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II Corinthians 8

1 So we make known to you, brothers, the grace of God given in the assemblies1 of Macedonia, 2 that in [a] great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy, and their deep poverty abounded to the riches of their generosity. 3 For according to power, I testify, and concerning [their] power: of their own accord, 4 with much encouragement, requesting our grace and the fellowship of the service to the holy [ones], 5 and not just as we hoped, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us through the will of God, 6 inasmuch as we encouraged Titus, in order that, just as he had begun, so also he should finish in you this same grace also. 7 But as you abound in everything, in faith and in word and in knowledge and in all earnestness and in agape-love from us among you2, in order that you also abound in this same grace. 8 I say this not according to command, but through the earnestness of others and proving the genuineness [of your] agape-love. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he, being rich, became poor on account of us, in order that you in that poverty become rich. 10 And I give [an] opinion in this, for this is useful to you, who have begun before from last year not only to do but also to will; 11 so now complete the doing, so that as [is] the readiness to be willing, thus also the completing from what [you] have done. 12 For if the readiness is present, [it is] accepted according to what [one] has, not [what one] has not. 13 For not that rest [be] to others, [and] affliction to you, but from equality, 14 [that] in the present opportune-time3 your abundance [be] to their need, so that equality come to pass, 15 just as it is written:
The [one having] much had no excess,
And the [one having] little had no lack.

16 But grace [be] to the God giving the same earnestness concerning you in the heart of Titus. 17 For on the one hand he accepted the exhortation, but being more earnest on the other hand, of his own accord he came to you. 18 So we co-sent with him the brother whose praise in the good-news [is] throughout all the assemblies1. 19 And not [this only], but also [he is the one] having been chosen by the assemblies1 [to be] our traveling companion with this grace being served by us towards the glory of the same Lord and [to show] our readiness, 20 avoiding this, [that] no one find fault with us in this abundance being served by us. 21 For we consider the good [thing] not only before [the] Lord, but also before men. 22 So we have sent our brother with them, whom we have proved in many [things] often [that he] is earnest, but now much more earnest in the great confidence which [I have] in you. 23 Whether [any inquire] concerning Titus, [he is] my partner and co-worker to you; or whether [concerning] our brothers, [they are] apostles of the assembly1, [the] glory of Christ. 24 [You are] therefore showing the proof [of your] agape-love and our boast concerning you to them [and] before the face of the assemblies1.

1EKKLESIA (εκκλησια) from "called out". Appears 114 times in the N.T., but only in two places in the Gospels ( Matt.16:18 (twice) and Matt.18:17 (twice)). It's worth noting that when Jesus uses the term EKKLESIA, Christian community as we know it didn't yet exist—there were only the disciples. EKKLESIA is apparently different from 'synagogue' (SYNAGOGE (συναγωγη) which occurs 56 times in the N.T.) EKKLESIA is used in secular Greek literature of a popular assembly 'called to assemble', and also of those 'called' to a cult. EKKLESIA is used frequently in the N.T. outside of the Gospels to refer to Christian communities, but in Acts.7:38 it is used of the people of Israel led through the desert by Moses, and in Acts.19:32 ff. of a secular assembly. Thus, all told, the common translation of EKKLESIA as 'church' doesn't really reflect 1st century usage—it seems to mean more like 'a group of people assembled for some specific purpose'.

2"from us among you": p46B; "you among us": ℵDK

3KAIROS (καιρoς ) `opportune time', `proper time', `season'