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2 Corinthians 8:22–24

“Give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men” (v. 24).

For the sake of completing the collection for the needy saints in Jerusalem and to make sure that the transport and delivery of the full amount could not be legitimately questioned, Paul sent Titus and another unnamed individual to Corinth (2 Cor. 8:16–21). These men would help encourage the Corinthians to fulfill their original commitment to donate (see vv. 10–11) and keep watch over the funds. In today’s passage, however, we learn that Titus and this other individual were not the only people Paul sent to help oversee the gathering of the monies for the Jerusalem church. Along with them, Paul was sending another man who had been “often tested and found earnest in many matters” (v. 22).

As with the person mentioned in verses 18–19, we cannot identify the man described in verse 22 with any certainty. What we do know is that he had proven himself to Paul and to his ministry companions. The Apostle was not sending just anyone but someone who had been “tested” (v. 22). Here we discern an important principle when we are making decisions about people who serve in the church. It is vital that we not just pick any professing believer for any job. While there are a multitude of tasks that any believer can assist with—setting up and cleaning up after fellowship dinners, maintaining the church grounds, and so forth—there are some jobs for which only someone who has been evaluated is qualified. This is clearest when it comes to church elders and deacons, where we are told not to pick new converts but only those who have proven themselves faithful over time (1 Tim. 3:1–7), but we can apply the principle to many other jobs in the church. The church should not be looking for merely anyone to fill the roles of Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, and other similar positions but should seek people who have been tested.

Paul assures the Corinthian church that Titus and the two men who would be coming to Corinth were well qualified for the task of collecting the funds. Titus was one of Paul’s fellow workers, and the other two men had been duly chosen by other churches as trustworthy laborers. Paul thus expected the church in Corinth to receive them gladly. This would prove Paul correct in boasting about the Corinthians to these men and demonstrate their love for him (2 Cor. 8:23–24). Apparently, Paul had told the men that the love and understanding of the Corinthians was such that they would not refuse Paul and would see the quality of the servants he was sending.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

It is a sign of our love for the church and its leaders when we receive those whom the church has tested and found worthy of office. When a church that rightly preaches the gospel commends someone to us after a period of testing that individual, our inclination should be to accept that person in the role he has been given unless we find very good reason to do otherwise.

For Further Study
  • Numbers 27:12–23
  • Philippians 2:19–30

Aiming at What is Honorable

Know Your Enemy

Keep Reading The Doctrine of Justification

From the October 2021 Issue
Oct 2021 Issue