In 2 Corinthians Chapter 8, Paul is holding up the church located in Macedonia as an example for the Corinthians to follow when it comes to giving to the needy. Paul called these people saints because they had chosen to follow Jesus Christ and so God had embraced them and forgiven them of their sins.
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Paul is Pleased with the Macedonians
Paul said in 2 Corinthians Chapter 8 that he was especially delighted by the actions and the attitude of the followers in the Macedonian church. He told the Corinthians that though the followers in Macedonia were oppressed and poor, they were still joyful and of one purpose.
Indeed, the Macedonians were so poor that they owned nothing, but Paul said they still gave to people who were even worse off than they were. Paul reminded the Corinthians that though Christ was rich by being the Son of God, He came to earth and lived in poverty for their sake.
As such, Paul said, the Corinthians should also contribute to help the needy, because when one of their brethren suffers so do the other members.
Titus Reports to Paul
Paul tells the Corinthians that the Macedonians have given themselves fully to God and they also recognized Paul as their leader. This is because God has named Paul his representative.
Later in 2 Corinthians Chapter 8, Paul mentioned Titus, who had just come back from Corinth after straightening out the quarrels that were caused by the men whom Paul regarded as false apostles. Titus had given Paul a good report when it came to the church at Corinth.
Paul Sends Titus to Corinth
Because Titus had succeeded so well in Corinth, Paul sent him back to make sure that the collection for the poor in Jerusalem was also successful. Paul stressed that he was not sending Titus back because he thought that the Corinthians were incompetent. Instead, he said he sent him back because he thought Titus was the best person to help them with the collection at that moment.
Paul ended this part of the letter by reminding the Corinthians that he and Titus were brothers and partners and both of them were doing the work of Christ.
2 Corinthians 8 (King James Version)
1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.
11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.
17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.
18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:
20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:
21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.
23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.