|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:7-9 Faith is the root; and as without faith it is not possible to please God, Heb 11:6, so those who abound in faith, will abound in other graces and good works also; and this will work and show itself by love. Great talkers are not always the best doers; but these Corinthians were diligent to do, as well as to know and talk well. To all these good things the apostle desires them to add this grace also, to abound in charity to the poor. The best arguments for Christian duties, are drawn from the grace and love of Christ. Though he was rich, as being God, equal in power and glory with the Father, yet he not only became man for us, but became poor also. At length he emptied himself, as it were, to ransom their souls by his sacrifice on the cross. From what riches, blessed Lord, to what poverty didst thou descend for our sakes! and to what riches hast thou advanced us through thy poverty! It is our happiness to be wholly at thy disposal.
Verse 8. - Not by commandment. St. Paul felt an honourable sensibility which prevented him from straining his authority by urging the Corinthians to give of their substance. Among Gentiles such contributions towards the needs of others - the result of unselfish compassion - were all but unknown. The forwardness; i.e. the ready zeal. The sincerity; more literally, the genuineness.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I speak not by commandment,.... Either of God, who has not fixed the certain times when, or certain sums which persons are to give, and other circumstances, which are left to discretion; but in general has signified it as his will, that those in necessity are to be relieved by such who are in ability to do it: or as an apostle, he did not speak in an imperious manner, extorting from them a collection, or laying his apostolical injunctions upon them to make one; he did not go about to force or oblige them to it, for men in such cases must act willingly, and what they do, must do of their own accord with cheerfulness, and not through constraint or grudgingly:
but by occasion of the forwardness of others; or "through carefulness for others"; what moved the apostle to propose this matter to the Corinthians, and exhort them to it, were either the forwardness of the Macedonians, cheerfully contributing in the midst of their poverty, and their urgent solicitations that the same good work might go on elsewhere, or else the very great care and concern that he himself had for the poor saints at Jerusalem: it was not therefore to show his apostolical authority, that he sent Titus to them to finish this service; but he was stirred up hereunto, partly by the bounty and solicitations of others, and partly by bowels of compassion within himself, and concern in his own mind for the poor saints; and also, as he adds,
to prove the sincerity of your love; to God, to Christ, to his ministers, and to the saints, particularly the poor; that their love might appear to be true, genuine, hearty, and real to others, to all men as well as to them the apostles.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. not by commandment—"not by way of commandment."
but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and &c.—rather, "But by (mention of) the forwardness of others (as an inducement to you), and to prove (literally, 'proving') the sincerity of your love." The Greek is "by means of," not "on account of the forwardness," &c. Bengel, Ellicott, and others translate, "By means of the forwardness of others, proving the sincerity of your love ALSO." The former is the simpler construction in the Greek.
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