1 Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; 2 for I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority.
This section shows how the initial Corinthian motivation to give spurred the Macedonians to the north of Corinth to give. The difference lay in diligence to complete the project. The Macedonians finished before the Corinthians.
Now concerning the ministering [service] to the saints [in Jerusalem],
Chapter 9 continues the argument of chapter 8. The word “saints” communicates the idea of a group of people God set apart as His own; that is, Christians. Paul had begun a collection for the needy saints in Jerusalem among Corinthian Christians (2 Co 8:6-11).
it is superfluous for me to write to you;
There was no need for Paul to go into great detail about the collection for the saints in Jerusalem because it was not a new issue to the Corinthians and a project they had already started (2 Co 8:11). The apostle desired to finish what they had begun.
for I know your willingness,
Paul gave the Corinthians an opportunity to demonstrate the authenticity of their commitment to donate to the impoverished Jerusalem church. They were willing but did not finish what they began.
about which I boast of you to the Macedonians [northern Greece],
Paul boasted to the Macedonians that the Corinthians agreed to meet the needs of the saints and had begun (2 Co 8:6-11). The apostle used the Corinthian giving to motivate Macedonians giving the previous year (2 Co 8:1-5), but the apostle himself became an issue in the church in the interim. This problem slowed their collection for Jerusalem.
that Achaia [southern Greece] was ready [prepared] a year ago;
“Achaia” is the southern province where Corinth was located. The Corinthian church had been prepared to contribute to the offering for a year. There was no question about their willingness to give.
and your zeal has stirred up [stimulated] the majority.
The Corinthians’ original desire to give encouraged other churches to contribute, but they were not diligent in doing so. The Macedonians responded quickly to the challenge, but the Corinthians needed further encouragement to fulfill their promise.
A promise to give is biblical.
There is nothing wrong with asking people to promise to give to the Lord’s work. There is no demand for how much to give in a promise, only the commitment to provide what one promises. We promise to pay our credit card each month. There is nothing unbiblical about churches announcing the amount of their giving to a cause.