John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
Verse 1. We declare to you the grace of God - Which evidently appeared by this happy effect.
Verse 2. In a great trial of affliction - Being continually persecuted, harassed, and plundered.
Verse 4. Praying us with much entreaty - Probably St. Paul had lovingly admonished them not to do beyond their power.
Verse 5. And not as we hoped - That is, beyond all we could hope. They gave themselves to us, by the will of God - In obedience to his will, to be wholly directed by us.
Verse 6. As he had begun - When he was with you before.
Verse 9. For ye know - And this knowledge is the true source of love. The grace - The most sincere, most free, and most abundant love. He became poor - In becoming man, in all his life; in his death. Rich - In the favour and image of God.
Verse 12. A man - Every believer. Is accepted - With God. According to what he hath - And the same rule holds universally. Whoever acknowledges himself to be a vile, guilty sinner, and, in consequence of this acknowledgment, flies for refuge to the wounds of a crucified Saviour, and relies on his merits alone for salvation, may in every circumstance of life apply this indulgent declaration to himself.
Verse 14. That their abundance - If need should so require. May be - At another time. A supply to your want: that there may be an equality - No want on one side, no superfluity on the other. It may likewise have a further meaning:-that as the temporal bounty of the Corinthians did now supply the temporal wants of their poor brethren in Judea, so the prayers of these might be a means of bringing down many spiritual blessings on their benefactors: so that all the spiritual wants of the one might be amply supplied; all the temporal of the other.
Verse 15. As it is written, He that had gathered the most had nothing over; and he that had gathered the least did not lack -That is, in which that scripture is in another sense fulfilled. Exodus 16:18
Verse 17. Being more forward - Than to need it, though he received it well.
Verse 18. We - I and Timothy. The brother - The ancients generally supposed this was St. Luke. Whose praise - For faithfully dispensing the gospel, is through all the churches.
Verse 19. He was appointed by the churches - Of Macedonia. With this gift - Which they were carrying from Macedonia to Jerusalem. For the declaration of our ready mind - That of Paul and his fellow-traveller, ready to be the servants of all.
Verse 22. With them - With Titus and Luke. Our brother - Perhaps Apollos.
Verse 23. My partner - In my cares and labours. The glory of Christ - Signal instruments of advancing his glory.
Verse 24. Before the churches - Present by their messengers.
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