The church in Corinth was collecting a special gift to help the poor Christians in Judea. Paul describes that gift in an extraordinary manner. He calls it: ‘the proof of your love’.
Corinth’s church had many problems in the recent past. Its members had even formed themselves into opposing groups*. It seemed to be a church without love - but such a thing is not possible*. So, Paul urged them to show their love *.
Paul was sure that God was working powerfully in the lives of Corinth’s Christians. He even spoke boldly about them to the Christians in other churches*. Their desire to give was evidence that God’s love was working in and through their lives. It was a completely unselfish act. However, it was important that they now completed their gift*. They should hand it over to the men whom the churches had appointed for this purpose*. Those men would then arrange to take the gift to Judea.
That gift showed love in many different ways. Of course, it showed love to the poor Christians who would benefit from it. It expressed the love between Christians, even Christians in different countries who will never meet. It expressed love towards the Jews (people from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) from Christians who were not Jews. (Judea’s Christians were Jewish Christians; most of Corinth’s Christians were not Jews.)
The gift also showed love to God, from Corinth’s Christians. For them, as for Macedonia’s Christians in 2 Corinthians 8:5, it showed how deeply they loved God. Christians show love because God first loved them*. Their love is the result of his love to them*.
Next part: God’s holy people (9:1)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.