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Section 8, Chapter 9

He exhorts them to contribute bountifully to relieve the poor of Jerusalem.

8:1. Now we make known unto you, brethren, the grace of God that hath been given in the churches of Macedonia.

8:2. That in much experience of tribulation, they have had abundance of joy and their very deep poverty hath abounded unto the riches of their simplicity.

Simplicity. . .That is, sincere bounty and charity.

8:3. For according to their power (I bear them witness) and beyond their power, they were willing:

8:4. With much entreaty begging of us the grace and communication of the ministry that is done toward the saints.

8:5. And not as we hoped: but they gave their own selves, first to the Lord, then to us by the will of God;

8:6. Insomuch, that we desired Titus, that, as he had begun, so also he would finish among you this same grace.

8:7. That as in all things you abound in faith and word and knowledge and all carefulness, moreover also in your charity towards us: so in this grace also you may abound.

8:8. I speak not as commanding: but by the carefulness of others, approving also the good disposition of your charity.

8:9. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich he became poor for your sakes: that through his poverty you might be rich.

8:10. And herein I give my advice: for this is profitable for you who have begun not only to do but also to be willing, a year ago.

8:11. Now therefore perform ye it also in deed: that as your mind is forward to be willing, so it may be also to perform, out of that which you have.

8:12. For if the will be forward, it is accepted according to that which a man hath: not according to that which he hath not.

8:13. For I mean not that others should be eased and you burdened, but by an equality.

8:14. In this present time let your abundance supply their want, that their abundance also may supply your want: that there may be an equality,

8:15. As it is written: He that had much had nothing over; and he that had little had no want.

8:16. And thanks be to God, who hath given the same carefulness for you in the heart of Titus.

8:17. For indeed he accepted the exhortation: but, being more careful, of his own will he went unto you.

8:18. We have sent also with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel through all the churches.

8:19. And not that only: but he was also ordained by the churches companion of our travels, for this grace, which is administered by us, to the glory of the Lord and our determined will:

8:20. Avoiding this, lest any man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us.

8:21. For we forecast what may be good, not only before God but also before men.

8:22. And we have sent with them our brother also, whom we have often proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent: with much confidence in you,

8:23. Either for Titus, who is my companion and fellow labourer towards you, or our brethren, the apostles of the churches, the glory of Christ.

8:24. Wherefore shew ye to them, in the sight of the churches, the evidence of your charity and of our boasting on your behalf.

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