Life-Study of 2 Corinthiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 8:16-24 we have a section of this Epistle showing us what kind of persons the apostles were. In the first half of this chapter, Paul had fellowship with the saints at Corinth concerning the ministry to the needy saints in Judea. As we read this chapter, it may seem to us that this fellowship is finished by verse 15, that it is perfect and complete. Paul not only had fellowship with the saints in Corinth concerning this matter, but he also presented to them the description of a situation that assured them that what he was doing was being carried out in a very proper way.
Second Corinthians 8:16-24 can help us a great deal in our behavior with respect to money. A large proportion of the problems in society are related to money. Therefore, we all must learn to be careful in handling it.
It is beyond our ability to imagine the different kind of problems that can arise in relation to the handling of money. Money is a source of temptation. We should not consider ourselves so spiritual that we could never have a problem concerning the handling of money. Certainly none of us is more faithful or spiritual than the Apostle Paul. Nevertheless, he was cautious and careful regarding money. I believe that he was quite thoughtful concerning money matters. For this reason, after having fellowship with the saints in Corinth concerning the ministry to the needy saints in Judea, he added verses 16 through 24 to point out some important matters related to the handling of money.
In these verses we see that Paul recommended certain brothers to the Corinthian believers with respect to the ministry to the needy saints. First he recommended Titus. Verses 16 and 17 say, “But thanks be to God Who is giving the same earnestness on your behalf in the heart of Titus. Because he indeed received the entreaty, but being more earnest he went forth of his own accord to you.” The Greek word rendered earnestness in verse 16 also means diligence. It refers to Paul’s diligence, earnestness, for the believers. The entreaty mentioned in verse 17 is the entreaty of the apostle.
Verse 18 says, “And we sent together with him the brother, whose praise in the gospel is throughout all the churches.” In verse 22, Paul refers to yet another brother: “And we sent with them our brother, whom we have proved to be diligent in many things many times, yet now much more diligent through the great confidence he has in you.” These verses indicate that in addition to Titus, two other brothers were recommended to the Corinthians.
Money is very much used by the Devil to seduce man into dishonesty, but it is also involved in the ministry of material things to the saints. In order to avoid blame through man’s suspicion in this matter, the apostles sent a reputable brother to go with Titus as a witness. In verse 22 we see that another faithful brother was sent with these two, that by the mouth of three witnesses a strong testimony might be established (Matt. 18:16). Of these three brothers, only the name of Titus is given. However, the other brothers were known in the churches, and Paul even spoke of them as apostles of the churches (v. 23).
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