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2 Corinthians
Chapter 9

Theme: Collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem

This chapter continues on with the same subject of which Paul spoke in chapter 8. There it was the grace of giving; now Paul tells us what Christian giving is.

Paul continues with the
Explanation of Christian Giving (2 Cor.9:1-5)

2 Cor.9:1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: (KJV)

For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you . . . to the saints . . . all believers are called saints in the sense of being separated from the world and consecrated to God, and as being inwardly renewed and purified by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor.8:4; Acts 9:13; Rom.7; 8:9,27). The saints referred to here were the poor believers in Jerusalem for whose benefit Paul started this collection in the various churches which he had founded (1 Cor.16:1-3). Paul says: It is not necessary for me to write more to you, having already said enough (see chapter 8).

2 Cor.9:2 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. (KJV)

I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia . . . you have already firmly planned to contribute to the support of the poor and suffering saints.
That Achaia was ready a year ago . . . the whole of the Morea was long ago called Achaia, the capital of which was Corinth. The apostle Paul means, not only Corinth, but other Churches in different parts around Corinth; we know there was a Church at Cenchrea (Acts 18:18; Rom.16:1), one of the ports on the Corinthian Isthmus.
And your zeal hath provoked very many . . . hearing that the Corinthians were so intent on the relief of the sufferers in Palestine, other Churches, and especially they of Macedonia, came forward all the more promptly and very generously.

2 Cor.9:3 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: (KJV)

Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf . . . Titus and his companions, mentioned in the preceding chapter.
That, as I said, ye may be ready . . . Paul wanted them to be ready, that they might preserve the good character he had given them in his boasting of them.

2 Cor.9:4 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. (KJV)

Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared . . . if any of the Macedonians should happen to come with me, and should find that you had done nothing. He does not say that they would come with him, but it was possible that they would. It was customary for some of the members of the churches to travel with Paul from place to place, and the association was constant between Macedonia and Achaia. Paul had every reason to think that some of the Macedonians might accompany him when he went to Corinth. 
We (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting . . . Paul had boasted confidently that the Corinthians would be ready with their collection. He had excited and stimulated the Macedonians by this consideration, he had induced them in this way to give generously (2 Cor.8:1-4). If it should turn out that the Corinthians had given nothing, or had given grudgingly, the character of Paul would suffer. His truth and his judgment would be called in question, and he would be accused of trickery, deception and fraud, in persuading them to give. Paul said that we would be embarrassed, not to mention your own embarrassment if some Macedonian believers came with me and found that you were not ready with the contribution after all I had told them.

2 Cor.9:5 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. (KJV)

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 . . . Paul says, I thought it was necessary to urge these believers to go to you ahead of me and get ready in advance the gift you promised to make. Then it will be ready when I arrive, and it will show that you give because you want to, not because you have to.
You will notice that the gift is called a bounty, indicating that it would be a generous gift, which is the evidence of the grace of God working in the heart. This bountiful gift literally, is the blessing, it can mean either a prayer for good or the good itself.

Encouragement to Christian Giving (2 Cor.9:6-15)

2 Cor.9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (KJV)

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly . . . this is a very clear saying: no onr can expect to reap, only in proportion to what he has sowed. In this verse, the grace of giving, or almsgiving is represented as a seed being sown, which will bring forth a crop. So, IF the sowing is meager (skimpy, scanty, small), the crop shall be meager too.
And he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully . . . sowing is used by the Jews to define or explain almsgiving, and means those who are ready to help whoever that is in need. Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. (KJV) . . . If the sowing is generous, and the seed good, the crop shall be good too. One reason that some are so poor today is that they are too tight-fisted (avaricious, greedy) when they deal with the Lord. The grace of giving = righteousness in the eyes of God!

2 Cor.9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (KJV)

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver . . . although Paul wants them to give generously, he wanted them to do it freely and willingly . . . as you have made up your mind. This is contrasted with what follows, and therefore is explained by it. Not grudgingly, or of necessity, not reluctantly. Not out of sorrow; meaning not from a reluctant or unwilling state of mind, grieving after what they have given as so much lost, nor not under pressure, or compelled by circumstances to give, when you prefer not to do it. Many people give sorrowfully, where they are persuaded to give by concern for public opinion, or under pressure of conscience. This reluctance spoils the gift. Any gift loses all its fragrance to God when the beauty of a free and joyful spirit is not there.
For God loves a cheerful giver . . . cheerful is joyful, happy; it is the opposite of grudging and of feeling one is forced to give. A cheerful giver is someone who gives with a joyful heart; one to whom giving is a delight (Pro.22:9). God blesses, loves and delights in the cheerful giver. It pleasures Him! Paul tells the Corinthians (and us), do NOT think that those who give grudgingly or reluctantly, or are under pressure of some kind, or to give just to get some worldly value of some kind, could ever be acceptable to God. It is NOT acceptable to Him! It is only when we feel it is an honor and a joy to give, and when we do it with a grateful and willing heart, that God will accept the offering. God does not want one penny from you if you would rather keep it for yourself. If you cannot give cheerfully, God does not want your gift.  

Four things a person must do in giving:
#1. He must give willingly from the heart.
#2. He must not give grudgingly or reluctantly.
#3. He must not give under pressure.
#4. He must give cheerfully.

Seven things that God loves:
#1. The stranger (Deut.10:18)
#2. Righteousness (Ps.11:7)
#3. Judgment (Ps.37:28)
#4. The gates of Zion (2 Chron.6:6; Ps.87:2)
#5. The righteous (Ps.146:8)
#6. A cheerful giver (2 Cor.9:7)
#7. Those whom He chastens (Pro.3:12; 13:24; Heb.12:6; Rev.3:19)

2 Cor.9:8 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: (KJV)

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 . . . God is able to make all grace abound, as we have seen in 2 Cor.8:1. Grace, in the connection in which Paul uses it in these chapters, means a charitable gift; and here it has the same meaning. God is well able to give you, in His mercy, abundance of temporal good; for if you have a sufficiency, you may abound in every good work. This refers to the sowing bountifully (verse 6), those who do so shall reap bountifully . . . they shall have an abundance of God's blessings.
I have never heard of anyone who was starving, giving to the Lord's work. There may be some who have, but I have never heard of them. I truly believe that God will bless you. I do not think the blessings He gives to you will always be material (worldly, physical) blessings. Far too many people think they can hold God to a promise of material blessings. I think they are wrong! His Promise is to bless us with all spiritual blessings. That Promise He will keep! He will also provide ALL your need. Phil. 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (KJV) . . . NEED . . . not wants! BIG difference!

God is well able to:
#1. Give you much more than this (2 Chron.25:9).
#2. Deliver you (Dan.3:17).
#3. Raise up children from stones (Mat.3:9).
#4. Destroy both body and soul in Hell (Mat.10:28).
#5. Graft them in again (Rom.11:23).
#6. Make him to stand (Rom.14:4).
#7. Make all grace abound (2 Cor.9:8).
#8. Subdue all things (Phil.3:21).
#9. Keep all committed to Him (2 Tim.1:12).
#10. Succour, help the tempted (Heb.2:18).
#11. Save from death (Heb.5:7).
#12. Save to the uttermost (Heb.7:25).

2 Cor.9:9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. (KJV)

(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever . . . this is still referring to the sower. He sows much, not just at home or among those with whom he knows, but abroad . . . among the strangers, whether of his own or of another nation. The quote is taken from: Psalm 112:9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour. (KJV) . . . This psalm calls the person blessed who fears the Lord and who gives to the poor. He hath given to the poor. . . this is the interpretation of he hath scattered abroad. Therefore it is said, his righteousness endureth for ever . . . His good work is kept in remembrance before God. By righteousness, we have already seen that the Jews understand it as almsgiving.
Fear of God: (Job 1:8; 2:3; Ecc.7:18; Isa.50:10; Mat.10:28; Lk.1:50; 12:5; 23:40; Acts 10:22,35; 13:16,26; Rom.11:20; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; 6:5; Phil.3:12; Col.3:22) For more Bible Topics, see: http://www.hisservants.org/bible_study_helps_bible_topics_h_s.htm

2 Cor.9:10 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;) (KJV)

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;) . . . the sower, as we have already seen, is he that gives alms (gifts, offerings) of what he has; and it is God, who requires him to give these alms, is here represented as providing him with the means to do so. As in the creation, if God had not created the Earth with every tree and plant with its seed in itself (Gen.1:29), so that a harvest came, without ploughing and sowing beforehand, there could have been no seed to deposit in the Earth. So, if God had not, in the path of His providence, given them the property they had, it would be impossible for them to give alms. The grace of giving = righteousness in the eyes of God! (Verse 6).

My friend, even the best cultivated and sowed field in the world would be unfruitful IF God did not, by His unseen power and blessing, cause it to bear, and bring it to maturity; so too, would it have been with their property. It could NOT increase, because without God’s blessing, riches can very easily take wings and fly away. It is God alone who provides seed to the sower, and it is God alone who multiplies the seed sown. And since all this comes from God, and cannot exist without Him, He has an absolute right to ask, demand or require that it be dispensed in whatever way that He so judges best.
There is a good example of this in the same symbol thus produced by the prophet. Hosea 2:21-22 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; 22  And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. (KJV) . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/hos_ch2.htm

2 Cor.9:11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. (KJV)

Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God . . . the plan of the apostle Paul is to tell them the true reason why wealth was bestowed on mankind. It was absolutely NOT for the purpose of luxury or self-gratification. It was NOT to be spent in sensual (carnal, worldly) enjoyment, and certainly NOT for parade and display. It WAS that it might be distributed to others in need (real need, NOT laziness), in such a way as to bring thanksgiving to God, which brings honor and glory to Him. This reveals the earnest wish on the part of Paul. He did NOT want them to be rich for their own gratification, satisfaction or pleasure; he wanted it only as the means of their doing good to others in dire need. If someone does not have a disposition to do good with their money, it is not true kindness. To all bountifulness . . . bountifulness properly means sincerity, honesty, correctness; and also simplicity, frankness, fidelity, and especially as manifesting itself in being generous. Liberality (Rom.12:8-18; 2 Cor.8:1-9). Here it clearly means generosity; and the idea is, that property and wealth is given by God for this purpose, in order that there may be loving kindness shown in doing good to others.
WHY does God give riches? The Bible tells us that they are given so that they may be applied to His honor and His glory, and for the good of mankind. WHY do some people increase in riches? The Bible tells us that those who have riches should be generous. What is riches? The Bible tells us it is being blessed with more that you need to live in this world. So many people do not know how to handle riches in God’s eyes. God will curse them instead of blessing them; the rust shall canker them, and the moth shall consume their garments. But if, on the other hand, IF they rightly apply them, they cause much thanksgiving to God. See: Matthew 6:19-24 for Treasures in Heaven: http://www.godcannotlie.org/matthew_ch6.html
Judgment Day will bring some shocking verdicts to many people! Rev.20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV) . . . Is YOUR name in the book of life??? My friend, the grace of God allows us this life on Earth for ONE reason! We must make the most important decision we will ever make! Will we go to Hell? Or will we believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13), and accept His only begotten Son to redeem us from the eternal destruction of Hell? (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8, 15-18,36; 14:6; Rom.3:24; 5:1,9-10; Acts 4:12; 1 Pet.1:18-19). We either believe that Jesus IS who He said he was, or we will NEVER see Heaven!  http://www.hisservants.org/hell_h_s.htm . . . There IS a HELL!

2 Cor.9:12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; (KJV)

For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God . . . the poor are relieved, as the Hand of God works in their relief, and because of their being helped, they give God the honor and the glory, and are grateful for His abundant and amazing grace.

Four benefits of ministering to the saints:
#1. It supplies the needs of saints.
#2. It causes them to glorify God.
#3. It proves that the givers are true Christians (2 Cor.9:13; 1 Jn.3:17).
#4. It causes prayers of those supplied to go up for their benefactors (2 Cor.9:14).
When you give, it causes people to thank God for you. It is God who will get the praise and the glory, as it should be.

2 Cor.9:13 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; (KJV)

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 . . . people will glorify God for your confession of the Gospel. Paul wanted the Corinthians (and us), to be generous in every occasion. Since he had appealed to the Corinthians to give generously to help the Jerusalem congregation, he reminded them that God is the Source of everything good (verse 10). All believers are called to be generous because of the example of the Lord of life. A selfish, stingy Christian should not existent. Being generous proves that a person's heart has been cleansed of self-interest (me, me, me), and filled with the servant spirit of the Lord Jesus Himself. That is why all acts of generosity result in God being praised.

2 Cor.9:14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. (KJV)

And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you . . . giving is a grace, a loving kindness! Christians are NOT commanded to tithe. Giving is NOT something done under law. Giving is a grace, a gift. God asks us to give as a grace according to our circumstances. Some Christians should be giving much more than a tithe. Other Christians are not able to give at all. We are to give as we are able. Now Paul puts a cap on the whole subject of giving by saying:

2 Cor.9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (KJV)

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift . . . no matter how much you are giving, you can never out-give God. He has given us an unspeakable gift. An unspeakable gift is that which cannot be fully stated in any language. This Gift is without a doubt God's Gift to us of His only begotten Son (Jn.4:10; Rom.9:5; 11:33,36; 1 Cor.15:57; 2 Cor.8:9; Gal.1:4; Eph.3:10; 1 Tim.1:17).
No man can possibly out-give the Gift that God gave in giving us His only begotten Son (Jn.3:16), to pay our penalty for sin, that we could never pay.

Think about this. We must go back to what was said in: 2 Cor. 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. (KJV) . . . Although Jesus was rich, He left Heaven willingly, left all the glory, the safety, and came down as a lowly Servant to this world. He came not only to serve but to give His life in death on the cross for you and for me. He came to be brutally tortured and killed so that you and I might have eternal life . . . IF we so choose! It is OUR decision! Jesus will NEVER force His love on you! My friend, He allowed His sinless body and soul to be a Sacrifice (for us), a Sacrifice for the vile sins of you and me. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (KJV) . . . Dear friend, JESUS is the One and Only Perfect Saviour! (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12). Do not try to bring Him down to a low level. There is NO One higher than Gods’ own Son in the Father’s eyes! Jesus is the Bright and Morning Star (Rev.22:16). He is the Son of God who has redeemed us from the penalty of sin, which is an everlasting Hell (1 Pet.1:18-19).  He is the unspeakable gift for you and for me. Jesus’ Sacrifice for us is the very peak, the summit of all giving (Jn.6:51; 10:15; 15:13). NO one can better that kind of giving.
Jesus’ Death Prophesies: (Ps.22:6-20; 16:9-11; 18:2-3; 41:9; 68:18; 69:4-21; Isa.52:14; 53:1-12; Dan.9:24-27; Zec.11:12).
Jesus’ death on the cross: (Isa.53:8,12; Dan.9:26; Mat.16:21; 17:23; 21:39; 26:42; 27:1-66; Mk.8:31; 9:31; 14:1; 15:1-47; Lk.9:22,31; 23:1-56; Jn.10:11; 11:51; 12:23-24,33; 19:1-42; Acts 8:33; 10:39; Rom.4:25; 5:6; 8:34; 14:9,15; 1 Cor.11:26; 15:3; 2 Cor.4:10; 5:15; Gal.3:1; Phil.2:8; Col.1:22; 1 Thes.5:10; Heb.2:9; 7:27; 9:15; 10:10; 12:2; 1 Pet.3:18; 1 Jn.3:16; Rev.2:8; 5:6,9,12).
Jesus’ death, darkness: (Mat.27:45; Mk.15:33-34; Lk.23:44-45). That this general darkness was absolutely supernatural is clear that it happened at the Passover, which was celebrated only at the full moon, a time in when it was impossible for the sun to be eclipsed, natural eclipses happening only at the time of the new moon.
Jesus’ prophesies His suffering and death: (Mat.12:40; 17:9,12,22; 19:28; 20:18,28; 25:31; 26:2,45,64; Mk.8:31; 9:9,12,31; 10:33; 13:41,62; Lk.9:22,44; 11:30; 22:69; 24:7; Jn.3:14; 6:62; 8:28; 12:23)

Four things a person must do in giving:
#1. He must give willingly from the heart.
#2. He must not give grudgingly or reluctantly.
#3. He must not give under pressure.
#4. He must give cheerfully.

Seven things that God loves:
#1. The stranger (Deut.10:18)
#2. Righteousness (Ps.11:7)
#3. Judgment (Ps.37:28)
#4. The gates of Zion (2 Chron.6:6; Ps.87:2)
#5. The righteous (Ps.146:8)
#6. A cheerful giver (2 Cor.9:7)
#7. Those whom He chastens (Pro.3:12; 13:24; Heb.12:6; Rev.3:19)

God is well able to:
#1. Give you much more than this (2 Chron.25:9).
#2. Deliver you (Dan.3:17).
#3. Raise up children from stones (Mat.3:9).
#4. Destroy both body and soul in Hell (Mat.10:28).
#5. Graft them in again (Rom.11:23).
#6. Make him to stand (Rom.14:4).
#7. Make all grace abound (2 Cor.9:8).
#8. Subdue all things (Phil.3:21).
#9. Keep all committed to Him (2 Tim.1:12).
#10. Succour, help the tempted (Heb.2:18).
#11. Save from death (Heb.5:7).
#12. Save to the uttermost (Heb.7:25).

Four benefits of ministering to the saints:
#1. It supplies the needs of saints.
#2. It causes them to glorify God.
#3. It proves that the givers are true Christians (2 Cor.9:13; 1 Jn.3:17).
#4. It causes prayers of those supplied to go up for their benefactors (2 Cor.9:14).
When you give, it causes people to thank God for you. It is God who will get the praise and the glory, as it should be.

Some comments on chapter 9:
#1. Christ Jesus, is the Gift of God's love to sinful mankind. This Gift is an unspeakable blessing that no one can comprehend, much less explain, just how great and awesome this Gift really is! For that reason, Jesus may well be called the unspeakable gift, because He is the greatest and highest Gift God ever gave or can give to sinful man.
#2. The conversion (change, transformation) of a soul from darkness to light, from sin to holiness, from Satan to God, is no less unspeakable (incredible, extraordinary). We are a new creature (2 Cor.5:17; Gal.6:15), and for sure, God’s almighty creative energy CANNOT be comprehended, or explained. To have the grace of God rule in our heart, subduing all things to itself and filling the soul with the Divine nature, is an unspeakable blessing; and the energy that produced is a magnificent unspeakable gift, which can only come from Almighty God! This is the work of Christ in the soul that the apostle Paul terms as the super-abounding or exceeding great grace, and the unspeakable gift. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift . . . this admirable loving-kindness, which proceeds from the work of Christ in the soul, and by which God is much glorified, and the Gospel receives the credit, because others are so much benefited, and you will be by God, abundantly rewarded. This is the sense of the Passage; and no other meaning can come from it. The Passage is an outstanding proof that every good disposition in the soul of man comes from God. Since Almighty God is the Fountain of ALL good, all that can be called good HAS to come directly from 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. (KJV)
#3. Most people cannot (or will not) see the Hand of God in the dispensing His mercy, which is abundant, remarkable and continuous. Our afflictions we hardly ever forget, while our mercies we hardly ever remember! How terribly sad! Our hearts are always alive to complain and moan, but they are dead to thankfulness. God is SO patient with us! Our complaints never stop . . . but our gratitude doesn’t even begin! How does God put up with us? The outstanding mystery of our preservation and our salvation can be there alone explained. God is SO good!

2 Corinthians

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