William Kelly Major Works Commentary
Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;2 Corinthians Chapter 8
The apostle was now free, so far as the state of the Corinthian saints was concerned, to introduce the great duty of remembering the poor. Even the most honoured servants of the Lord were forward in this work, and not least Paul himself. This he would lay on the heart of the Corinthians. As he sought not his own things, he could plead for others; and he would draw out the affections of his children at Corinth toward saints suffering from poverty in Judea, whither he was going.
Yet we may notice how the character of the man comes out. He did not like the task of appealing to others for pecuniary help even though for others. The directness of his language in the first epistle is therefore in the strongest contrast with his circumlocution in the second. The need was deeply on his own heart; and he has no more doubt of the generous feelings of the Corinthians than of their ability, so far as circumstances were concerned, to respond; but the delicacy with which he deals with all is most marked and instructive. Personal influence has no place; faith and love are called out actively; the cheering example of saints where such devotedness could have been least expected opens the way; and Christ is brought in, carrying it home with irresistible power for those that knew Him.
"Now we make known to you, brethren, the grace of God that is given in [or, among] the assemblies of Macedonia; that in much trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches* of their liberality; because according to power [I bear witness] and beyond* power [they gave] of their. own accord, beseeching of us with much entreaty† the grace and the fellowship of the ministering unto the saints; and this not as we hoped, but their own selves they gave first to the Lord and to us by the will of God; so that we exhorted Titus, that, even as he before began, so he would also complete as to you this grace also; but as ye abound in everything, faith and word and knowledge and all diligence and love from you‡ to us, that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but through "the diligence of others proving the genuineness of your love also." (Vers. 1-8.)
* Text. Rec., with most, reads τὸí ðë., but p.m. B C P etc., to; pl. as in verse 3, ὑðέρ instead of παρά. Krebs seems not to have been aware of this last fact.
† The addition of dέîáóèáé ἡìᾶò in Text. Rec. is supported by some cursives and versions, against the great mass of good authority
‡ Lachmann actually adopts the strange reading of the Vatican MS. supported by other witnesses, ἐî ἡìùí ἐí ὑìῖν. Internal evidence would be decisive against this if the external evidence were not as strong as it is.
"" D E read διὰ ôὴν etc., that is, on account of. Elzevir differs from Stephens in falsely reading ἡìåôέñáς "our," with a few cursives, instead of ὑì. "your."
How blessedly the grace of God" changes everything it takes up And what can it not reach in its comprehensive embrace? Where is the demand too hard for it to entertain? Or the evil too deep for it to fathom? What sin is beyond forgiveness? Whose misery or of what sort can it not turn into an occasion for the all-overcoming goodness of God? See here how that which is among men but "filthy lucre," an especial object of the covetousness which is idolatry, becomes the means of exercising faith in love, to the glory of God and the exceeding blessing of His children, while it draws out the wisdom of the Holy Ghost through the apostle, who did not deem it beneath the fullest consideration in all its details.
First, the mighty influence of example is brought to bear on the saints in Corinth. (Ver. l.) Nor is this surprising; for are they not one family with its common interests, yea, one body with its fellowship undivided and immediate? Granted that the wants are in carnal things; granted, that it is no question of pleading rights or claims. But a relationship in the Spirit is no less real and far more momentous than one in the flesh; and, if there be suffering, love feels accordingly. In the next place God took care that the first to respond should be saints not in the wealthy city of Corinth, but in the long desolated and impoverished district of Macedonia, that the work might be of God's grace, and in no way a matter of worldly circumstances. Even in writing to the Corinthians the apostle had reminded them, as all experience shows, that the confessors of Christ are for the most part from the poor and obscure and foolish: and we know that in the Macedonian assemblies at this time the saints were no exception to the generally distressed condition of the country. On the contrary, we are expressly told here of their poverty down into the depths. They gave no gifts of superfluity; it was faith working by love, whilst they were proving themselves a great trial of affliction. The circumstances of Macedonia might have seemed eminently unfavourable; the reality of their liberality was the more evidently from a divine source; for in the face of tribulation their joy abounded, and their deep poverty, instead of appealing for aid to others, abounded unto the riches of their open-hearted generosity. (Ver. 2.) It was unselfish devotedness, loving others better than themselves; and as God gave them the grace that so wrought, so the apostle names it in love to the saints in Corinth, and, indeed we may say, to us all, that our hearts too should go forth in no less love. For love is as energetic and fruitful, as it is holy and free; and God would have not a grain of the good seed lost.
Nor does love calculate what it can spare nor what it can effect. (Ver. 3.) The heart animated by love thinks not of its own trials or deep poverty, but of those it hears to be suffering in any special degree, and acts at once. At least the apostle testifies of the Macedonian saints, that according to means, and beyond means, they gave of their own accord. No earthly incentives were here; no pressure of agents, no rivalry of donations, no moving appeals among multitudes, no circulated lists to shame or to stimulate, no personal or party aims of any kind. It is the grace of God given from first to last; and as God treasures it, so His servant testifies of it so much the more because those in whom it wrought thought nothing of it in the love that felt only the need of its objects.
But this is not all: the Macedonian saints, far from being solicited.. were themselves the suitors of Paul and his companions, and with much entreaty begged of them the grace and the fellowship of the ministering unto the saints, that is, to be allowed a share in the grace or favour of thus caring for the suffering saints of Judea.
It will be noticed that the Authorised Version, following the common Greek text, contains the words, "that we would receive" (δέîáóèáé ἡìᾶς), which again involves the insertion of "take upon its" in verse 4. But as the former is not warranted by the best authorities, so the latter is needless and indeed worse; for both additions enfeeble and falsify the sense, which is, that the Macedonian saints might have the grace and fellowship of the service which was to be done the poor saints, not the mere idea that the apostle would receive their collection and undertake its distribution.*
* Even so difficulty has been felt because of the absence of the finite verb expressed; but it seems plain enough, as Bengel long ago suggested, that ἔäùêáν, which follows in verse 5, is understood in the earliest clause, and this removes all appearance of what has been styled "a sentence entirely shattered in passing through the apostle's mind." But it is no less plain that Bengel was mistaken in supposing that χάñéν and κοιν. depend on ἔäùêáν, for they are unequivocally objects of δεόìåíïι, which also takes a genitive of the person. "Hoc verbum totam periochae structuram sustinet, tali sensu: Non modo gratiani, communionem, sive δόìá, munus illud dederunt, sed plane se ipsos dederunt. Ita Chrysost. Homil. xvi. in 2 Cor. coll. maxime Homil. xvii., ubi repetit ὑðὲñ äύíáìéí ἔäùêáν. Cum eodem verbo ἔäùêáν cohaerent nominativi illi, αὐèáίñåôïé, äåόìåíïι, et ab eodem peudent accusativi, χάñéí êïéíùíίáí, ἑáõôïύò, sensu facili et suavi." Gnomon in loco. ed. Stuttg. 1866.
But the apostle goes farther in his fine sketch of Macedonian devotedness; for it was not only spontaneous, but beyond all expectation of himself, accustomed as he was to live in the walk of faith every day. "And this not as we hoped, but their own selves they gave first to the Lord and to us by the will of God." Is not this the reflection, yea reproduction, as far as it goes, of Christ's love in giving Himself? Doubtless directly and necessarily there is a perfection in Christ's offering which is altogether unique. He gave Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour; it was all this and more to God and for us, as nothing else could be. But these humble and loving saints, the grace of God in whom is commended to the Corinthians, did not merely go beyond their means, but beyond the apostle's hope, who did not wish to be burdened with the wants of others those who were themselves in the depth of poverty. And no wonder that they thus exceeded, seeing that, as he adds, "their own selves they gave first to the Lord, and to us by the will of God." Had they not caught a vivid impression of the Saviour's love, where God always had the first place, whatever His infinite compassion for man? When love for the saints follows in their case, it is qualified by that which was the constant motive of Christ, "by the will of God." It is not only consistency with His will, though this of course was true, but His will was the spring of the self-sacrifice.
This acted on the heart of the apostle up to the point of beseeching Titus to carry out what he had formerly begun among the Corinthians when he delivered the first epistle. (Ver. 6.) Paul's love for them was holily jealous that their love should not slacken and that an early promise should not wither in the bud. And Titus was the meet instrument, as he before began, so also now to complete as to* the Corinthians this grace also.
* I see no need whatever of giving εἰò ὑìᾶς so wide a rendering as Mr. Green's "on reaching you," or even "among you" as is oftener done. it is not for ἐí ὑìῖν but more exact as it stands. No more is there any real ground for translating ἀëëά in verse 7 "therefore," as in A.V. "But" introduces anew appeal.
"But, as ye abound in everything, faith and word and knowledge and all diligence and love from you to us, that ye abound in this grace also." The apostle exhorts the Corinthians too, as he had Titus. They had their part now, and as God had enriched with everything else, were they to fail in this grace? Nay, He looks that they should abound in it also. (Ver. 7.) Yet he is careful that it should not be by injunction but of grace. "I speak not by command, but through the diligence of others proving the genuineness of your love also." (Ver. 8.) What a blending of tenderness, delicacy, and of faithfulness withal!
We have seen how powerfully the thought of the Lord acted on the saints of Macedonia, who in spite of their deep poverty had so exceeded the apostle's expectation. Now he brings His grace to bear on those of Achaia whom he had ground to believe awakened to feel accordingly.
"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sakes he being rich became poor, in order that ye by his poverty might become rich. And I give an opinion in this, for this is profitable for you who began before not only the doing, but also to be willing a year ago. But now also complete the doing, that even as the readiness of the willing [was there], so also the completing [may be] out of what ye have. For if the readiness be there, [one is] accepted according to what he may have, not according to what he hath not. For [it is] not that others [should have] ease and you distress, but on equality: at the present time your abundance for their lack, that their abundance also should be for your lack, so that there should be equality; as it is written, He that [gathered] much had nothing over, and he that [gathered] little had no lack." (Vers. 9-15.)
The parenthesis of verse 9 is eminently instructive, not only for that which would act powerfully on the Corinthians as on all saints who appreciate the grace of our Lord, but as a sample of the way the Spirit of God turns what was in Christ to every exigency of the individual or of the church. Nor does any other motive act with equal power in holiness. And it could not be otherwise; for who or what can compare with Christ? To His grace, though it be really immeasurable, two measures are applied, the infinite glory of His person in itself, and the depth of humiliation to which He submitted for us. "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sakes he being rich became poor, in order that ye by his poverty might be made rich." Wealth consists in fulness of means and resources, and poverty in their utter lack. As a divine person our Lord had no need for Himself, and all things at command for others absolutely. He was rich indeed, yet for our sakes became poor, not in the letter only but in spirit to the uttermost. See the picture summed up in Philippians 2, and expanded or detailed in all the Gospels, the perfect pattern of One who hung in dependence on His Father and never used a single thing for Himself throughout His career. He waited on and lived on account of the Father; it was His meat to do His will and finish His work. He had no motive but the one of pleasing His Father, whatever the cost. The fast of forty days in the wilderness was doubtless a special scene of trial which ushered in His public ministry; but it was His ordinary life to count on the care of God while doing His work without an anxiety on the one hand, and on the other without independent resources. But His poverty went down into depths unfathomable in the cross when giving His life for the sheep. I do not speak merely of His garments parted among them and of their casting lots upon His vesture, image though it was of extreme and helpless destitution. Deeper elements were there than man's eye saw, when all forsook Him and fled. God forsook Him too - His God. What remained then? Nothing but the unsparing judgment of our sins. Was He not the "poor man" then as none other was, never morally so high, yet never so abject, and this not circumstantially alone but in all the unspeakable abandonment of that hour? As He said prophetically in Psalm 22, "I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men and despised of the people . . . . . I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death."
But He was heard from the horns of the unicorns, and in resurrection declares His Father's name unto His brethren, in the midst of the congregation praising Him. What tongue of men or of angels can adequately tell the change? None but His own when He passed from the abyss of woe where was no standing to the everlasting and immutable ground of divine righteousness where the once guilty objects of grace are set in Him without spot or stain or charge before God, who delights to show them His estimate of Christ's redemption, and gives the Holy Spirit to seal them unto the day which will declare it. Yet is this but part of the riches of grace wherewith Christ now enriches us who believe. And the blessing of Jehovah is not only for us an exhaustless treasure, but it will go forth with wide-embracing fulness when Messiah's praise shall be "in the great congregation." Then all the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto Jehovah; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Him. For as surely as the Father will surround the Son with His children in His house in heaven, the kingdom is Jehovah's, and He is the Governor among the nations, and the earth is to be blessed in that day no less than the heavens be filled with the rich harvest gathered into the granary on high, when for the dispensation of the fulness of times He will gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in Him, in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. Truly we by His poverty have been enriched, though not we alone but every soul who ever has been, and ever shall be, blessed. All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship; all they that go down to the dust shall bow before Him; and none can keep alive his own soul. Such is the grace, the known grace, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and these the ways of our God, not now only but in the ages to come for His own glory and to His praise, whose humiliation and redemption have wrought such wonders, as yet only seen by faith, soon to be displayed before every eye. How sweet to associate it with the gracious consideration of the poor saints and the supply of their need at Jerusalem! How worthy of God thus to bring Christ into that which otherwise had been but an exercise of benevolence and compassion!
The apostle adds his judgment of its profit for the Corinthian saints themselves (ver. 10), who began before not only the doing, but also the willing a year ago. He could therefore with the more delicate propriety urge the completing of their purpose out of what they had. Grace repudiates constraint, but values, encourages, and directs readiness of mind: without this, what is the worth of giving? Is the gift acceptable? or the giver? But if the readiness be there, one is accepted according to what one has, not according to what one has not. Sentiment disappears; reality takes its place. Truth accompanies grace; and equity follows. For it is not that others should have ease and the Corinthians pressure, but on equality; and, as the application is made, "at the present time your abundance for their lack, that their abundance area should be for your lack." This is fortified by God's way and word as to the gathering of the manna of old; when God adjusted the supply to the demand with a wisdom and power which precluded superfluity no less than deficiency. He that gave the manna from heaven measured it exactly, whatever the differing measures in man's hands. And we have to do with the same God, who regulates all in the assembly with assuredly no less care and love.
In the rest of the chapter the apostle dwells on the care taken that the administration of the bounty should be not only beyond suspicion, but clothed with dignity and godly confidence by the known character of those entrusted with it. For it is not enough that the end should be divine, but that the means also should approve themselves to every true conscience. If lucre be apt to be filthy, if covetousness be idolatry, if the love of money be a root of all evil, the Spirit of God knows how to bring in Christ into every detail, and to turn both way and end into blessing to God's glory.
"But thanks to God that giveth the same zeal for you in the heart of Titus, in that he received indeed the exhortation, but being very zealous of his own accord he set out unto you. But we sent together with him the brother whose praise in the gospel [is] through all the assemblies, and not only [so] but also chosen by the assemblies our fellow-traveller with this grace that is being administered by us unto the glory of the Lord [himself]* and our† readiness; guarding against this, that none should blame us in this abundance that is being administered by us, for we provide‡ things honourable not only before [the] Lord but also before men. And we have sent with them our brother whom we proved to be zealous many times in many things, but now much more zealous by great confidence that [he hath] in you. Whether as regards Titus, [he is] my partner and fellow-labourer toward you; whether our brethren, [they are] messengers of assemblies, Christ's glory. The showing forth then of your love and of our boasting for you show forth** unto them†† in the face of the assemblies." (Vers. 16-24.)
* B C Dp.m. F G L many cursives and ancient versions omit αὐôïῦ "himself."
† Text. Rec. has ὑìῶν "your," contrary to the oldest and best MSS which read ἡìῶν "our."
‡ Instead of Text. Rec. προνοούìåíïι with later MSS (or better γάρ added as in C. etc.), the best read προνοοῦìåí ãάρ "for we provide."
** For Text. Rec. ἐíäåίîáóèε with many old MSS, is real in B Dp.m. Ep.m. F G etc.
†† The καί "and" of the Text. Rec. has no adequate authority and encumbers the sense.
The apostle thankfully owned the grace of God in giving Titus to feel as he zealously felt himself about the Corinthian saints in the matter, so that while he met the desire, yet too zealous as he was to require it he was ready to set out of his own accord unto them. He speaks as if it were already done; because in the style adopted in letters the facts would be made good when Titus had reached Corinth with this epistle. How eminently suited to comfort as well as rouse to a holy zeal the saints themselves when such a servant of the Lord as Titus so promptly responded to the apostle's heart, confident as both were that, whatever appearances indicated to those who judged superficially, grace had wrought in them, really and would yet flow through them to God's glory abundantly! If Timothy was like-minded with him to care for the state of the Philippians with genuine feeling at a later day, the Corinthians might now learn no less, as they were already prepared to do, how Titus shared the zeal of the apostle in carrying out the proffered bounty of Corinth, which bad been so slow of execution as to compromise them.
Thoughtful too as ever that Christ's glory should be sustained in His servants, He would not expose Titus to unworthy, however unwarrantable, question; and so he associated with him in this service "the brother whose praise in the gospel is throughout all the assemblies." So well known was he by this description to the Corinthians that no direct designation was needed, though men of other times have found it so vague as to afford grounds equally plausible for many, equally uncertain for any one in particular. Of one thing we may be assured that, whether or not Luke was intended, "whose praise in the gospel" has nothing to do with him in respect of the inspired account of our Lord which induced many of the ancients to appropriate the description to him, any more than to Mark. Barnabas and Silas have been conjectured; as also Aristarchus, Gaius, Trophimus, etc. But none of these guesses seems less happy than that of some speculative Germans, who have applied τὸí ἀäåëöόν to a supposed brother (after the flesh) of Titus, not seeing the incongruity of such an one, if indeed he existed, for the work in hand. The object and character of the association would have been frustrated by selecting one so near to Titus. But we do know the further consideration that, whoever he may have been, he was chosen by the assemblies to travel with the apostle and the rest who were to carry the offering of love from the, Gentile saints to their poor brethren in Judea.
Here we see an important principle in exact accordance with the direction of the twelve in Acts 6. As the christian multitude gave the means, they were left free to choose the administrators. This was as wise as gracious. The apostles kept aloof from all appearance of favouritism, and adhered to their own work with prayer, the condition of power. They might solemnly establish the seven over their business of serving tables; but they called on the disciples in general to look out from among themselves men of good report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom in whom they had confidence. Such were the proceedings in the assembly of Jerusalem; and a like method was adopted among the Gentile assemblies, where many joined their contributions for the need at Jerusalem as we learn in verse 19. Where the saints gave, they chose according to their best judgment for the due application of their gifts, whether in one assembly, or for the special work of many assemblies. But in no case did they meddle with the ministers of the word. These the Lord gave, not the church; and the church, instead of choosing, received those whom the Lord chose and sent, not merely the higher ones, as apostles and prophets, but the more ordinary, as evangelists, pastors and teachers. For they too all rest on the same principle of the Lord's gift, and not man's. And hence it is an utter confusion to mix up two things so different as the Lord's sole title to give and send His servants in the word, and the assembly's title to choose those in whom the saints have confidence to administer their bounty.
The case before us falls under the latter. "The brother" un-named was chosen by the assemblies "our fellow-traveller with the grace that is being administered by us unto the glory of the Lord [Himself] and our readiness;" as indeed the apostle had directed in 1 Corinthians 16:3-4. The moral reason of the caution follows: "guarding against this, that none should blame us in this abundance that is being administered by us, for we provide things honourable not only before [the] Lord but before men." (Vers. 20, 21.) It is not lack of faith, but rather faith working by love which would cut off occasion from men, as well as walk with pure conscience before God. The allusion is to Proverbs 3:4 in the LXX.
The next verse, as well as that which follows, proves that the apostle added another brother. "And we sent with them [i.e. with Titus and the one already described] our brother whom we proved to be zealous many times in many things, but now much more zealous by great confidence that [he hath] in you." (Ver. 22.) Still less is it possible for us to determine who is this second brother meant; because we have not even so many marks as attached to the first. But two particulars fitting him for the work are mentioned: the apostle's experience of his proved zeal often and variedly; and again the exceeding warmth of his own zeal now by his (hardly Paul's) great confidence in the Corinthian saints. For the margin of the Authorised Version is more correct than the text, at least in my judgment. None could be so unsuitable an associate as a near relation, if the aim were, as it was, to inspire confidence in the donors.
It seems to be clear from verse 23 that Titus stood relatively in the higher position of the three who were to accompany the apostle: "Whether as regards Titus, [he is] my partner and fellow-labourer toward you; whether our brethren, [they are] messengers of assemblies, Christ's glory." Is it not then incredible that the apostle would have thus classified or described men so eminent as Barnabas, Silas, Luke or Mark? Not to say that it was only at a later day that he expresses his re-assurance as to the last. Could he yet write that Mark was serviceable to him for ministry? or that he was among his fellow-workers for the kingdom of God who were such as had been a consolation to him? Renewed confidence may be gravely doubted then, though it came at length; and the apostle was glad to say so as soon as he could to the Lord's praise.
It is well to note how the expression "messengers [ἀðόóôïëïι] of assemblies" illustrates the difference of a charge from men however delicate and weighty as compared with a gift or charge from the Lord like an apostle. These brethren, while beautifully and graciously styled "Christ's glory" as being active in the display of His excellency, were deputed envoys of certain churches who entrusted them with their contributions for Judea. Not only did he decline the sole administration of the gift himself, but he directed and sanctioned the choice of more than one and gave their task dignity in all eyes by associating the two brethren, not only with Titus who shared the highest confidence of the saints, but with himself. Our Authorised Version, however, is quite right in not rendering the word "apostles" (which is appropriated to the envoys of the Lord in the highest rank of His work) and in preferring "messengers" here and in Php 2:25, where it is said of Epaphroditus who was the bearer of what the Philippian saints sent at a later day of the apostle in Rome. To translate the passage in our text or in Philippians 2, "apostles" can only be from inconsiderateness, or still worse - the desire to level down the apostles of Christ by levelling up the messenger or messengers of churches. The source of the commission is the measure of their difference. To confound them is to degrade the Lord or to deify the church, the great effort of the enemy by those who know not the truth, however they may look in opposition to each other. For here it is that the highest and the lowest ecclesiastically meet: the one by exalting a merely human caste of church officials to the place which the Lord gave His apostles; the other by reducing the apostles of the Lord to those chosen by the assemblies or delegates of the people. They both agree, one superstitiously, the other rationalistically, in unbelief of Christ's gracious power in providing for the perfecting of the saints.
Having thus summed up what he had to say of his companions, of moment for the Corinthian saints at this time, he calls on the saints to give the proof of their love and of his boasting about them to those brethren in the face of the assemblies.
How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
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.
Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
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.
I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
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:
As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.
For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.
And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
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:
Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:
Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
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.
Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.