Titus Sent to Corinth (cont’d), 1-5

2 Cor 9:1 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints.

2 Cor 9:2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.

2 Cor 9:3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be.

2 Cor 9:4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident.

2 Cor 9:5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

Sowing Generously, 6-15

2 Cor 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

Whoever sows generously will also reap generously – Cf. Lk 6:38.

2 Cor 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

‘Your faith gets a real test when you find yourself in church with nothing less than a twenty pound note in your wallet.’

‘An ambitious young man promised to give $4.00 per week when he began to work. He advanced in income and soon he was giving $500.00 per week and he told his pastor it was too expensive. His pastor replied that he was to pray and ask God to lower his salary back down to $40.00 per week.’

‘Support the church with your money. You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.’

‘It is easy to lose interest in the church if you have never made an investment in it.’

‘As the Lord loveth a cheerful giver, so likewise a cheerful thanksgiver.’ (John Boys)

Not reluctantly or under compulsion – cf. 1 Pet 5:2.  C.S. Lewis says: ‘A perfect man would never act from a sense of duty; he’d always want the right thing more than the wrong one. Duty is only a substitute for love (of God and other people) like a crutch which is a substitute for a leg. Most of us need the crutch at times; but of course it is idiotic to use the crutch when our own legs (our own loves, tastes, habits, etc) can do the journey on their own.’

God loves a cheerful giver – Cf. Num 29:39, where it is apparent that these extra OT offerings were an expression of abundant thanksgiving.

(Acts 20:35) In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

(Rom 12:8) …if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously…

God loves a cheerful giver

The cheerful giver

  1. gives the first, not the last.  In OT times, when the people of God contributed a portion of the harvest back to the work of God, they gave the ‘first fruits’.  That’s a good pattern for us.
  2. gives the best, not the worst.  We read in the Gospels of a woman who came to Jesus and covered him with expensive perfume.  The disciples complained about the waste, but Jesus said, “No: she has done a beautiful thing for me.”  She offered something rare and costly, our of love.
  3. gives himself, not just his money.  God has showered us with many wonderful gifts.  But he has given himself, in the form of his Son, Jesus Christ.  The Father freely gave his Son, Jn 3:16.  The Son freely gave himself, Gal 1:4.  Can we, who have received so much, offer anything less than our very selves in his service and to his glory?  ‘Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.’

2 Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Cor 9:9 As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”

2 Cor 9:10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

2 Cor 9:11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

2 Cor 9:12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

2 Cor 9:13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

Your generosity in sharing – or, ‘your generous contribution’; lit. ‘your generous fellowship’.

2 Cor 9:14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.

2 Cor 9:15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

His indescribable gift – Cf. 2 Cor 8:9.  This is the gift of his Son.  ‘Some commentators have thought that the grace of liberality bestowed upon the Christians referred to in Chapters 8 and 9, but the language is adequate only to that gift in which all God’s other gifts are summed up and crowned.’ (F.F. Bruce, Answers to Questions, p103)

Three Inexpressible Things

  1. God’s unspeakable gift, 2 Cor 9:15.
  2. The believer’s unspeakable joy, 1 Pet 1:8.
  3. Heaven’s unspeakable words, 2 Cor 12:4.

From The Book of 750 Bible and Gospel Studies, 1909, George W. Noble