For concerning the ministering to the saints, it is unnecessary for me to write to you:
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It is superfluous, but in order to demonstrate his diligence, it was necessary for Paul to write like this, so that they would be all the more willing to do what they were asked and to embody the truth they were being taught. For superfluities tend to show greater concern. Our Lord did not doubt Peter’s love for him, but even so he asked the apostle three times: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” This repetition may seem to be superfluous, but it contributed to the perfecting of the admonition. At length Peter would learn from it that he must act with great diligence. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.
y many remarkable examples are given by Leontius, in his "Life of John the Almoner," who, like the Emperor Titus , bewailed that he had lost a day because he had given no alms. "Even if the world," he said, "were to come into Alexandria, it would not narrow my liberality and wealth." This he learnt from a vision he saw of a certain virgin named Mercy, who, standing before God, seemed to obtain from Him all that she asked for. Hence this holy man John , when he had nothing to spend, would frequently, in his love of almsgiving, change miraculously tin or honey into cold. The more he gave the more was brought to him to spend; and so he seemed to strive with God and God with him which should be the most bountiful. When he at length died, he had half a piece of money left, and he ordered this to be given to his brethren and masters, the poor, that all he had might be restored to Christ.
Sophronius, in his Pratum Spirituale, a work mentioned with approval by the Second Council of Nice (Gen....
For as touching the ministering to the saints. At the end of the last chapter, Paul had commended to them Titus and his companions, but not their errand of collecting alms; for, as he says, it was superfluous for him to write about this, since they were of their own accord ready for it (Anselm). It is a politic device on the part of those that ask for alms to praise the liberality of the givers. Public beggars in the streets and churches are experts at this.
SYNOPSIS OF THE CHAPTER
i. He proceeds to stimulate the Corinthians to almsgiving by motives of human shame and praise; he bids them not to be put to shame before the liberality of the Macedonians.
ii. He dwells (ver6) on the fruits of almsgiving, how it enriches those that give with good things, now and hereafter.
iii. He points (ver11) to the thanksgiving that flows from it to God, and the joy of the poor Christians, who are the recipients, and who will pray for their benefactors the Corinthians.
The ministry, that is, the contributions for the brethren, so it is also called again, (ver. 12.) the ministry of this office, or, as the Greek signifies, of this sacrifice, inasmuch as alms, and such charitable works, are spiritual sacrifices to God. (Witham)
Paul says this in order to win the Corinthians over to his side. Some were of such reputation that they thought they did not need advice. They would be ashamed to appear inferior to others. They would not want to fall short of others’ opinions about them.
Though he had said so much about it, he says here, It is superfluous for me to write to you. And his wisdom is shown not only in this, that though he had said so much about it, he says, it is superfluous for me to write to you, but in that he yet again speaks of it. For what he said indeed a little above, he said concerning those who received the money, to ensure them the enjoyment of great honor: but what he said before that, (his account of the Macedonians, that their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality, and all the rest,) was concerning loving-kindness and almsgiving. But nevertheless even though he had said so much before and was going to speak again, he says, it is superfluous for me to write to you. And this he does the rather to win them to himself. For a man who has so high a reputation as not to stand in need even of advice, is ashamed to appear inferior to, and come short of, that opinion of him. And he does this often in accusation also, using the rheto...