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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians

 

22 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. 23 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. 24 Therefore show to them, and before the churches the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf.

 

8:22

And we have sent with them

Paul sent with Titus and the previous unnamed brother another unnamed brother to collect funds for the poor Jerusalem church.

our brother whom we have often proved [tested] diligent in many things,

Paul now lists the third member of the team that will collect and deliver funds to the impoverished believers in Jerusalem. This man “proved” himself “diligent in many things.” He was a very trustworthy person. “Proved” indicates the noticeable results of his being tested.

but now

The word “now” indicates the occasion of the collection for the Jerusalem church.

much more diligent,

This new member of the team was a very zealous person for the cause of Christ. The word “diligent” means eager. His commitment to the church was unhesitant.

because of the great confidence which we have in you.

Paul is optimistic that the Corinthians will have confidence in this new member of the team.

8:23

If anyone inquires about Titus,

Paul summarizes Titus’ qualifications to administer the funds to Jerusalem.

he is my partner [associate] and fellow worker concerning you.

Titus was Paul’s “partner and “fellow worker.” As a “partner,” he was on equal footing with Paul in ministry. Paul had many fellow workers in ministry (Ro 16:3, 9, 21; Php 2:25; Col 4:11; Phile 1, 24).

Or if our brethren are inquired about,

If the Corinthians should inquire about the two unnamed brothers, they need to know how Paul views them.

they are messengers [sent ones] of the churches,

The word “messengers” is apostles. The basic idea of the word apostles is sent ones. Here, however, they are not apostles of Christ but apostles of the church, the body of Christ. These men are officially authorized representatives of the church.

the glory of Christ.

Paul identifies the two brothers as “the glory of Christ.” These men bring great honor and glory to Christ. These men manifest the essence of who God is to the world. They make the invisible God visible. 

8:24

Therefore show to them, and before the churches the proof of your love

The apostle emphasizes that the Corinthians fulfill their commitment to the Jerusalem church (2 Co 8:7-15). The church was to show the proof of their love to the three men. The Corinthian church was also to show love to the churches that sent them.

and of our boasting on your behalf.

Since Paul boasted about the goodwill of the Corinthian church, it is now time for them to contribute to the Jerusalem church. This would validate Paul’s bragging about them.

PRINCIPLE:

A loving church is a generous church.

APPLICATION: 

The proof of love is in the giving. God so loved the world that He gave. If people genuinely love fellow Christians, they will do more than talk. They will put their hearts into action.

Some churches are dynamic examples of those who give generously to the Lord. It is a sad testimony that so many churches give so poorly. It is embarrassing testimony to other churches. If a maximum number of churches give generously, then there would not be the overwhelming need for appeals for the mission of Christ. To give to missionaries, who are “the glory of Christ,” is to glorify Christ again.

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