"Appeal to the Corinthians, giving, their zeal, the reasons."
This Bible Study is written by Roger
Christopherson, and made available with written
permission by http://www.theseason.org
II Corinthians 9:1 "For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:"
Paul is reminding the Corinthians that as far as Titus and Luke's love for you, I don't have to tell you how much their love is for you because it should be obvious to you.
II Corinthians 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."
I know the willingness and readiness of your mind, and when I boasted of you to the people of Macedonia and Achaia they were impressed with you. You were the example that I set forth for them and other churches to follow.
II Corinthians 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:"
Paul is now reminding the Corinthians that he is going to send these two men to collect the tithes and gifts that they have set aside for Jerusalem. Paul does not want to have to tend to this matter of money when he comes to Corinth. Paul just wasn't comfortable in the collecting and handling of money, even if it was an important part of the church, so Titus and Luke are the good brethren that took care of that task.
II Corinthians 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."
Paul is telling them not to let him down on all the good things that he has said of them. He is asking the Corinthians tend to what needs to be done, so I won't be ashamed of you when I get there.
II Corinthians 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."
Paul wants to make sure that these Corinthians have plenty of time to collect the tithe, and get all the matters of the local church out of the way before his arrival so that he can spend all of his time preaching and teach the brethren. In the early days of the church the preachers were paid with chickens, potatoes and all sorts of things, for it was not like the banking days of today. They needed a little more time to get things in order. Paul is telling them to go ahead and finish the jobs that need to be done.
II Corinthians 9:6 "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; but he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully."
This verse needs an explanation, for if a person has very little, they give their tithe on what is possible, then it is considered a lot in the eyes of the Lord. The thing that determines if you have sowed sparingly or bountifully, is the portion of what you have that is given to the Lord willingly and with a glad heart. The high rollers and the wealthy that have accumulated much wealth simply cannot compare what they have given to others that are poor. God looks only on the willingness of the giver to sow his tithe and gifts with a willing heart. Remember from the last chapter, God believes in equality and never be ashamed in your gift to God, when it is given with a willing heart.
God's ways are not like what is presented by many of these prosperity preachers. They tell you that by you stuffing their pockets, he can guarantee you that God will stuff your pockets. Friend, that is not the way that God works. There is much more to giving than putting the money in the bag. There are conditions to be met if you desire the blessings of God from your giving. Your obedience to follow His Word and the love that you show for Our Heavenly Father in your heart goes a long way for God's blessing you. Friend, the harder that you work in doing things God's way, whether on the job, or in your home or church, the more blessings God will put on you. With the willing and obedient work goes the blessings
Blessings are just not measured in money amounts, but blessings are also measured in keeping you well and in good health, and all those other problems that just don't come your way. God can make those appliances last longer, and keep your money bag from getting full of holes before the next payday arrives. Stop and use a little common sense for a moment; the harder you work, the more healthier you are. God is looking for a willing worker, and that is what puts the backbone to your prayers.
II Corinthians 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."
When you are a teacher of God's Word, and the congregation is fed well out of the Word, they understand the need in their own lives to be diligent givers. A true man of God knows the importance of giving cheerfully, for without the loving heart there is no blessing attached to their giving. The problem today is that there are to many beggar in priest's robes, and they give a bad impression of our Heavenly Father. God will only bless a cheerful giver.
Today television and radio time is very expensive, and there is to much time given over to the begging bag, when that time should be centered on the Word of God. When the funds simply don't come in to pay for the time, then it becomes an indication that something is wrong. It is not the time to turn the pulpit into a begging box, but rather it is time to move on to another pasture where there is a greater need. If the teaching is done right then the money will come in to cover the expenses, for God will see to it. The point I am trying to make here is to pay attention to who is leading your ministry, The Holy Spirit of God, or your deacon board. Are you a follower of the God's Spirit, or are you trying to make God a slave to your desires. If the Spirit of God is doing the leading, I assure you He will provide for what He expects of you. Loving, willing and cheerful givers are not made that way by you, but by the grace and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
II Corinthians 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,"
God is not promising you that if you give well with a cheerful heart that He will bless you in the ways of this world, but He said "in every good work". Naturally when God blesses you, you will be blessed in the ways that your needs are provided for. That job of yours will produce the money necessary to cover your needs, as well as the tithes and offerings that He expects from you.
II Corinthians 9:9 "(As it is written, "He hath dispersed abroad; He hath given to the poor: His righteousness remaineth for ever."
Verse nine is a quote 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."
It is our Heavenly Father that has dispersed abroad and given to the poor. God's horn is His strength that is given to you when you call for it. Remember that when you are at your weakest, you are at your strongest, for it is then that you stop relying on your own strength, and turn it over to the Lord. Paul is telling us that what he is saying was even written in the Old Testament, that God helps those that are cheerful in doing their good works, in serving Him.
II Corinthians 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;)"
This verse is probably a quote from 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."
God gives the rain and the snow that brings the moisture for watering the crops that gives us the food that we eat. You are the one that brings the blessings for through your righteousness, you receive the blessing for it. When a work for the lord is given in righteousness God will bring the necessary means to make it grow. However, we are the ones that must tend to the ministering and make sure that it is God's Word that is taught. We are the ones to give out that real food, and the real food is the subject of the ninth verse. That real food is the entire Word of God.
We are living in a generation where the real food is being dried up, and the living water is becoming scarce, for Amos tells us in Amos 8:11; "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:"
However, for those that love God, and trust Him, we are assured that He will supply all of our needs, and there need not be the smallest doubt of God providing for His own. We are living in the those final days spoken of here by Amos. Remember that any time you make a stand for the Lord, Satan is going to attack you any way he can. If you don't give cheerfully, or give of your time lovingly unto the Lord there will be no blessings. Those blessings are promises made by God to you, and they are as sure as the sun will come up in the morning, and you can count on it.
II Corinthians 9:11 "Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God."
It runs in a circle, for when you give with a willing and cheerful heart and follow His ways, the blessings flow from God to you. In return you give your praise and thanks to him for the blessings that He gave to you, and He in turn lays more of His blessings upon you. It is a two way street, the cheerful giving and thanks flow from you to Him, and the blessings flow from God to you. It's a beautiful thing.
These blessing flow to anyone that will by faith seek God in repentance, and turn from their ways to follow our Lord. It applies just as much to the one that comes off drugs, or to the Sodomite that will turn from his filthy ways and seek God in repentance. God is anxious to mend your life and make you a useful servant in His service, but you must first seek him and ask for His help through your repentance. God has made you many promises but He will not force Himself upon you. You must come to the point of seeing your fallen condition and come to Christ in truth. Then God will pour out His blessing on those that are thankful for the gifts that He has given to you.
II Corinthians 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;"
When you bless God through your administration and service to His work, it not only blesses those that you are ministering to, and the saints around you, but God is also blessed by it. God loves those that cheerfully participate in His work. He loves to see it when we use the gifts that He has given us for the sake of leading others to follow Christ. If you please the Father, rest assured our Father will bless you.
II Corinthians 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;"
Ask yourself this question; am I subject unto the gospel of Christ? Do I willingly profess the gospel of Christ to all those men that I can witness to? Now this is the results and answer.
II Corinthians 9:14 "And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you."
II Corinthians 9:15 "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift."
"Unspeakable" just doesn't cover what it is saying. The gift that Christ gives us when we are faithful to Him our human minds simply cannot comprehend. Human words simply cannot describe the touch that God makes on us when we are faithful to Him, and in love follow the instructions of His Word.
God loved us enough that he has given us in writing everything that is necessary to live our life in these flesh bodies. He has given us His health laws which is a maintenance manual for these physical bodies. He has told each of us how we can learn to get along with our neighbors. He has provided the way so that the gilt that is upon your mind can be removed through the blood of Christ, and he has given eternal life to your soul that lives with your flesh body.
By far, the inheritance that each of us has waiting for us is so vast that our simple human minds and not comprehend the glory that is waiting for us in that age to come. Yet men and women are willing to do like Esau, and sell their birthright for a bowl of pottage, or a bottle or whiskey or some other worthless thing that this world promises them.
When God touches us with His love, the entire landscape around us changes, and the things that were important before, just don't matter any more. As the Word is made real in our minds, then our common sense changes and our understanding of the things of God come alive and take on meaning for our lives. Upon repentance in Jesus name, our Heavenly Father makes a new man or woman out of you, and removes those blinder that once kept you from seeing the truth of His Word. You then have the understanding to see the beauty of God's love for all of His children, that love is so great that He would send His only Begotten Son to this earth to be spit upon and pay the price for you with the pure innocent blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Friend, would you have it any other way then to be willing and obedient to what our Lord asks of you. To love Him and be a cheerful giver of not only your money, but willing and obedient in following His ways.
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