but the choice of the churches. Titus had been in Christian circles long enough for people to see his commitment to the faith. He had developed a reputation for good works and was consistent in his walk with God, not serving the Lord one day and backsliding the next, but faithful to Christ. This would secure a good reputation with Paul and his travelers and with the churches they would visit and the communities where they preached Jesus to the people to make converts so others might be saved. What is necessary to be appointed by God is not a heavy anointing and not just knowledge of the Scriptures and not just devotion to the faith, but also a reputation that guarantees the consistency of these things. The most important thing that Paul needed in the people who surrounded him was reliability. He could not use somebody who would abandon him in his darkest hour when he was trying to reach a community for Christ. If He would accomplish his goals, he would need reliable help who would stand with him in times of persecution and threat of physical harm and even death. That was Titus.

2Cor 8-20

(9a) Responsibility >> Prevent being blamed for something you did not do >> Prevent accusations

2Cor 8-21

(1d) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God and people >> Maintain a good reputation

(92j) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way connects you to God >> It demonstrates your relation to Him – We honor the honorable and despise the dishonorable in the sight of God and men. We show our disgust for things that are depraved and exalt the things that bring glory to God, things that are befitting and seemly, things that are righteous and born of humility and produced from love and good will, whatever is true, “whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Phi 4-8). We honor those who remain faithful in the face of adversity for extended periods of time. We honor the faithful who have endured without encouragement, who held the torch for others that they might have confidence in the day of evil. We honor those who have suffered unjustly for the cause of Christ.

(127l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Rewards for doing good >> Honor is the reward for doing good

(142h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Reputation exposed to slander >> Protect your reputation – Take the acid test: does your ministry take more from the gospel than it invests into it? One way to tell is to determine whether the preacher has a higher standard of living than the people under his ministry. Paul said he takes all these precautions so as not to discredit the administration of this generous gift. He wanted to make sure everyone knew where the money was going, and gave every opportunity for anyone to follow the money trail from the giver to the receiver. This is part of what makes a cheerful giver. That is, without trusting the people in charge of the money and believing in the cause, you cannot give cheerfully. Paul regarded not only what was honorable to the Lord, but also what was honorable to men. He cared about what his fellow Christians thought of him. He wanted to make sure they had every reason to believe he was an honorable man.

(143c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> The public >> The disciples ministered publicly

(246hh) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of God’s kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Materializing the inner man

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

22-24 We have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things, but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ. 24 Therefore openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.

 

2Cor 8,22-24

(73c) Authority >> Respect your leaders >> The ministry to the saints – Paul is writing about the team of evangelists that were working with him, indicating that he was by no means doing this alone. He didn’t waltz into Corinth and start preaching Jesus all by himself; he brought Titus with him, and there were others, sometimes Silvanus, Timothy, Barnabas and many others who came and went. It wasn’t always the same person because he would leave them behind to continue teaching the people about Jesus and establishing them in the faith and laying down rules of the Church, how to live with each other, worship God together and conduct themselves in the house of God; there are ways to do these things and ways not to do them. The way Paul and his team instructed the churches back then was in no way how the churches conduct themselves today. There is little resemblance, and we think it doesn’t matter because we have our ways and they had theirs, as though it were a cultural difference, but it has nothing to do with culture. There were rules of the Church and there were ways of ministering to one another in order to maximize the effectiveness of in the body of Christ and establish each individual in the faith. Today, if anybody wants to be established in the faith, they will have to do it on their own, because sitting down and hearing a sermon, standing up and singing a song, sitting down and passing the plate, etc., won’t establish anybody. The Bible teaches that everybody had an opportunity to minister in the body of Christ, but how many ministers are there in the Church today?

(130k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Accept one another >> Love tears down social differences in the Church – The proof of our love is love itself. Love is like a suitcase; we open the suitcase, and find all the other fruits of the Spirit that define the attributes of love. People attribute the word love to emotions. That is fine, so long as we demonstrate all the other fruits of the Spirit, but without them emotions are meaningless. In other words, if we love somebody, then we must also emulate to that person: joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, self-control, etc. These give us the right to slobber all over the person we claim to love. The proof of faith is love, and the proof of love is all the other fruits of the Spirit, and what is faith? We say, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11-1). If our faith lacks substance, then our faith is not faith at all. Don’t we hope for love?

2Cor 8-22

(5l) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> The Church tests the disciples

(100d) Thy kingdom come >> Diligence >> Diligence in your service to others – Diligence was an important attribute to Paul; above everything else Paul was diligent, and diligence is akin to zeal. He was once a Jewish “zealot”, which has a negative connotation, but to be zealous does not have a negative connotation, though the world thinks so. Anybody who would attempt to share his faith is immediately labeled a religious fanatic. Paul tested those who served with him on many levels; he tested their knowledge, their discipline, their lifestyle and their diligence. All these mattered to Paul, but of them all, diligence was probably the most important, because without it, all the others meant nothing. Many people know a lot about God, and there are some who live the life to a large extent, but if they are not diligent, the gospel of Christ would never go beyond them. Paul’s whole purpose was to bring the knowledge of God to the known world; there were few places he didn’t visit, and when he got there, he used his knowledge and his lifestyle to convey his message, but without diligence, he wouldn’t have gone there in the first place.

(101i) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Investing spiritual currency -- This verse goes with verses 1-15

(122h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in yourself as you die to sin >> Confidence in the Church through your ministry – Those who served with Paul became all the more diligent, because of his great confidence in them, and the only way he could have confidence was if the Corinthians showed him earnestness in their walk and sincerity of faith. This gave him great confidence in the Corinthians, which was a green light to apply his diligence to them. Who would commit himself to people who didn’t care? Had Titus come to the Corinthians and no one showed him any real interest in their faith, it would not encourage him to dedicate his time and effort to them, so if we want our teachers to teach us more effectively, we need to show them our earnestness of love and sincerity of faith.

2Cor 8-23

(14l) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers fill in the gaps >> Messengers help in communications – Titus was set apart from the rest of the brethren as a fellow worker with Paul. He was not his personal servant but stood beside him in his trials and persecutions for the cause of Christ. He also lightened the load in Paul's daily needs relating to the gospel. There were many other brethren who acted as messengers on foot between the churches. It was a respectable ministry that has since been eliminated by the telephone and Internet, as in so many cases with our technological society. Back then communicating was a ministry. These conveniences have eliminated many jobs, and in many respects has unwound society who were at one time more woven together through their needs, which were far greater than simply picking up a telephone and making a call. Sill, there are ministries that need our attention, so many ways to bless others and filling needs in body of Christ.

2Cor 8-24

(84d) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one is saying it >> Boasting of my 

(156c) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Loving God is evidence of salvation >> Expressing your feelings toward Him -- This verse goes with verse 8

accomplishments in Christ

(246k) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of God’s kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Demonstration of His love

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