I know the forwardness of your mind - You have already firmly purposed to contribute to the support of the poor and suffering saints.
That Achaia was ready a year ago - The whole of the Morea was anciently called Achaia, the capital of which was Corinth. The apostle means, not only Corinth, but other Churches in different parts about Corinth; we know there was a Church at Cenchrea, one of the ports on the Corinthian Isthmus.
Your zeal hath provoked very many - Hearing that the Corinthians were so intent on the relief of the sufferers in Palestine, other Churches, and especially they of Macedonia, came forward the more promptly and liberally.
For I know the forwardness of your mind - I know your promptitude, or your readiness to do it; see 2 Corinthians 8:10. Probably Paul here means that he had had opportunity before of witnessing their readiness to do good, and that he had learned in particular of Titus that they had formed the plan to aid in this contribution.
For which I boast of you to them of Macedonia - To the church in Macedonia; see 2 Corinthians 8:1. So well assured was he that the church at Corinth would make the collection as it had proposed, that he boasted of it to the churches of Macedonia as if it were already done, and made use of this as an argument to stimulate them to make an effort.
That Achaia was ready a year ago - Achaia was that part of Greece of which Corinth was the capital; see the note, Acts 18:12. It is probable that there were Christians in other parts of Achaia besides Corinth, and indeed it is known that there was a church in Cenchrea (see Romans 16:1). which was one of the ports of Corinth. Though the contribution would be chiefly derived from Corinth, yet it is probable that the others also would participate in it. The phrase “was ready” means that they had been preparing themselves for this collection, and doubtless Paul had stated that the collection was already made and was waiting. He had directed them 1 Corinthians 16:1 to make it on the first day of the week, and to lay it by in store, and he did not doubt that they had complied with his request.
And your zeal - Your ardor and promptitude. The readiness with which you entered into this subject, and your desire to relieve the needs of others.
Hath provoked - Has roused, excited, impelled to give. We use the word “provoke” commonly now in the sense of to irritate, but in the Scriptures it is confined to the signification of exciting, or rousing. The ardor of the Corinthians would excite others not only by their promptitude, but because Corinth was a splendid city, and their example would be looked up to by Christians at a distance. This is one instance of the effect which will be produced by the example of a church in a city.
Jesus rebuked their ostentation, declaring that God does not recognize such service and that the flattery and admiration of the people, which they so eagerly sought, was the only reward they would ever receive. MB 80.1
“When thou doest alms,” He said, “let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.” MB 80.2
In these words Jesus did not teach that acts of kindness should always be kept secret. Paul the apostle, writing by the Holy Spirit, did not conceal the generous self-sacrifice of the Macedonian Christians, but told of the grace that Christ had wrought in them, and thus others were imbued with the same spirit. He also wrote to the church at Corinth and said, “Your zeal hath stirred up very many.” 2 Corinthians 9:2 , R.V. MB 80.3Read in context »
Paul presents his pattern, his ideal. Christ had given Himself to a life of poverty that they might become rich in heavenly treasure. He would refresh their memories in regard to the sacrifice made in their behalf. Christ was commander in the heavenly courts, yet He took the lowest place in this world. He was rich, yet for our sakes, He became poor. It was not spiritual riches that He left behind; He was always abounding in the gifts of the Spirit. But He was of poor parentage. The world never saw its Lord wealthy (Manuscript 98, 1899). 6BC 1104.1
Rich in Attainments—Christ, the Majesty of heaven, became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. Not rich merely in endowments, but rich in attainments. 6BC 1104.2
These are the riches that Christ earnestly longs that His followers shall possess. As the true seeker after the truth reads the Word, and opens his mind to receive the Word, he longs after truth with his whole heart. The love, the pity, the tenderness, the courtesy, the Christian politeness, which will be the elements in the heavenly mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him, take possession of his soul. His purpose is steadfast. He is determined to stand on the side of righteousness. Truth has found its way into the heart, and is planted there by the Holy Spirit, who is the truth. When truth takes hold of the heart, the man gives sure evidence of this by becoming a steward of the grace of Christ (Manuscript 7, 1898). 6BC 1104.3Read in context »
How to Kindle a Thousand Torches—Those who occupy positions of influence and responsibility in the church should be foremost in the work of God. If they move reluctantly, others will not move at all. But their zeal “hath provoked very many.” When their light burns brightly, a thousand torches will be kindled at the flame.—The Southern Watchman, April 5, 1904. PM 264.2Read in context »
Soon Christ will reward every man according to his works. Soon your money will pass out of your hands for another to handle. It will then not be the test of your stewardship. Now it is yours, by which the Lord desires to try you. While you are alive, be your own almoner and receive the blessings that will come to you in a faithful discharge of duty. Give back to God that which is His own. This is God's way. He always lends His talents to His stewards, to be used to spread the knowledge of the truth. This work cannot be done without the funds that are in the hands of God's servants. RY 98.1
We now invite you to dispose of your property. This the Lord calls upon you to do. We have to build meetinghouses and hospitals for our sick. We want means to advance the work of God in this new world. Be liberal, that God may advance His cause.—Letter 53, 1899. RY 98.2Read in context »