Paul continues in this chapter about the collection for the saints at Jerusalem, acknowledging that the Corinthians had already expressed their desire to do it and made the pledge. He wants to make sure they have it ready when the brethren arrive to take charge of it, so that it does not look like an after-thought. If they have to scramble around and scurry after it, there is more chance that some will miss their opportunity to give – and this would reflect badly on the others. Note Paul’s use of the word “we” in verse 4. He is speaking not just of himself, but identifying himself with them at Corinth – as well as the other Gentiles who had shown their generosity.
The generous gifts to the poor at the Jerusalem church by these Christians (who had been pagans before) will increase the faith of those at Jerusalem and help them to see the sincerity and genuineness of the conversion of those at Corinth. Verses 6-11 are sometimes used to promote the preaching of some that giving to others will bring the giver prosperity and health. God surely blesses the cheerful giver (verse 7), but building material wealth for the generous giver is not God’s intention; and if such is the motive, it is vain. God will surely “increase the harvest of your righteousness” as one gives cheerfully (verse 10), and will enrich one spiritually as well. Any increase in wealth one enjoys should be the motivation for more generosity, and more thanksgiving to God (verses 11-12).
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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