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2 Corinthians 8 and 9 Amplified

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2 Corinthians

Chapter 8

1. We want to tell you further, brethren, about the grace(the favor and spiritual blessing) of god which has been evident in the churches of Macedonia [arousing in them the desire to give alms];

2.   For in the midst of an ordeal of severe tribulation, their abundance of joy and their depth of poverty [together] have overflowed in a wealth of lavish generosity on their part.

3.  For, as I can bear witness, they gave] according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability; and [they did it] voluntarily,

4. Begging us most insistently for the favor and the fellowship of contributing in this ministration for [the relief and support of] the saints [in Jerusalem].

5.  Nor [was this gift of theirs merely the contribution] that we expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us [as His agents] by the will of god—that is, entirely disregarding their personal interests, they gave as much as they possibly could, having put themselves at our disposal to be directed by the will of God.

6.  So much so that we have urged Titus that as he began it, he should also complete this beneficent and gracious contribution among you, [the church at Corinth]. 

7.  Now as you abound and excel and are at the front in everything, in faith, in expressing yourselves, in knowledge, in all zeal, and in your love for us, [see to it that you come to the front now and] abound and excel in this gracious work [of almsgiving] also.

8.  I give this not as an order—to dictate to you—but to prove by [pointing out] the zeal of others the sincerity of you [own] love also.

9.  for you are coming progressively to be acquainted with and to recognize more strongly and clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ—His kindness, His gracious generosity, His undeserved favor and spiritual blessing; [in] that though He was [so very] rich, yet for your sakes He became [so very] poor, in order that by His poverty you might become enriched—abundantly supplied.

10.  [It is then] my counsel and my opinion in this matter that I give [you, when I say], it is profitable and fitting for you [now to complete the enterprise], which more than a year ago you not only began, but were the first to wish to do anything [about contributions for the relief of the saints at Jerusalem].

11.  So now finish doing it, that your (enthusiastic) readiness in desiring it may be equaled by your completion of it according to your ability and means.

12.  For the (eager) readiness to give is there, then it is acceptable and welcomed in proportion to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.

13.  For it is not [intended} that other people be eased and relieved (of their responsibility) and you be burdened and suffer (unfairly);

14.  But to have equality—share and share alike; your surplus over necessity at the present time going to meet their want and to equalize the difference created by it, so that [at some other time} their surplus in turn may be given to supply your want. Thus there may be equality.

15.  As it is written, he who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little did not lack.  {Exod. 16:18]

16.  But thanks be to God Who planted the same earnest zeal and care for you in the heart of Titus.

17.  For he not only welcomed and responded to our appeal, but was himself so keen in his enthusiasm and interest in you that he is going to you of his own accord.

18.  But we are sending along with him that brother [Luke?] whose praise in the Gospel ministry [is spread] throughout all the churches;

19.  and more than that, he has been appointed by the churches to travel as our companion in regard to this bountiful contribution which we are administering for the glory of the Lord Himself, and [to show] our eager readiness [as Christians to help one another].

20.  [For] we are on our guard, intending that no one should find anything for which to blame us in regard to our administration of this large contribution.

21.  For we take thought beforehand and aim to be honest and absolutely above suspicion not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men.

22.  Moreover along with them we are sending our brother, whom we have often put to the test and have found him zealous (devoted and earnest) in many matters, but who is now more (eagerly) earnest than ever because of [his] absolute confidence n you.

23.  As for Titus, he is my colleague and shares my work in your service; and as for the [other two] brethren, they are the (special) messengers of the churches, a credit and glory to Christ, the Messiah.

24.  Show to these men, therefore, in the sight of the churches, the reality and plain truth of your love—your affection, good will and benevolence—and what [good reasons] I had for boasting about and being proud for you.

Chapter 9

1.  Now about the offering that is [to be made] for the saints—God’s people [in Jerusalem]—it is quite superfluous that I should write to you;

2.  For I am well acquainted with your willingness—your readiness and your eagerness to promote it—and I have proudly told about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia [most of Greece] has been prepared since last year for this contribution; and [consequently] your enthusiasm has stimulated the majority of them.

3.  Still, I am sending the brethren [on to you], lest our pride in you should be made an empty boast in this particular case, and so that you may be all ready, as I told them you would be;

4.  Lest, if [any] Macedonians should come with me and find you unprepared [for your generosity], we, to say nothing of yourselves, be humiliated for our being so confident.

5.  That is why I thought it necessary to urge these brethren to go to you before I do, and make arrangements in advance for this bountiful, promised gift of yours; so that it may be ready, not as an extortion—wrung out of you—but as a generous and willing gift.

6.  [Remember] this:  he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously and that blessings may come to someone, will also reap generously and with blessings.

7. Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (that is, He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, prompt-to-do-it) giver—whose heart is in his giving.  [Prov. 22:9]

8.  And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need, be self-sufficient—possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation.

9.  As it is written, He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever!  [Ps. 112:9]

10.  And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifest itself in active goodness, kindness and charity].  [Isa. 55:10; Hos. 10:12]

11.  Thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way, so that you can be generous,[and your generosity as it is] administered bty us will bring forth thanksgiving to god.

12.  For the service the ministering of this fund renders does not only fully supply what is lacking to the saints (God’s people), but it also overflows in many [cries of] thanksgiving to God.

13.  Because at [your] standing of the test of this ministry, they will glorify god at your loyalty and obedience to the Gospel of Christ which you confess, as well as for your generous-hearted liberality to them and to all [the other needy ones].

14.  And they yearn for you while they pray for you, because of the surpassing measure of God’s grace (His favor and mercy and spiritual blessing which is shown forth) in you.

15.  Now thanks be to God for His Gift, [precious] beyond telling—His indescribable, inexpressible, free Gift!

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