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Summary: Paul turns the thoughts of the Corinthians to the gift of God in Jesus Christ, a gift whose wonder can never be exhausted and whose story can never be fully told.

November 24, 2014

Tom Lowe

The Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians

Lesson III.D: Faithfulness Directed. (9:6-15)

2nd Corinthians 9:6-15 (NKJV)

6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

9 As it is written: "He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever."

10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,

11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.

12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God,

13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,

14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you.

15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Introduction

This passage gives us an outline of generous giving

(i) Paul insists that no man was ever the loser because he was generous.

He will be rich in love.

He will be rich in friends.

He will be rich in help.

He will be rich towards God.

(ii)Paul insists that it is the happy giver whom God loves.

(iii) Paul insists that God can give a man both the substance to give and the spirit in which to give it.

But in this passage, Paul does more. If we read into its thought, we see that he holds that giving does wonderful things for three different persons.

(i) It does something for others.

It relieves their need.

It restores their faith in their fellow men.

It makes them thank God.

(ii)It does something for ourselves.

It guarantees our Christian profession.

It wins us both the prayer and the love of others.

(iii) It does something for God.

“Give and it shall be given unto you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. . .” was our Lord’s promise, and it still holds true (Luke 6:38). The “good measure” He gives back to us is not always money or material goods, but it is always more than we gave. Giving is not something we do, but something we are. Giving is a way of life for the Christian who understands the grace of God.

Finally, Paul turns the thoughts of the Corinthians to the gift of God in Jesus Christ, a gift whose wonder can never be exhausted and whose story can never be fully told; and, in so doing, he says to them, “Can you who have been so generously treated by God, be anything else than generous to your fellow men.

Commentary

6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

The people of this time were intimately familiar with the principles of an agricultural economy. Planting, weeding, and harvesting were common everyday tasks. Everyone would have known a foolish neighbor who had used too much of his grain instead of saving it as seed for his fields. Lavishly scattering seeds all over one’s fields was a risk. What if birds ate it up? What if the soil was inferior and wouldn’t produce a harvest? Keeping more seeds in storage might appear to be wise, a way to ensure against future disasters. But the farmer who scattered his seed sparingly inevitably would have a small harvest. A farmer who refused to risk his grain on the next year’s harvest would lose. This piece of agricultural wisdom contains a profound truth about Christian giving (see Prov. 11:24-26; 22:8, 9 for similar sayings). Those who are like the foolish farmer who sowed sparingly—those who refuse to trust God with their future financial security—will inevitably lose out on God’s rich blessings. Those who sow generously will invest in an eternal harvest that will exceed their expectations, and the more they invest in the work of the Lord, the more “fruit” will abound to their account (see Phil. 4:10-20). Whenever we are tempted to forget this principle, we need to remind ourselves that God was unsparing in His giving. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Rom. 8:32).

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