Background history on 2 corinthians

Observe the awful impressions this matter made upon the apostle, and should also make upon us. The work is great, and of ourselves we have no strength at all; all our sufficiency is of God. But what we do in religion, unless it is done in sincerity, as in the sight of God, is not of God, does not come from him, and will not reach to him.

May we carefully watch ourselves in this matter; and seek the testimony of our consciences, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, that as of sincerity, so speak we in Christ and of Christ. This particle is properly adversative; but frequently denotes transition, and serves to introduce something else, whether opposite to what precedes, or simply continuative or explanatory. Here, it is designed to continue or explain the statement before made of his deep affection for the church, and his interest in its affairs. He therefore tells them that when he came to Troas, and was favored there with great success, and was engaged in a manner most likely of all others to interest his feelings and to give him joy, yet he was deeply distressed because he had not heard, as he expected, from them; but so deep was his anxiety that he left Troas and went into Macedonia.


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It was on the regular route from Ephesus to Macedonia. Paul took that route because on his journey to Macedonia he had resolved, for the reasons above stated, not to go to Corinth. To preach Christ's gospel - Greek. Why he selected Troas, or the region of the Troad note, Acts , as the field of his labors, he does not say.

It is probable that he was waiting there to hear from Corinth by Titus, and while there he resolved not to be idle, but to make known as much as possible the gospel. And a door was opened unto me - see the note, 1 Corinthians There was an opportunity of doing good, and the people were disposed to hear the gospel. This was a work in which Paul delighted to engage, and in which he usually found his highest comfort. It was of all things the most adapted to promote his happiness.

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Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary Paul expected to meet Titus at Troas, to receive the tidings as to the effect of his first Epistle on the Corinthian Church; but, disappointed in his expectation there, he passed on to Macedonia, where he met him at last 2Co , 6, 7 The history Acts does not record his passing through Troas, in going from Ephesus to Macedonia; but it does in coming from that country Ac ; also, that he had disciples there Ac , which accords with the Epistle 2Co , "a door was opened unto me of the Lord".

Doubtless Paul had fixed a time with Titus to meet him at Troas; and had desired him, if detained so as not to be able to be at Troas at that time, to proceed at once to Macedonia to Philippi, the next station on his own journey. Hence, though a wide door of Christian usefulness opened to him at Troas, his eagerness to hear from Titus the tidings from Corinth, led him not to stay longer there when the time fixed was past, but he hastened on to Macedonia to meet him there [Birks].

On his return to Asia, after the longer visit mentioned here, he stayed seven days Ac The door opened, either signifieth the free liberty he had there to preach, or the great success which God gave him in his work; which he elsewhere calleth an effectual door. The apostle proceeds, in this latter part of the chapter, to take notice of and remove the charge of ostentation and insincerity in preaching the Gospel, and hints at other reasons of his not coming to Corinth; particularly that he took a journey to Troas, expecting to meet with Titus there, who was to give him an account of the affairs of the church at Corinth, which he was desirous of knowing before he went thither; but missing of Titus, is uneasy, and goes for Macedonia; though he was first detained awhile at Troas, having a good opportunity of preaching the Gospel there, with a prospect of success.

Troas was a city of the lesser Asia near the Hellespont, formerly called Troy; of Paul's being at this place more than once, see 2 Timothy , and of this place See Gill on Acts , and of the church there; see Gill on Acts Hither he came, to preach Christ's Gospel; that Gospel, of which Christ is both the author and subject; and is no other than the good news and glad tidings of peace, pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation, by a crucified Jesus; this was his work and business; his heart was in it, he took delight in this service, and it was what he pursued in every place wherever he came; and in this place he had much encouragement; for he adds, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord; such an one as was opened to him at Ephesus, 1 Corinthians ; he had a good opportunity of preaching the Gospel to many souls, many were inclined to attend his ministry, from whence he conceived great hopes of doing good; a door of utterance was given to him to preach the Gospel boldly and freely, and a door of entrance for the Gospel to pass into their hearts: all which was not of men, "but of the Lord"; who has the key of David, who opens and no man shuts, shuts and no man opens.

Since Paul, by mentioning the mood in which he had written his former Epistle 2 Corinthians , was led on to discuss the case of the conscious sinner and the pardon to be bestowed on him 2 Corinthians , he has only now to carry on the historical thread which he had begun in 2 Corinthians Now, he tells how, even after his departure from Ephesus, this disquieting anxiety about his readers did not leave him, but urged him on from Troas to Macedonia without halting.

He might, indeed, have come to Troas without wishing to preach, perhaps only as a traveller passing through it.

See Bernhardy, p. Xenophon, Cyr. See Winer, p. Expositor's Greek Testament 2 Corinthians Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges In spite of the opportunity afforded him of preaching the gospel at Troas, his anxiety would not suffer him to rest, but he hurried on to Macedonia, where at length he found Titus, and heard from him the tidings for which he had scarcely dared to hope. See Acts ; Acts ; Acts ; 2 Timothy Phillips's "that you practise the gospel. Paul is not alone in closely linking profession and practice.

James similarly states that "faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" , 26 and "useless" v. The Judean recipients will praise God, second, for the Corinthians' generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else v. This is the last of three occurrences of haplotes "generosity" in chapters In all three cases the noun denotes simplicity of intent with respect to one's finances "openheartedness"; ; , It is generosity of the heart, not the pocketbook, that counts.

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The recipients will praise God not merely for a gift of money but also for the fellowship in Christ that the gift expresses Dahl Koinwnia "sharing" , found four times in 2 Corinthians, refers to that which is held in common. In the New Testament it comes to denote the close union and caring concern of the members of Christ's body, the church ; ; ; It is a union that is forged by the Spirit but that finds concrete expression in the contributions of the Gentile churches to meet the physical needs of their fellow believers in Judea.

Paul enlarges the scope of recipients to include not only the Judean believers but also everyone else v.

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At face value the comment is obscure. The most reasonable construal is that with them refers to the Jerusalem church, which, in turn, would distribute the funds to everyone else in need. Alternatively, kai eis pantas may be Paul's way of pointing out to the Corinthians that what benefits the Judean believers benefits the whole body of Christians Plummer Fourth and finally, the church as a whole benefits from generous giving.

Here is the key to the urgency of Paul's appeal. For the most part, the recipients were conservative Jewish Christians who still regarded the Gentiles with a certain amount of fear and suspicion. For them the collection proves the Gentiles' profession of faith v. Dokimes the noun behind the verb proved here connotes a test in order to verify someone's or something's genuineness or worth. In this case the collection serves as the test by which the Gentiles' faith is shown to be genuine. Paul anticipates that the offering will impact the church in too additional ways: prayers for the Corinthians will be offered, and a closer relationship betoeen the Jewish recipients and the Gentile donors will be forged v.

The Glory of God in 2 Corinthians

Because of the surpassing grace God has given the Corinthians, one expected result of the collection is that the recipients will pray for them their prayers for you. Willis once said, "Gratitude is not only the memory, but the homage of the heart rendered to God for his goodness. Heartfelt gratitude issues in prayer on the person's behalf.

Prayer, in turn, has a way of bringing us into a closer relationship with those for whom we intercede. This is the second expected result that Paul anticipates. As the recipients pray, Paul says that their hearts will go out to the contributing churches v.


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Epipothew "go out to, yearn after" is another word that turns up a number of times in chapters , 11; As the Jewish recipients pray for their Gentile patrons, their hearts will be warmed toward them, and they will long to see and have a closer relationship with them M. Harris Paul caps off his appeal with what in form is a thanksgiving but in fact is a reminder of the supreme example of giving: Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

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We can never outgive God, for he gave beyond all human imagining. In fact, he gave what Paul calls an indescribable gift. The term anekdihghtos, found only here in the Greek Bible and only once outside the New Testament , denotes something that is beyond human description "ineffable"--Liddell, Scott and Jones What, then, is this indescribable gift? Some suppose that this is Paul's final attempt to motivate generous giving by labeling the expected Corinthian gift as beyond all imagining.

Others believe that Paul is describing the miracle of Jew-Gentile unity for example, Plummer or the universal gospel Martin Most, however, identify God's indescribable gift with Jesus Christ. We can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving. God so loved us that he gave the ultimate gift, whose cost can never be matched: the gift of his only Son. Was Paul's appeal successful? Acts would suggest so. Luke tells us that Paul made his announced third visit to Corinth and stayed three montes.

The length of his visit suggests that he received a ready welcome and that matters were in order regarding the Corinthians' contribution to the relief fund. Paul admits as much in Romans , when he states that "Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. It may be that there was not sufficient time to arrange for a delegate to accompany the funds to Jerusalem. Or the Corinthians could have decided to forgo representation as a way of demonstrating their belated trust in Paul's integrity.

Paul and the delegates arrived at Jerusalem and were received "warmly" Acts Not a word is said, however, about the collection itself. Some conclude from Luke's silence that the offering was not well received. But arguments from silence are precarious ones at best. Moreover, the difficulty that captures Luke's attention is not the Jerusalem church's response to the collection but the trouble that unbelieving Jews from Asia caused Paul: "Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple.

This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place' " Acts Paul anticipated encountering problems in Jerusalem and asked the Roman church to pray that he be rescued from unbelieving Jews in Judea Rom But the collection was far too important to deter him, for it symbolized, as it were, the very nature of the church--a community called out from many backgrounds to be "in Christ" Craddock Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy.

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Create or log in to your Bible Gateway account. The topic is fellowship—perhaps marriage—with unbelievers. A very un-Pauline passage follows, quoting from the Jewish purity traditions which Paul usually said no longer apply: "Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. The letter now returns to the theme of open-heartedness and urges the reader to "perfect holiness out of reverence for God. Also, Titus has returned to Paul with a good report of the Corinthians, who received him with respect and obedience as Paul's representative.

Paul now turns to a fundraising issue. Throughout later missionary travels, Paul worked to raise funds to bring as an offering to the Jerusalem church. He instructed the Corinthians to prepare such a donation in 1 Cor. The crisis in Paul's relations with the Corinthians had apparently delayed this collection, but now Paul urges it to be renewed as an expression of the Corinthians' loyalty.