The Money Collected in Corinth
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
(1) And now, my brothers and sisters, we want to tell you about the grace that God has given to the churches throughout the Roman province of Macedonia. (2) Even in the middle of a severe trial, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty overflowed in rich, generous giving. (3) For I can tell you that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, (4) they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in the service of helping the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem (see Galatians 2:10). (5) And they even exceeded our expectations: they gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by God’s will also to us. (6) So we have urged Titus to complete what he started earlier regarding this grace of giving on your part in Corinth. (7) But even as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in the love we have inspired in you—be sure that you also excel in this grace of giving.
(8) I am not commanding that you must do this, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it to the earnestness of other churches. (9) For you know about the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that even though he was rich yet for your sake he became poor, so that through his poverty you might become rich.
(10) And this is my advice about what is best regarding this matter of giving. A year ago you were the first not only to give, but also to have the desire to give. (11) Now I call upon you to finish the work that you have started, so that your eager willingness to do it will be matched by your completion of it—that is, according to your ability. (12) For if the willingness to give is in your heart, then the gift is acceptable according to what one has to give, not according to what one does not have to give.
(13) I do not mean that other churches should be relieved while you are burdened, but that there might be equality in giving. (14) At the present time your abundance will supply what they need, so that in turn their abundance will supply what you need. Our goal is that everyone should give equally, (15) as it is written in Exodus 16:18, “The person who gathered much did not have too much, and the person who gathered little had no lack.”
Paul Sends Titus to Corinth
2 Corinthians 8:16-24
(16) Thanks be to God, who put into Titus’ heart the same concern that I have for you. (17) For not only has he accepted my request to visit you, but he is going to visit you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. (18) And we are sending along with Titus the brother who is honored by all the churches for his service to the good news (gospel) of Christ. (19) And not only this but, the brother was chosen by the churches to travel with us when we take the offering to the poor in Jerusalem (see Galatians 2:10), which we are giving to honor the Lord and to show our eagerness to help. (20) We want to avoid all possible criticism concerning how we administer this financial gift. (21) For we are taking great pains to do what is right not only in Lord’s sight but also in the sight of all people.
(22) In addition, we are sending with them (Titus and the chosen brother) another brother who has often proven to us that he is passionate in all things, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. (23) As for Titus, he is my ministry partner and co-worker among you in Corinth; as for the other brothers, they are apostles of the churches and an honor to Christ. (24) Therefore show these men (Titus and the two brothers) the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that all the churches can see it.