What does 2 Corinthians 9:3 mean?
ESV: But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be.
NIV: But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be.
NASB: But I have sent the brothers, in order that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this case, so that, as I was saying, you will be prepared;
CSB: But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you in this matter would not prove empty, and so that you would be ready just as I said.
NLT: But I am sending these brothers to be sure you really are ready, as I have been telling them, and that your money is all collected. I don’t want to be wrong in my boasting about you.
KJV: Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
It was Paul's boasting about the Corinthians' early enthusiasm for a collection to help believers in Jerusalem that motivated other churches to get involved, as well (2 Corinthians 9:2). Now, a year has passed. Those other churches have made their contributions, and the Corinthians have not. This may be because of tensions that have arisen between some of them and Paul. It might simply be a matter of distance and difficulty.
Whatever the cause, Paul is now, in a sense, forcing their hand. He is sending "the brothers" to make sure their contribution is ready when he arrives to receive it. The brothers include Titus, Paul's partner in ministry, and two representatives from those other churches that have already made their contributions.
Paul hopes that the Corinthians will really, truly prove to be ready to make their contribution as he has boasted they would be. Otherwise, his compliments on their behalf will prove to have been empty.
Second Corinthians 9:1–5 describes Paul's concern: that he and the Corinthians will be embarrassed if he shows up in Corinth to collect their contribution to the Jerusalem Christians and they are not ready. He is sending Titus ahead of himself to help them prepare. They were once enthusiastic about participating in the project. Paul hopes his boasting about the Corinthians—which inspired the Macedonians to give sacrificially—will not prove to have been meaningless.
Paul continues to urge the Corinthians to follow through on their commitment. They had agreed to contribute to a collection for suffering Christians in Jerusalem. They should give willingly, even cheerfully, according to what they had agreed earlier. Not only will they participate with God in meeting the physical needs of others, they will contribute to an overflowing thankfulness to God. They will build a connection with their suffering siblings in Christ that will also bring glory to God. This chapter points out that God expects Christian giving to be faith-based, voluntary, and cheerful—not legalistic, oppressive, or mandatory.
Second Corinthians chapter 9 continues an appeal begun earlier in the letter. Paul urges the Corinthians to participate in the gift to the Jerusalem Christians. Paul is concerned their earlier enthusiasm might have waned. Everyone should give what he or she previously decided to give and do so willingly and cheerfully. God makes those who give generously abound so that they will be able to give even more. The result goes beyond meeting physical needs to increasing God's righteousness on earth, causing thankfulness to Him to overflow, and bringing glory to Him as connections are forged between the givers and those whose needs are met. After this, Paul will return to a defense of his spiritual legitimacy.
Second Corinthians returns to similar themes as those Paul mentioned in his first letter to this church. Paul is glad to hear that the church in Corinth has heeded his advice. At the same time, it is necessary for Paul to counter criticisms about his personality and legitimacy. Most of this text involves that subject. The fifth chapter, in contrast, contains comforting words which Christians have quoted often in times of hardship. Paul also details his expectations that the church in Corinth will make good on their promise to contribute to the needs of suffering believers in Jerusalem.
Accessed 2/25/2024 10:55:41 AM
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