2 Corinthians 8:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

New Living Translation
They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

English Standard Version
and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

New American Standard Bible
and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.

King James Bible
And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
and not just as we had hoped. Instead, they gave themselves especially to the Lord, then to us by God's will.

International Standard Version
We did not expect that! They gave themselves to the Lord first and then to us, since this was God's will.

NET Bible
And they did this not just as we had hoped, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and to us by the will of God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And not according to what we had hoped, but they offered themselves to our Lord first and also to us in the will of God,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They did more than we had expected. First, they gave themselves to the Lord and to us, since this was God's will.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord and then unto us by the will of God.

King James 2000 Bible
And this they did, not as we expected, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

American King James Version
And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God.

American Standard Version
and this , not as we had hoped, but first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And not as we hoped, but they gave their own selves first to the Lord, then to us by the will of God:

Darby Bible Translation
And not according as we hoped, but they gave themselves first to the Lord, and to us by God's will.

English Revised Version
and this, not as we had hoped, but first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God.

Webster's Bible Translation
And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God:

Weymouth New Testament
They not only did this, as we had expected, but first of all in obedience to God's will they gave their own selves to the Lord and to us.

World English Bible
This was not as we had hoped, but first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God.

Young's Literal Translation
and not according as we expected, but themselves they did give first to the Lord, and to us, through the will of God,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

8:1-6 The grace of God must be owned as the root and fountain of all the good in us, or done by us, at any time. It is great grace and favour from God, if we are made useful to others, and forward to any good work. He commends the charity of the Macedonians. So far from needing that Paul should urge them, they prayed him to receive the gift. Whatever we use or lay out for God, it is only giving him what is his own. All we give for charitable uses, will not be accepted of God, nor turn to our advantage, unless we first give ourselves to the Lord. By ascribing all really good works to the grace of God, we not only give the glory to him whose due it is, but also show men where their strength is. Abundant spiritual joy enlarges men's hearts in the work and labour of love. How different this from the conduct of those who will not join in any good work, unless urged into it!

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - Not as we hoped; rather, not as we expected. They were so poor that it was impossible to expect much from them, but they surpassed my expectations in every way. The Church of Philippi, perhaps under the influence of Lydia, was remarkable for generosity, and was the only Church from which St. Paul would accept any personal help (Philippians 2:25; Philippians 4:15-18). First. "They gave themselves to the Lord, which is the best of all, and they gave themselves as helpers to us also - by the will of God." (For a similar use of "and" to imply a matter of less importance, see Acts 15:28.) The phrase, "by the will of God," implies thanksgiving to God for the grace which enabled them to give themselves to him, and their goods to his saints. Being "a peculiar people," they naturally showed themselves "zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). First (Romans 1:16; Romans 2:9, 10).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And this they did not as we hoped,.... All this was unexpected by the apostles, who knew their great affliction and deep poverty, and therefore could not have hoped for such a collection from them; or that they would have desired the apostle to have ministered it for them:

but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God; the sense of which is not barely, or only, that they committed themselves to the care of Providence in all their afflictions and poverty, trusting in God that he would provide for them for time to come, and therefore even in their strait circumstances gave liberally; and were so much under the direction of the apostles, God so disposing their minds, that they were willing to do or give anything that they should say was proper; yea, were very willing that some of their number should leave their habitations and families to accompany them, in forwarding this good work elsewhere: but the apostle seems to have respect to what these persons did at first conversion, when they gave themselves to Christ, to be saved by him, and him alone; and to serve him to the uttermost, in everything, he should signify to be his will; and when they joined themselves to the churches of Christ, and put themselves under the care, government, and direction of the apostles, who were over the churches in the Lord: and therefore though what the members of these churches collected, was very wonderful and beyond expectation; yet when it is considered that these persons had long ago given their whole selves, their all to Christ, had committed all into his hands, and devoted themselves entirely to his service; and had declared their subjection to his ministers as servants under him, and to his word and ordinances as ministered by them; it need not be so much wondered at, that they should be so liberal in giving away their worldly substance for the relief of Christ's poor members, when they had given their precious souls, their immortal all, and had committed the salvation of them entirely to him. Giving themselves to Christ, in this sense, supposes that they had a true sight and apprehension of their state and condition by nature, how sinful they were, and lost and undone in themselves; that they were destitute of a righteousness, and unable to obtain one by the works of the law; that they were in hopeless and helpless circumstances, as considered in themselves; that they were diseased from head to foot, and could not cure themselves; that they were dead in law, and liable to the curse and condemnation of it; for till men see themselves in such a case they will never give themselves to Christ, or betake themselves to him to be saved by him. Moreover, this supposes some knowledge of him as God's ordinance for salvation, as the Saviour of the Father's appointing and sending; of him, as having effected it by his obedience and death; of his being the only Saviour, a suitable one, both able and willing to save to the uttermost, even the chief of sinners that come to God by him. It is expressive of faith in Christ; of seeing the Son and the fulness of grace and salvation in him, and of going to him for it; of staying, resting, leaning, and relying upon him, venturing on him, committing all into his hands, and trusting him with all and for all. It denotes subjection to him, as their husband, to whom they give themselves as his spouse and bride, and consent to be the Lord's in a conjugal relation; and submission to him in all his offices, as a prophet to be taught and instructed by him, as a priest to be washed in his blood, and justified by his righteousness, to which they heartily submit, and as their Lord and King to the sceptre of his kingdom, the laws of his house, and ordinances of his Gospel; for they are made a willing people, not only to be saved by him, but to serve him in body and soul, and with all they have; as it is but right they should, since he has given himself, his all, for them. Giving themselves up to the apostles, signifies not a surrender of themselves to them as lords over God's heritage, to be governed and ruled over in a tyrannical and arbitrary way; but a submitting of themselves to them, as Christ's servants set over them in the Lord, whilst they minister the word and administer the ordinances, according to the will of Christ; owning them as their fathers, or instructors, and guides, and as watchmen and overseers placed in and over the churches, for their spiritual welfare: all which is,

by the will of God: as that poor sensible sinners should give up themselves to Christ, to be saved by him, and serve him; and that they should join themselves to the churches, and be subject to the care, teachings, and government of his servants in his house.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. And this they did, not as we hoped—Translate, "And not as we hoped (that is, far beyond our hopes), but their own selves gave they first to the Lord." "First," not indicating priority of time, but first of all, above all in importance. The giving of themselves takes precedency of their other gifts, as being the motive which led them to the latter (Ro 15:16).

by the will of God—not "according to the will of God," but "moved by the will of God, who made them willing" (Php 2:13). It is therefore called (2Co 8:1), "the grace of God."

2 Corinthians 8:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Generosity Commended
4begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 6So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 Corinthians 8:1
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
Treasury of Scripture

And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God.

first.

2 Corinthians 5:14,15 For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that …

1 Samuel 1:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he …

2 Chronicles 30:8 Now be you not stiff necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves …

Isaiah 44:3-5 For I will pour water on him that is thirsty, and floods on the dry …

Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of …

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine …

Romans 6:13 Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness …

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you …

Romans 14:7-9 For none of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself…

1 Corinthians 6:19,20 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost …

unto.

2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves …

1 Chronicles 12:18 Then the spirit came on Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and …

2 Chronicles 30:12 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the …

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