|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:6-15 Money bestowed in charity, may to the carnal mind seem thrown away, but when given from proper principles, it is seed sown, from which a valuable increase may be expected. It should be given carefully. Works of charity, like other good works, should be done with thought and design. Due thought, as to our circumstances, and those we are about to relieve, will direct our gifts for charitable uses. Help should be given freely, be it more or less; not grudgingly, but cheerfully. While some scatter, and yet increase; others withhold more than is meet, and it tends to poverty. If we had more faith and love, we should waste less on ourselves, and sow more in hope of a plentiful increase. Can a man lose by doing that with which God is pleased? He is able to make all grace abound towards us, and to abound in us; to give a large increase of spiritual and of temporal good things. He can make us to have enough in all things; and to be content with what we have. God gives not only enough for ourselves, but that also wherewith we may supply the wants of others, and this should be as seed to be sown. We must show the reality of our subjection to the gospel, by works of charity. This will be for the credit of our profession, and to the praise and glory of God. Let us endeavour to copy the example of Christ, being unwearied in doing good, and deeming it more blessed to give than to receive. Blessed be God for the unspeakable gift of his grace, whereby he enables and inclines some of his people to bestow upon others, and others to be grateful for it; and blessed be his glorious name to all eternity, for Jesus Christ, that inestimable gift of his love, through whom this and every other good thing, pertaining to life and godliness, are freely given unto us, beyond all expression, measure, or bounds.
Verse 13. - By the experiment of this ministration; rather, by the test (of your love) furnished by this ministration (2 Corinthians 8:2). For your professed subjection; literally, for the submission of your confession to the gospel of Christ. And for your liberal distribution unto them; rather, and for the simplicity of your fellowship towards them. A large contribution would prove two things; namely,
(1) that the Corinthians showed due subjection to the truths and duties which they theoretically accepted as resulting from the gospel; and
(2) that they were united to their Jewish-Christian brethren and to all others in single-hearted fellowship. It is very doubtful whether haplotes ever means "liberality," and koinonia is here better understood of "communion" than of "communication." Unto all men. For if the Corinthians behaved with such brotherly kindness to the once-despised Jews, who were now their Christian brethren, they would be not likely to refuse fellowship with any others.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whiles by the experiment of this ministration,.... That is, the poor saints at Jerusalem having a specimen, a proof, an experience of the liberality of the Gentile churches ministered to them by the apostles, first,
they glorify God; by giving thanks unto him, acknowledging him to be the author of all the grace and goodness which they, and others, were partakers of; particularly
for your professed subjection to the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel of Christ is the doctrine of grace, life, and salvation by Christ, of which he is the author, as God, the subject matter, as Mediator, and the preacher, as man: subjection to it lies in a hearty receiving of the doctrines of it, and a cheerful submission to his ordinances; and this subjection was professed, declared, and made known to the churches in Judea, by their sending so largely to their relief, which they would never have done, if they had not cordially embraced the Gospel of Christ; for true faith in the doctrine of grace, and a sincere obedience to it, are best declared and known by love to the saints; for faith works by love, both to Christ, and to his people: next they glorified God by giving thanks to him,
for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; which shows, that though they were truly grateful, and heartily thankful for the favours they themselves received, yet not for these only, but for what other poor saints, in other places, were also partakers of; yea, that in the first place they were more sensibly affected with, and more especially thankful for the grace of God bestowed on the Gentiles, in sending the Gospel among them, and bringing them to a subjection to it, than for the temporal good they received from them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. by—through occasion of.
experiment—Translate, "the experience" [Ellicott and others]. Or, "the experimental proof" of your Christian character, afforded by "this ministration."
for your professed subjection—Greek, "for the subjection of your profession"; that is, your subjection in accordance with your profession, in relation to the Gospel. Ye yield yourselves in willing subjection to the Gospel precepts, evinced in acts, as well as in profession.
your liberal distribution—Greek, "the liberality of your contribution in relation to them," &c.
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