2 Corinthians 8
by Philip Layton
The Church in Corinth is urged to excel in the grace of giving
With regard to your financial giving, what does verse 12 mean?
Who is this ‘brother’ (v 18)? Has Paul deliberately not named him and, if so, why?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Titus became a trusted and valuable assistant to Paul. When Paul and Barnabas were concerned about the circumcision of new Gentile believers, wanting a decision to be made by the mother-church in Jerusalem, they decided to travel there – taking Titus with them. It was important to have him there because Titus was a Gentile, a new convert who loved Jesus Christ with all his heart. He could demonstrate to the others the life of a Spirit-regenerated believer – without having been circumcised.
Titus became a test case. What would happen to him would impact the future of Christianity. But not only was he a test case; he was a valued leader, a fellow-worker in the mission of reaching out to others. When things had been going wrong in Corinth, Paul chose Titus to go and help straighten things out.
He trusted Titus that much, sending him into a very difficult situation:
Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you (v 16).
Titus was asked by Paul to encourage the Corinthians to give generously. The funds were to be carefully administered. People probably didn’t like to hear about money, about financial giving – similar to many congregations today! But Paul knew Titus was the right person to send to Corinth; someone who could talk about practical matters such as this. Titus was an important, trusted leader. The Corinthians soon came to realise this.
Being a fellow-worker is crucial for God’s mission. To learn from others; to take direction from various leaders; to assert oneself when necessary – all for the glory of God. It takes initiative, courage, boldness; it also takes great humility and servant-hood. May God work in and through each of us today.
Beverly IvanyTags: 2 Corinthians