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FOR concerning the ministry that is done towards the saints, it is superfluous for me to write unto you.

Ver. 1.  The ministry, that is, the contributions for the brethren, so it is also called again, (v. 12.) the ministry of this office, or, as the Greek signifies, of this sacrifice, inasmuch as alms, and such charitable works, are spiritual sacrifices to God.  Wi.


2 For I know your forward mind: for which I boast of you to the Macedonians. That Achaia also is ready from the year past, and your emulation hath provoked very many.

Ver. 2.  That Achaia also was ready.  Corinth was the capital of Achaia.  S. Paul had formerly exhorted the Macedonians to contribute to the utmost of their power, informing them, that Corinth and all Achaia were prepared a year ago to collect alms, and now the apostle, speaking to the Corinthians, encourages them by the example of the faithful of Macedon, and informs them of the greatness of their charitable contributions, and the greatness of their zeal.  Theo.




3 Now I have sent the brethren, that the thing which we boast of concerning you, be not made void in this behalf, that (as I have said) you may be ready:

Ver. 3.  Titus, and two others.


4 Lest, when the Macedonians shall come with me, and find you unprepared, we (not to say ye) should be ashamed in this matter. 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to desire the brethren that they would go to you before, and prepare this blessing before promised, to be ready, so as a blessing, not as covetousness.

Ver. 5.  Not forced from covetousness.  Lit. not as avarice, as it were extorted from covetous people, who give unwillingly.  Wi.


6 Now this I say: He who soweth sparingly, shall also reap sparingly: and he who soweth in blessings, shall also reap blessings. 7 Every one as he hath determined in his heart, not with sadness, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

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8 And God is able to make all grace abound in you; that ye always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work,

Ver. 8.  God is generous to the liberally disposed Christian; filling such as relieve the poor with every species of good, and returning their charities a hundred-fold.  M.


9 As it is written: He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever.

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10 And he that ministereth seed to the sower, will both give you bread to eat, and will multiply your seed, and increase the growth of the fruits of your justice: 11 That being enriched in all things, you may abound unto all simplicity, which worketh through us thanksgiving to God.

Ver. 11-13.  All bountifulness,† by which is signified, a sincere and free liberality, by giving with a sincere heart, and good intention.  S. Paul encourages them to contribute willingly for God's sake, and out of a true charity for their indigent brethren, who will praise, and thank God, and pray for them, &c.  Wi.

 

[†] In omnem simplicitatem, aplothta, upon which S. Chrys. says, om. k. aplothta thn dayileian kalei, a plentiful abundance.

12 Because the administration of this office doth not only supply the want of the saints, but aboundeth also by many thanksgivings in the Lord, 13 By the proof of this ministry, glorifying God for the obedience of your confession unto the gospel of Christ, and for the simplicity of your communicating unto them, and unto all. 14 And in their praying for you, being desirous of you, because of the excellent grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

Ver. 15.  For his unspeakable gift.  Such is the conclusion, which the apostle puts to the subject upon alms-deeds.  In the following chapter he proceeds to a new subject; but first thanks the Almighty, that he has enriched the Corinthians with so charitable a disposition.  S. Chrys. Theo. and some other commentators think, that by the expression, his unspeakable gift, is meant the incarnation of Christ.  The fruit of alms-deeds is the increase of grace in all justice and good works to life everlasting; God granting these blessings for a reward and recompense of charitable works, which therefore are called the seed, (v. 11. supra) or meritorious cause of these spiritual fruits.  B.


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