To All Bountifulness

2Corinthians 9:9-11 (As it is written, He had dispersed abroad; he had given to the poor: his righteousness remained for ever. Now he that ministered seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which cause through us thanksgiving to God. 

‘He had dispersed abroad; he had given to the poor: his righteousness remained for ever.’ This is the 4th and last Old Testament prophecy in 2Corinthians that is fulfilled in Christ’s first coming, quoted in Psalms 112:9.

‘Ministered’ [Greek: epichoregeo] to supply; to aid. Only in 2Corinthians 9:10; Galatians 3:5 and 2Peter 1:11. God is the one who ministers seed to the sower and bread to the eater. Since all this comes from God, and since we cannot exist without Him, He has the right to regulate how it is to be disbursed. It is also God who increases the fruit of righteousness and blesses all sowing and increase of the gospel.

‘Minister’ [Greek: choregeo] same as the word in the note above without the prefix epi-. It is used only here and in 1Peter 4:11. The choregos was the leader of a chorus. It was used by one who defrayed the expenses of the chorus at the public festivals. Here God is represented by providence as leading the grand chorus of all causes and effects – keeping everything in its proper place with all things working in harmony and according to His laws, each dependent on another, and all things dependent on Himself.

‘Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which cause through us thanksgiving to God.’ God increases riches to be used for His glory and the good of people. 2Corinthians 9:9-10 should be read in parenthesis and this verse connected with 9:8.

All Grace Abound

2Corinthians 9:6-8 But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposed in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work 

‘But this I say, he which sowed sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sowed bountifully shall reap also bountifully.’ An unfailing law taught by Jesus (Luke 6:38); Solomon (Eccl. 11:1; Prov. 11:24-25; 19:17; 22:9); and David (Ps. 18:25; 41:1-2).

‘Every man according as he purposed in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity.’ Four things a person must do in giving: He must give willingly from the heart. He must not give grudgingly. He must not give of compulsion. He must give cheerfully.

‘Cheerful’ [Greek: hilaros] cheerful, joyful, hilarious; the opposite of grudging and of feeling one is forced to give.

‘God is able to make all grace abound toward you.’ God is able to: Give you much more than this (2Chron. 25:9). Deliver you (Dan. 3:17). Raise children from stones (Matt. 3:9). Destroy body and soul in hell (Matt. 10:28). Graft them in again (Rom. 11:23). Make him stand (Rom. 14:4). Make all grace abound (2Cor. 9:8). Subdue all things (Php. 3:21). Keep all committed to Him (2Tim. 1:12). Help the tempted (Heb. 2:18). Save from death (Heb. 5:7) and to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25).

‘Always having all sufficiency in all things’ – if this is not true of any believer he is coming short of gospel provision. Such grace is measured out according to the sowing (9:6). This is the law and there is no exception to the rule. That this is the cause of failure to reap is further proved in 2Corinthians 9:9-10. If we give to the poor it shall be given to us again (9:6; Luke 6:38). If we sow seed we shall reap a harvest (9:10).

‘To every good work’ – this does not refer only to good works to the poor, but also to miraculous works of the gospel, for it is “every good work,” not certain ones (1Cor. 15:58).

Not As of Covetousness

2Corinthians 9:1-5 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has provoked very many. Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, you may be ready: Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, you) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof you had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness. 

‘I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.’ Paul had been boasting of their giving, to the congregations of Macedonia, and of Greece which was ready to contribute a year ago (8:10). Their zeal for charity has provoked many to do their best in giving to the poor (those who had suffered financially because of the fierce persecutions amongst Christians).

‘I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, you may be ready.’ Paul sent the brethren, lest their boasting is in vain, and so they may be ready with their gift when the time comes. Paul didn’t want the brethren from Macedonia to come with him and find the congregation of Jerusalem unprepared. In that case, Paul would be ashamed that he had boasted about them (9:4). Because of this, he thought it necessary to exhort the brethren that they would go before them and prepare their gift beforehand. They wanted this to be a matter of the fruit of blessings poured out from willing and beneficent hearts, not from a grudging and covetous spirit (9:5).

Covetousness breeds the following: Greed and murder (Prov. 1:19; Isa. 56:11; Jer. 22:17); poverty and rebellion (Prov. 11:24); oppression and violence (Prov. 22:16; Jer. 22:17; Mic. 2:2); denial of God (Prov. 30:8-9); injustice (Isa. 1:23; Mic. 7:3); backsliding (Mic. 3:11); deceptions (Matt. 13:22); defilement (Mark 7:21-23); temptations and lusts (1Tim. 6:9-11; 1Jn. 2:15-17); a short life and a fool’s end (Jer. 17:11; Luke 12:16-21). Examples of covetousness: Eve-forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6); Lot-lands (Gen. 13:10-13); Jacob-birthright and his father’s blessing (Gen. 25:31; 27:6-29); Balaam-rewards (2Pet. 2:15); Achan-money (Josh. 7:21); David-woman (2Sam. 11:2-5); Ahab-vineyard (1Kin. 21:2-16); Gehazi-gifts (2Kin. 5:20-27); Rich fool-security (Luke 12:17); Judas-silver (Matt. 26:15-16); Pharisees-riches (Luke 16:14); Simon Magus-Holy Ghost power (Acts 8:18-23); Festus-money (Acts 24:26); Demas-pleasures (2Tim. 4:10).

Thanks Be to God

2Corinthians 8:16-24 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you. For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you. And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches; And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind: Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us: Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you. Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ. Wherefore show you to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf. 

‘Put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.’ To the end that they were blessed by supplying the poor saints at Jerusalem, Paul has sent Titus and another brother who was well known among the congregations (2Cor. 8:16-18).

‘Brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches.’ Who this brother was is not known.

‘Travel with us with this grace’ – with this clue it is still impossible to tell who this brother was, as Paul had different companions – Timothy, Silas, Titus, Luke, and others. It is noticeable that Paul did not go around collecting money by himself, nor did he send only one brother to do so (2Cor. 8:16-20). This was a way to keep things honest in the sight of both God and man (2Cor. 8:20-23). Regardless of how honest one is and how much confidence the people have in a man, it is always right to have every part of the work of God carried on in a professional manner and fully above reproach.

‘Messengers’ [Greek: apostoloi; apostolos] a delegate, one sent with the full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of Christians it means God sends them to do what He, Himself would do if He went. It is found 81 times and translated apostle 78 times; messenger twice (2Cor. 8:23; Php. 2:25); and once he that is sent (John 13:16).

‘Our boasting on your behalf’ – the only boasting allowed is “in the Lord” (2Cor. 10:12-18) and we boast only of things which God has done by us. The Greek word kauchesis means boasting (7:14; 8:24; 9:4; 11:10, 17; Rom. 3:27); glorying (7:4; Rom. 15:17); and rejoicing (1Cor. 15:31; 2Cor. 1:12; 1Thess. 2:19; Jas. 4:16).

To the Lord

2Corinthians 8:1-7 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as you abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that you abound in this grace also.

‘We do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia.’ Paul now brags [praise always ‘in the Lord’ on the congregations of Macedonia about their giving to the poor saints at Jerusalem (8:1-5).

‘How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.’ The Macedonians, though poor and persecuted, rejoiced at the opportunity of doing good to their more impoverished and persecuted brethren in Judea.

‘Liberality’ [Greek: haplotes] simplicity (1:12; 11:3; Rom. 12:8;); singleness (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22); liberality (8:2; 9:13); and bountifulness (9:11).

Liberality commanded regarding: God (Ex. 22:29-30; 25:1-8; 35:4-29; 36:3-6; 38:8; Lev. 19:5; Num. 35:8); Israel’s feasts (Deut. 12:11-19); Ministers (Deut. 12:19; 14:27-29; 18:1-8; Prov. 3:9; Mal. 3:1-18; 1Cor. 9:1-27; Gal. 6:6); The poor (Deut. 24:19-22; Ps. 41:1-3; 112:5, 112:9; Prov. 11:24; 13:7; 14:21; 19:17; 22:9; 28:27; Matt. 6:1-4; 19:21; 25:34-46; Luke 3:10-11; 6:38; 11:41; 12:33-34; Acts 20:35; Rom. 12:8-13; 1Cor. 16:1-3; 2Cor. 8-9; Eph. 4:28; 1Tim. 6:18; Heb. 6:10; 13:16; 1Jn. 3:17).

‘Beyond their power they were willing of themselves.’ The Macedonian congregations gave beyond their ability, and did so willingly, even praying that their brethren would receive the gift (8:3-5).

‘But first gave their selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.’ This is the secret of all giving of material things. When one gives himself to the Lord, he is willing to do all other things the gospel teaches.

‘Grace’ this compassion on the poor is called a grace in 2Corinthians 8:1, 6, 7, 19; 9:14.

‘As you abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that you abound in this grace also.’ Seven blessings of the Corinthian congregations: They were enriched in everything (8:7), and abounding in faith (8:7; 12:9), utterance: tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy (8:7; 1Cor. 12:10; 14:1-40), knowledge (8:7; 1Cor. 12:8), in all diligence (8:7; 7:11), in love (8:7; 1Cor. 13:1-13), and in the grace of giving (8:7).

Godly Sorrow

2Corinthians 7:8-10 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle had made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to repentance: for you were made sorry after a godly manner, that you might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow work repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world work death. 

‘For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, thou I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle had made you sorry, though it were but for a season.’ Paul first regretted having written such a severe letter, but when he saw its effect he was glad.

‘Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to repentance.’ He did not rejoice because they were made sorry, but he was glad that they sorrowed to repentance. They were made sorry after a godly manner so that no harm has been done, for godly sorrow always works to the salvation of those who exercise it (7:9-10).

‘That you might receive damage by us in nothing’ – their repentance prevented him from using his power for destruction so that they received no damage in anything.

‘Godly sorrow work repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world work death.’ Three kinds of sorrow here (7:8-10): Paul’s regret for the moment as he wondered whether he had made a mistake by being too severe in his letter (7:8). Godly sorrow that works repentance to salvation, changes the life and cleanses it from sin (7:8-10). Sorrow of the world that works death (7:10). This is unrepentant sorrow or pain over lost goods, lost friends, lack of pleasure and partial reaping of what has been sowed.

Examples of sorrow: Cain in punishment (Gen. 4:13-14). Hagar in homelessness (Gen. 21:17). Israel in bondage (Exo. 3:7-10). Jacob for Joseph (Gen. 37:34-35). Jacob for Benjamin (Gen. 43:14). Hannah in barrenness (1Sam. 1:15). Saul when rejected (1Sam. 15:24, 30). David for Absalom (2Sam. 18:33 – 19:8). Mary and Martha (John 11:19-40). Jesus (Isa. 53:3; Matt. 26:37-44). Judas in betrayal (Matt. 27:3-5). The Corinthians (2Cor. 7:8-12).

Let Us Cleanse Ourselves

2Corinthians 7:1-7 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that you are in our hearts to die and live with you. Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God, that comforted those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more. 

‘These promises’ – the promises of 2Corinthians 6:16-18.

‘Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ Six conditions of the promises (6:14 – 7:1): Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers (6:14-16). Come out from among them (6:17). Be separate from them (6:17). Touch not the unclean thing (6:17). Cleanse self of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (7:1; Mark 7:19-21; Rom. 1:18-32; 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5-10). Perfect holiness in the fear of God (7:1; Eph. 1:4; 4:24; Gal. 5:24; Rom. 6:14-23; 8:1-13; Heb. 12:12-15).

‘Receive’ [Greek: choreo] make room. Open your hearts to us (6:11-12). Three reasons: We have wronged no man in judgment. We have corrupted no man in doctrine. We have defrauded no man of property.

Your false teachers have beguiled you from the simple truth and corrupted your minds (11:3). They have brought you into bondage and exalted themselves and you suffer it (11:12-15, 20). I say this to open your eyes (7:2-3). So many people are guilty of the same things today, putting their trust in one person and following them instead of studying God’s Word for themself and are thus deceived. Trust no one with your eternal life.

‘Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.’ Paul has bragged about them in many places. His remembrance of them filled him with comfort and made his trouble light.

‘Were come into Macedonia’ – this was after leaving Troas (2:12-13). It was here that the second epistle was written.

‘Without were fightings’ – they had opposition of the pagans, Jews, and false brethren (11:26).

‘Within were fears’ – Paul was anxious to know the effects of his first epistle and their obedience to it. God settled his fears by the coming of Titus who brought the good news of their love for him and their obedience to him (7:5-7).

Come Out.. Be Separate.. Touch Not

2Corinthians 6:17-18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty. 

‘Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.’ This is the 3rd Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in 2 Corinthians (Isa. 52:11).

‘Comeout from among them, and be you separate’ – forty kinds of people not to have fellowship with: The ungodly (Ps. 1:1-6); scorners (Ps. 1:1-6); workers of iniquity (Ps. 6:8); vain persons (Ps. 26:4); evil workers (Ps. 26:5); criminals (Pro. 1:10-15); the foolish (Pro. 9:6; 14:17); the angry man (Pro. 22:24); an excommunicated congregation member (Matt. 18:17); those causing divisions (Rom. 16:17); backsliders (2Jn. 1:9-11); false teachers (1Tim. 6:3-5; 2Jn. 1:10); the disorderly (2Thess. 3:6); the disobedient (2Thess. 3:14-15); unbelievers (2Cor. 6:14); infidels (2Cor. 6:15); fornicators (1Cor. 5:9); covetous people (1Cor. 5:10); extortioners (1Cor. 5:10); idolaters (1Cor. 5:10); railers (1Cor. 5:11); drunkards (1Cor. 5:11); lovers of themselves (2Tim. 3:2); boasters (2Tim. 3:2); proud people (2Tim. 3:2); blasphemers (2Tim. 3:2); those who are disobedient to parents (2Tim. 3:2); unthankful people (2Tim. 3:2); unholy people (2Tim. 3:2); those without natural affection (2Tim. 3:3); trucebreakers (2Tim. 3:3); false accusers (2Tim. 3:3); incontinent (2Tim. 3:3); fierce people (2Tim. 3:3); despisers of those who are good (2Tim. 3:3); traitors (2Tim. 3:4); heady people (2Tim. 3:4); highminded people (2Tim. 3:4); those who love pleasure more than God (2Tim. 3:4); hypocrites – those who have “a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2Tim. 3:5).

‘Unclean’ [Greek: akathartos] translated “unclean” and “foul”: Of unclean and foul spirits 24 times out of 30 (Luke 4:33); of children (1Cor. 7:14); of the homosexual (Eph. 5:5); of the unclean thing (2Cor. 6:17) All demonic, moral, and physical uncleanness must be cleansed from body and spirit if one wants the fulfilment of the promises of 2Corinthians 6:16-18.

‘And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.’ The same kind of promise as 2Samuel 7:14. This means that God will assume all responsibility of parental concern and give Himself to the eternal care of His family (Eph. 3:14; Matt. 7:11). At this point here, one is in God (He will receive us) and can then be called redeemed after following the steps of verse 17: Come out from among them, and be separate, and touch nothing unclean thing.

Be You not Unequally Yoked

2Corinthians 6:14-16 Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

‘Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.’ This is a military term – keep your own ranks; do not leave Christians and join with unbelievers – for any gathering (1Cor. 5:9-13; 1Jn. 2:15-17; 2Jn.1:9-11). It indicates that some Corinthians were joining with the heathen in idolatrous feasts and other practices that would lead to apostasy (1Cor. 8:3-13; 10:16-33).

‘For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?’ The answer to these questions is clear. Righteousness cannot mix with lawlessness; light can have no communion with darkness; Christ and Belial can not be of one accord; a believer cannot have part with an unbeliever, and there can be no agreement of the temple of God with idols. Forty Scriptures warn against having fellowship with certain people, of which this is one.

‘Belial’ – another name of satan. It is the equivalent of the Hebrew: beliya‛al, without profit, worthlessness, wickedness (Deut. 13:13; Jdg. 19:22; 20:13; 1Sam. 1:16; 2:12; 10:27; 25:17, 25:25; 30:22; 2Sam. 16:7; 20:1; 23:6; 1Kin. 21:10, 21:13; 2Chron. 13:7). In every reference in the Old Testament, it is used of evil people being sons of Belial in the same sense the New Testament speaks of them being children of the wicked one and of the devil (Matt. 13:38; Acts 13:10; 1Jn. 3:10).

‘You are the temple of the living God. Our bodies are the vessels through which the gospel must be manifested and we cannot use it for self-gain or to sin and serve satan in the process (1Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19-20; 2Cor. 6:16).

‘Said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people’ this is the 2nd Old Testament prophecy (Lev. 26:12) fulfilled here as God made them (the Israelites who wanted to follow Him) His people. During the New Testament, it became clear that the Gentiles were always part of this program of God (Acts 15:12-20; Rom. 11:25).

In All Things Approving

2Corinthians 6:1-13 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that you receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he said, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. O you Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. You are not straitened in us, but you are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be you also enlarged. 

‘I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.’ This is the 1st Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in 2 Corinthians (Isa. 49:8).

‘Offence’ [Greek: proskope] cause of offence. Here it means any scandal that might cause blame on the gospel ministry.

‘Approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses …’ Here are 31 things in which to be approved: Innocence (6:3); patience (6:4); afflictions; necessities; distresses; floggings (6:5); imprisonments; tumults; labours; watchings; fastings; purity (6:6); knowledge; longsuffering; kindness; Holy Spirit; true love; truth (6:7); power; weapons; honour (6:8) and dishonour; evil and good report; honesty; fame (6:9); alertness; preservation; joyfulness (6:10); benevolence; possession of God’s wealth.

‘Armour’ [Greek: hoplon] arms and armour (Eph. 6:11).

‘Our mouth is open’ – a Hebraism for speaking with liberty.

‘Our heart is enlarged’ – our heart is expanded to take you and all your interests into it and keep you in the highest Christian affection.

‘You are not straitened in us, but you are straitened in your own bowels.’ Paul states the following to the believers at Corinth: You do not have a narrow place in my affections. The narrow affections are in your own hearts. I want you to repay me for my affections toward you, as children should a parent. Love me as I love you (6:12-13). ‘Bowels’ [Greek: splangchnon] inward parts. Used figuratively of the seat of affections (6:12; 7:15; Luke 1:78; Php. 1:8; 2:1; Col. 3:12; Phm. 1:7, 12, 20; 1Jn. 3:17). Used literally in Acts 1:18.