2 Corinthians 9:6–13 comment (0)
March 27, 2014
By Catherine Lawrence
Related Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:6–13
Bible Studies for Life
Department of Religion, Samford University
Work Your Plan
2 Corinthians 9:6–13
In 2 Corinthians 8:1–9:15, Paul wrote to the Corinthian church about its participation in a collection being taken up among the Gentile churches to aid poverty-stricken believers in Jerusalem. In this passage Paul provided valuable encouragement for the Corinthian believers as they sought to complete this task of generous giving to which they had committed themselves. He urged the Corinthians to be cheerful, generous givers and assured them of God’s participation with them in their efforts. Ultimately God Himself would be glorified and honored by those who were the grateful recipients of the Corinthians’ generosity.
In 2 Corinthians 9:1–5 Paul informed the church that he planned to send Titus and two other Christian brothers (8:16–24) to Corinth in order to ensure the believers finished their giving before Paul arrived. This plan would afford the Corinthians the opportunity to fulfill their earlier promise to give and to do so voluntarily rather than under any pressure that could arise had Paul arrived before the gift was ready. In verses 6–7 Paul expanded his exhortation about the nature of the Corinthians’ giving by further emphasizing the great importance and benefit of generous and voluntary giving. To make his point about generosity, Paul used an agricultural principle related to sowing and reaping. He said there is a direct correlation between the amount of seed sown and the resulting size of the harvest.
Paul also told the Corinthians their generosity needed to stem from a determination made by each person within his or her own heart about whether and how much to give. A person’s giving ought not to be reluctant or driven by a sense of compulsion. Rather the giving should be voluntary and accompanied by a cheerful and generous attitude, “for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Paul noted that God was able to profoundly bless the Corinthians. In fact, He had blessed them with their “present abundance” (8:14). The Corinthians might not have been rich, but they had a relative abundance compared to the Jerusalem believers. God had blessed the church at Corinth with abundant provision so that the church could abundantly share its resources with others. And sharing with others would not diminish their own supply; God’s ability to replenish resources ensured the Corinthians would always have “enough” (v. 8).
To add force to his exhortation that the Corinthians should abundantly share their resources with others, Paul quoted a verse from Psalm 112 (v. 9). Psalm 112 commends those who fear the Lord and delight in His commandments. The psalm suggests that God materially blesses those who fear Him and that in turn God-fearers give generously to those in need (Ps. 112:5, 9).
Paul told the Corinthians of God’s ability and willingness to multiply their resources to make possible their abundant generosity. But God would not increase the resources alone. He also would increase the “harvest of [their] righteousness.” This suggests that God would in some way heighten the effect of the Corinthians’ giving, so that their already generous efforts would produce an exceedingly fruitful harvest of relief and encouragement among the Jerusalem believers receiving financial assistance.
Finally Paul described three significant results that would flow from the Corinthians’ generous giving. 1. The Corinthians’ generosity would supply the needs of the poverty-stricken believers in Jerusalem (v. 12). 2. This generosity in turn would result in “many thanksgivings” being offered to God (vv. 11–12). 3. The recipients of the collection would glorify God because of the obedience and generosity of the Corinthian believers (v. 13).