In Paul's words about the men being sent to Corinth, we can see some ideal traits to cultivate in ourselves and to look for in church leaders.
Titus was a ministry partner with Paul and had already spent time with the Corinthian Christians(7:6-7, 13, 15). Like Paul, Titus had developed love and concern for the Corinthians and took initiative in going back to Corinth to help organize and facilitate the collection of their gift to the suffering Jerusalem Christians.(v.16-17)
The second member of the team visiting Corinth was an unnamed believer who had gained a reputation for his dedication to the gospel.
A quick reminder of the definition for a fairly "church" word:
From the Greek
word- Euaggelion, meaning "Good News". Paul used this word
specifically to refer to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ
and the interpretation of these facts. The Gospel is the basic truth of
who Jesus is, what he did for us, and what it means for us now and
This unnamed believer was also appointed by multiple churches to help transport the financial gift from Corinth to Jerusalem.
It should be noted that there was significant risk involved in the task of moving financial resources from one city to another. (There were no wire transfers or armored trucks, after all.) Bandits were a serious danger to travelers.
The men going to Corinth were brave, compassionate, trustworthy and motivated to serve and honor God in the way they conducted themselves. (v.19)
Although God is our ultimate judge, Paul didn't think it was unimportant what people thought of him and his associates. Paul understood, as we should, that someone's perception of an individual Christian can effect their perception of Christ and the Bible. So he made it a priority to avoid behavior that would discredit himself or his message.(v.20-21)
Paul also sent another unnamed believer to help collect the gift. Paul said that this man had been "tested and found diligent in many things". Sometimes we may want to dive right into exciting, important roles. But it is important that we are "tested" by lesser responsibilities before taking on the bigger ones.(v.22)
Next Week- Helping each other "follow through".
Coffee House Question- What experiences or roles do you think God has given you in the past in order to "test you" for a current or future role? What do you think that current or future role might be?