Chapter 8 verse 16 to Chapter 9 verse 5

Chapter 8 verse 16 to Chapter 9 verse 5Thursday 4th May 2017

Posted by Neil Todman

Read 2 Corinthians 8 verse 6 to 9 verse 5

Paul faced many false allegations from his critics in Corinth.  Some of these were about the way he funded his ministry.   Aware of his critics (verse 20), in verses 16 to 23, Paul is at pains to underline his integrity and that of his ministry team in their plan for the administration of the gift given by the churches in Asia for the poor believers in Judea.  Once Paul has done that he then challenges the Corinthians about their own integrity (chapter 8 verse 24 to chapter 9 verse 5).

Paul defines integrity in verse 21.  Integrity involves doing the right thing before God, who sees the motives of our hearts; and doing the right thing before other people, who see how we act.

Paul highlights three men who will take the lead on collecting the gifts from the churches in Asia and ensuring they are given to the believers in Judea.  The first is Titus (verses 16, 17 and 23), who has recently returned from Corinth, refreshed and full of love for them.  He is keen to return to complete the collection of their gift.  With him will come two unnamed brothers (verses 18, 19 and 22), the first of whom Paul underlines has also been chosen by the churches.  These men have proven themselves before God and before his people (verse 23b), therefore they have integrity.

What about the Corinthians?  He wants them to demonstrate their love by stepping up and giving what they had promised (chapter 8 verse 24).  If they do that it will be a sign their hearts are right with God, as they had been the previous year when they enthusiastically offered financial help (chapter 9 verses 1 and 2).  Paul wants to avoid the embarrassment of arriving in Corinth and finding them unprepared, so he has sent his advanced party to ensure this doesn’t happen (chapter 9 verses 3 to 5).  His integrity, as well as the Corinthian believers, is at stake. 

Reflection

Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart, as David does in Psalm 139 verses 23 and 24, and to bring to mind any areas in your own finances where you are not acting with integrity.