In chapter 7, Paul continues to urge them to get past the problems of the past; and he again assures them of his love for them. He tells them that although he is not glad of their grief from the chastisement in his first letter, he does rejoice that their grief had led to repentance. By this, they had proved their innocence, as he said:
So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. Therefore we are comforted.
It is here that he refers to Titus having visited, and had been “refreshed” in spirit by doing so. Paul declared that Titus had proved that Paul’s boasting about him was not misplaced; and Titus had even greater affection for them as a result.
Paul is sincerely proud of them, and in chapter 8 he reminds them of the collection for the poor in Jerusalem that was being gathered. He had first spoken to them about it several months ago (verse 10), and they had been happy to commit to doing it. Paul knows that this effort will be good for them as well.
Paul also points out the generosity of the brethren of Macedonia in this effort, of which McGarvey writes: “The only Macedonian churches known to us were those at Philippi, Thessalonica and Beroea. The district of Macedonia had suffered in the three civil wars, and had been reduced to such poverty that Tiberius Cæsar, hearkening to their petitions, had lightened their taxes. But in addition to this general poverty, the churches had been made poor by persecution (2 Thess 1:4).” As the Corinthian brethren were, by and large, substantially better off, Paul encourages their generosity as well, quoting Exodus 16:18 in verse 15. In verses 16-22, he stresses the point that trusted brethren will be carrying these gifts, so that there could be no hint of impropriety. One of those – the “brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching” of verse 18 – is thought by some to be Luke, but we do not know.
Bible Reading Schedule for this month
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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.