Summary: This lesson looks at the single most perfect gift ever given or received in the history of the world, a gift which Paul called “indescribable!”
The Indescribable Gift
Text: 2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
I happened to be flipping channels the other evening and came across one of those “reality” shows (I don’t really know which one it was) and in this particular moment one of the people involved in this particular show was agonizing over the purchase of a gift for someone else on the show, it was very important that just the right gift be given to impress this other person. The drama captured my attention for a couple of minutes until I had the thought “really, how important can one gift be?” after which I surfed on. But the question stayed in the back of my head and that brings us to our lesson for this evening. We are going to look at the single most perfect gift ever given or received in the history of the world, a gift which Paul called “indescribable!”
I. The indescribable gift
A. A spontaneous expression of thanks by Paul
1. It was not uncommon for Paul to praise and thank God in his writings, this is one of those moments.
2. The word translated indescribable here means, what cannot be related, unutterable. It occurs nowhere else in the New Testament.
a. The idea is that no words can properly express the greatness of the gift freely given to man. It is higher than than language can express.
B. The foundation for the statement
1. The context for verse 15 begins in Chapter 8 with Paul commending the church in Corinth for their intent to provide for the saints in Jerusalem. (Paul had been bragging about it.)
2. Paul is letting the church know that Titus (and at least two other brothers) was coming to collect the “bountiful gift” (9:5) intended for Jerusalem.
3. There is much in chapters 8 and 9 about the proper attitude of giving, and the proper expression of that attitude but our lesson today focuses on what Paul reveals to us in the text concerning the work of the church at Corinth.
a. This gracious work was a way for the saints at Corinth to express their faith and sincere love (8:7-8)
b. Their willingness to sacrifice (in this case, materially) is shown as following the example of Jesus (8:9) who became poor, that they might become rich.
c. Their actions were an outcome of their obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (9:13.)
d. Their actions were evidence of God's Grace within them (9:14.)
C. Paul was moved by the outcome of God's Grace
1. Paul was moved by what the work of the church in Corinth would accomplish for God.
a. The offering was an expression of faith, obedience, and love. The Gentiles were not obligated to share but they did so because of the grace of God. The Jewish believers in Jerusalem would, in turn, would feel themselves bound to their Gentile brothers and sisters. Both the Jewish and the Gentile churches would be drawn closer in Jesus Christ.
b. Their work would result in thanksgiving and glory to God (9:11-13.)
c. Another spiritual bond would be prayer. 9:14 “while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.“
d. Paul envisioned a spontaneous expression of love, prayer, and praise as a result of this good work. A good work done because of the Grace of God at work in the Corinthian believers, a work done because of their love, faith and obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And this leads Paul to give thanks for the indescribable gift of God.
D. God’s indescribable gift is the Gospel of Jesus Christ
1. The most glorious, wonderful, and perfect gift ever given.
a. Ephesians 1:3-6 (NASB) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
b. Man has no claim on God. And the whole of His Grace: the selection of the Savior, sending him into the world, and all the benefits resulting from His work, is an indescribable gift to man.
c. (1 John 4:9-10) By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.