Study Notes on 2 Corinthians 9
2 Corinthians 9
This chapter continues the same topic from the previous chapter, and here we have more general statements about Christian giving. Tithing is no longer a thing but we should absolutely give regularly to our church and be willing to give freely when other needs arise.
H. A. Ironside wrote, "In this chapter the Spirit of God brings before us in a very impressive manner our responsibility, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, to give of our means both for the support of the Lord’s work and in order to meet the necessities of Christians who are in distressing circumstances."
1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:
It is superfluous because the subject had already been brought up enough so it doesn't need to be rehashed.
Acts 20:35, I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
2 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 hath provoked very many.
Your eagerness to give is acknowledged and has been bragged about to others. Their zeal has encouraged others to be willing to give as well.
Achaia was that ancient part of Greece of which Corinth was the capital. The church of Cenchrea was in that area, possibly others (Romans 16:1).
3 Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
4 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.
So this is why Paul is sending Titus and the two brothers mentioned in the previous chapter. The Corinthians said they were willing to give, so the brethren were sent to make sure they were ready and that they could be proved sincere. This isn't a test, but Paul is giving the Corinthians an opportunity to bless and be an example for others, and be blessed by God.
See 1 Corinthians 16:1-3.
5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
The word bounty here is the word for blessing. Christians should be generous.
Evidently Paul had some reason to be concerned about the Corinthians desire to follow through on their promised giving. Not of covetous, meaning a generous gift cheerfully given. Not out of a feeling obligation (see verse 7 below).
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Starting in this verse, the biblical instruction on giving is truly brought to a high point.
The principle of sowing and reaping is seen throughout the bible.
See Proverbs 11:24-25; 19:17; 22:9; Luke 16:10-11; and especially Galatians 6:7-8.
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
This is giving for believers today in a nutshell. There are other verses of course but when it comes to giving to the Lord whether giving to your church or to specific needs, this is how to do it.
1 Corinthians 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
Acts 11:29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea.
See 1 Timothy 5:17-18.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
As you give, God will provide so that you can keep giving. Grace here means tangible gifts and supply from God. When we don't give it shows we don't trust God.
See Luke 12:29-31.
John Gill, "This now contains a new argument to move to liberality, and an antidote against the fears of want, which persons are sometimes pressed with, and tend to prevent their bountiful acts of charity."
9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
This is still referring to the sower who reaps (see verse 6), and this is quoted from Psalm 112:9. God provides, so trust Him with your money and give it freely to those in need.
God will supply what you need and multiply it. God always wants good from us and will enable us to do so. God will increase the fruit of your righteous giving.
Isaiah 55:10, For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater.
11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
This verse follows right after verse 8, and we see that God enriches for the purpose of giving. Enriched towards bountifulness or liberality. God never gives you money so you can hoard it away. You have money in order to give it to others. Because God takes care of us and enables us to bless others we can live in gratitude for Him.
James 1:17, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
In this verse through the end we see the positive results of giving.
This giving effort of the Corinthians will not only help the basic needs of the believers in Jerusalem (note that all believers are called saints), but their gratitude will extend to God and He will be glorified.
Garner-Howes, "The greatest good that comes from charity is the praise it brings to God."
13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
Experiment meaning "proof." As the Corinthians prove their love and submit themselves in obedience, the poor at Jerusalem will glorify God.
14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
The poor at Jerusalem will also keep you in their prayers, which is always a benefit.
Albert Barnes, "The prayers of the poorest Christian for us are worth more than all we usually bestow on them in charity; and he who has secured the pleadings of a child of God, however humble, in his behalf, has made a good use of his money."
15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
The gift of Christ, the gift of salvation. It is unspeakable in that it is indescribably wonderful. Beyond our comprehension. As we have received such an incredible gift, let us give minor things like money freely to others.