CONCERNING the ministration to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you.
For I know that you have made up your minds, and that is why I boasted of you to the Macedonians, stating that Achaia was ready a year ago;
and your zeal has stirred up a great many people.
Yet I have sent the brethren, so that our pride in you should not be in vain because of this question;
for as I have said, you must be prepared,
Lest it happen that some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared and we would be ashamed;
for because of our pride in you, we would not say anything which would put the blame on you.
Therefore I thought it necessary to ask these, my brethren, to go before me to you, and make ready in advance the blessing of which you have long ago been notified, that you might have it ready as a blessing and not as though it were forced on you.
¶ But remember this: He who sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly;
and he who sows generously shall reap also generously.
So let every man give according to what he has decided in his mind, not grudgingly or of necessity;
for God loves a cheerful giver.
God is able to make all goodness abound to you, and may you always have enough of everything for yourselves, and may you abound in every good work.
As it is written, He has distributed liberally, and given to the poor;
and his righteousness endures for ever.
Now he who gives seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and cause the fruits of your righteousness to grow,
That you may be enriched in everything, in all liberality;
for such generosity enables us to perfect thanksgiving to God.
For the administration of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints, but it also is made abundant by many thanksgivings to God.
By this experiment of charitable service they glorify God in that you have subjected yourselves to the faith of the gospel of Christ, and through your generosity you have become partakers with them and with all men,
And they offer prayer on your behalf with greater love, because of the abundance of the grace of God which has been on you.
Thanks be to God for his incomparable gift.