IV. The Encouragement in giving. 2 Corinthians 8:1 – 9:15
G. The Earnest desire for their willing participation. 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
1. The Reminder. 2 Corinthians 9:1-5
2. The Reward in giving. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
a. The principle. 9:6
b. The practice. 9:7
c. The Promise. 9:8-11 “… which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”
God supplies enough for the poor. How, by giving overabundance to His children who then may share with others in need. Living in the middle of God’s blessing, whether little or much, will cause us to be thankful to God and this testimony will be seen by others to the glory of God!
This was an extremely important opportunity in the early days of the churches to show their love for one another and especially their unity in the Lord. The Apostle Paul had been, and would continue, teaching the truth that there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile in the mind or heart of God in relation to His church. Why the disparity? (To have opportunity to show love)!
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
The Jews had resisted God’s love for the Gentiles and the Lord instructed them through the working out of His Word through the lives of His people. Remember the difficulties that they had already faced –
Peter and the Cornelius –
Acts 11:1-3 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
Peter and Barnabas in Galatia –
Galatians 2:11-13 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
The churches that were mostly Gentile memberships were now proving their love for the Jewish believers in Jerusalem. They were involved in breaking down the walls that had divided them. The Lord had commanded –
“Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature…”
The churches needed to see the world, not according to cultural identity, but as all people being separated from God through sin and in need of being saved!
“…there is none righteous, no, not one.” “For all have come short of the glory of God.”
The Gentiles were sending a message to the Jewish believers – “We love God, we love you, and we want to help.” Through this we see –
3. The Result in giving. 2 Corinthians 9:12-15
Through their obedience to God we note these blessings –
a. Provided for their needs. 9:12
It is a blessing to note that the phrase ‘supplieth the want’ literally means ‘completely filling up the deficiencies’… Anything that was needed was provided!
1). They were blessed physically. “…supplieth the want of the saints…”
2). They were blessed spiritually! “…is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God”
b. Proved their love. 9:14
1). They said that they loved God.
“…their professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ…”
2). They showed that they loved God!
1 John 3:17-19 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
c. Prayer was lifted up for them. 9:15
Sometimes I believe we do not take this as seriously as we should. Look at how the Son of God and His people in those days spoke of prayer –
Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
1 Thessalonians 5:17, 25 Pray without ceasing. Brethren, pray for us.
d. Praise unto God was manifested. 9:16 He is Worthy!
The hymn writing said it well as he considered the Love of God –
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
The wonderful result of living unto the Lord and giving as He directs is to realize that God is using each one of us for His glory and we can sing praises unto Him!
Have you been living so as you are praising God for your life each day?
Have you been looking unto Him for His will to be done in your life?
Are you saved, knowing through personal experience the love, mercy, and grace of God and living in the expectation of His leading through each day?