2 Corinthians 9:1–15 (NKJV)
1 Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; 2 for I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority. 3 Yet I have sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this respect, that, as I said, you may be ready; 4 lest if some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you!) should be ashamed of this confident boasting. 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.2 Corinthians 9:1-5
Paul reminded the Corinthians of their earlier commitment to a significant gift for the saints at Jerusalem. He had boasted to the other churches about the generosity of the Corinthians, and did not want his boasting to be in vain, for his sake, but especially for theirs. He decided to send the delegation to Corinth to help them prepare the gift from a sense of generosity, not obligation.
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!2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Paul then moves on to explain the principle of sowing and reaping. Sowing sparingly results in sparse reaping. Bountiful sowing results in bountiful reaping. Therefore, Corinth’s generous gifts will result in their own enrichment. This reflects the grace of Christ showing up exceedingly in the life of those who believe in Him. He then thanks God for His indescribable gift.
This entire discussion establishes the principle that when one gives to others, God will give back to them in return. Whether the individual is generous or not will affect the generosity that individual will receive. This is not some type of karmic relationship, or a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” agreement. Instead, this shows that a benevolent God recognizes attributes in His creation that mirror His own character, and rewards them. Therefore, it is intelligent and expedient to imitate God in every way possible. Then, God’s favor will be upon you. Follow Christ, live like Christ, imitate Christ, and see the glorious results. Give to others indescribably, for God has given you an indescribable gift!
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