Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


2 Corinthians 9:4

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Lest haply if they of Macedonia - If any of the Macedonians should happen to come with me, and should find that you had done nothing. He does not say that they would come with him, but it was by no means improbable that they would. It was customary for some of the members of the churches to travel with Paul from place to place, and the conversation was constant between Macedonia and Achaia. Paul had, therefore, every reason to suppose that some of the Macedonians would accompany him when he should go to Corinth. At all events it was probable that the Macedonians would learn from some quarter whether the Corinthians were or were not ready when Paul should go to them.

should be ashamed … (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed … - “In this,” says Bloomfield, “one cannot but recognize a most refined and delicate turn, inferior to none of the best Classical writers.” Paul had boasted confidently that the Corinthians would be ready with their collection. He had excited and stimulated the Macedonians by this consideration. He had induced them in this way to give liberally, 2 Corinthians 8:1-4. If now it should turn out after all that the Corinthians had given nothing, or had given stintedly, the character of Paul would suffer. His veracity and his judgment would be called in question, and he would be accused of trick, and artifice, and fraud in inducing them to give. Or if he should not be charged with dishonesty, yet he would be humbled and mortified himself that he had made representations which had proved to be so unfounded. But this was not all. The character of the Corinthians was also at stake. They had purposed to make the collection. They had left the impression in the mind of Paul that it would be done. They had hitherto evinced such a character as to make Paul confident that the collection would be made. If now by any means this should fail, their character would suffer, and they would have occasion to be ashamed that they had excited so confident expectations of what they would do.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
When we would have others do good, we must act toward them prudently and tenderly, and give them time. Christians should consider what is for the credit of their profession, and endeavour to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. The duty of ministering to the saints is so plain, that there would seem no need to exhort Christians to it; yet self-love contends so powerfully against the love of Christ, that it is often necessary to stir up their minds by way of remembrance.
Ellen G. White
The Retirement Years, 98

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 98.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1104

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 1104.3

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Ellen G. White
Welfare Ministry, 332

Assisting With Food and Clothing—The poor, our family have had to assist in food and clothing, and to help the widow and fatherless by money gifts as well as food and clothing. This is part of our work as Christians which cannot be neglected. Christ said, “The poor always ye have with you,” and in this part of the Lord's vineyard that is literally true. Doing good in all its forms is enjoined upon the Lord's missionaries by the Holy Scriptures. Read 2 Corinthians 9. You see, not only is our work to preach, but as we see suffering humanity in the world, we are to help them in their temporal necessities. Thus we will be instruments in the hands of God.... WM 332.1

Those who have given themselves to the Lord will yoke up with Christ and will work in Christ's lines, ever looking to Jesus for wisdom and correct judgment as to how to move. Many bring their zeal and natural temperaments into their benevolence; they move by impulse: they give to those to whom they take a notion to give; and others who are every bit as worthy, they, like the priest and Levite, look upon them but do not feel any particular interest, and pass by on the other side, which is the side of indifference and neglect. Doing good in all its forms is enjoined in the Holy Scriptures, but prudence and careful consideration are needed to know how to show mercy and help the really needy. The way that is profitable to both parties is to help them to help themselves; open ways before them in the place of giving them money; find some work for them to do; manifest discretion; and be sure we make such use of means as will do the most good for the Lord's poor in the present and future.—Letter 31b, 1895. WM 332.2

Work Supplied to Needy Families—There were many here who were poor and in need. Men who were trying to serve the Lord and keep His commandments could not provide food for their families, and they begged us to give them something to do. We employed them, and they ate at our table. We gave them suitable wages until their families were fed and comfortably clothed. Then we let them go to find work somewhere else. Some of them we had to provide with a suit of Willie's clothes, to make them fit for Sabbath meetings.—Letter 33, 1897. WM 332.3

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