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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

2 Corinthians 9

Verses 1-5

The Arrangement to Give In 2 Corinthians 8:16 to 2 Corinthians 9:5 Paul explains to the Corinthians how he has made arrangements to collect their offering. He is going to send Titus along with another brother whom they knew well, perhaps Timothy or Erasmus or another close companion of Paul (2 Corinthians 8:16-23). He asks them to give in order to prove their love and Paul’s boasting of them (2 Corinthians 8:24). Paul then reminds them of their willingness a year ago to give when this project was first presented to them (2 Corinthians 9:1-2). He will send the brethren ahead of his coming in order to prepare the offering for his arrival (2 Corinthians 9:3-5).

2 Corinthians 8:16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.

2 Corinthians 8:16 Word Study on “thanks be to God” The Greek construction χάριν ἔχω τῷ Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ or χάρις τῷ θεῷ [74] or some variation of this phrase is found no less than thirteen times in the Greek New Testament (Luke 17:9, Romans 6:17; Romans 7:25, 1 Corinthians 10:30; 1Co 15:57 , 2 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 8:16; 2 Corinthians 9:15, Colossians 3:16, 1 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:3, Philemon 1:7 [t.r.], Hebrews 12:28). It is properly translated in a variety of ways; “I am grateful to God,” or “I thank God,” “Let’s give thanks,” or “with thanks to the Lord.”

[74] Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, The Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology) (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993, 2006), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 2 Corinthians 8:16.

2 Corinthians 8:23 Comments - Paul uses the words “fellowprisoners,” “fellowlabourers,” and “fellowhelpers” in a number of his epistles. These words go deeper in meaning than just describing their personal relationships with Paul. It also describes their spiritual relationship with him in the sense that they were partners and partakers of Paul’s sufferings as well as his heavenly rewards. In other words, these words describe people would receive the same rewards in heaven that Paul would receive because they stood with him during these difficult times.

2 Corinthians 9:5 Comments - Paul asked for a missions pledge from this congregation.

Verses 1-15

Paul Offers Reconciliation to the Church at Corinth Having explained his ministry of reconciliation in the previous section (1-7), Paul now tests the obedience of the Corinthians after calling them to be reconciled unto God. For those who answer his call, Paul gives them an opportunity to prove their loyalty to him by participating in the collection of the saints (2 Corinthians 8:1 to 2 Corinthians 9:15). For these church members Paul’s words are a sweet savour of Christ resulting in life (2 Corinthians 2:15-16) resulting in their edification (2 Corinthians 13:10). For those who reject his call, Paul launches into an apologetic message to defend his right as an apostle over the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 10:1 to 2 Corinthians 13:10). He then warns them of his upcoming visit in which he is ready to use sharpness according to the power which the Lord had given him for edification and for destruction (2 Corinthians 13:10). So, for the rebellious, Paul’s words are “the savour of death unto death” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).

Outline - Note the proposed outline:

A. The Collection for the Saints 2 Corinthians 8:1 to 2 Corinthians 9:15

1. The Example of Christian Giving 2 Corinthians 8:1-6

2. The Exhortation to Give 2 Corinthians 8:7-15

3. The Arrangement to Give 2 Corinthians 8:16 to 2 Corinthians 9:5

4. The Benefits of Christian Giving 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

B. Paul Exercises Apostolic Authority 2 Corinthians 10:1 to 2 Corinthians 13:10

1. Paul Declares His Authority 2 Corinthians 10:1-18

a) Paul’s Defense Against False Charges 2 Corinthians 10:1-11

b) Paul’s Claim to Apostleship 2 Corinthians 10:12-18

2. Paul Boasts of His Credentials 2 Corinthians 11:1 to 2 Corinthians 12:21

a) Mental: A Godly Lifestyle 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

b) Physical: Jewish Ancestry & Christian Suffering 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

c) Spiritual: Revelations & Miracles 2 Corinthians 12:1-13

Verses 1-15

Paul Offers Reconciliation to the Church at Corinth Having explained his ministry of reconciliation in the previous section (1-7), Paul now tests the obedience of the Corinthians after calling them to be reconciled unto God. For those who answer his call, Paul gives them an opportunity to prove their loyalty to him by participating in the collection of the saints (2 Corinthians 8:1 to 2 Corinthians 9:15). For these church members Paul’s words are a sweet savour of Christ resulting in life (2 Corinthians 2:15-16) resulting in their edification (2 Corinthians 13:10). For those who reject his call, Paul launches into an apologetic message to defend his right as an apostle over the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 10:1 to 2 Corinthians 13:10). He then warns them of his upcoming visit in which he is ready to use sharpness according to the power which the Lord had given him for edification and for destruction (2 Corinthians 13:10). So, for the rebellious, Paul’s words are “the savour of death unto death” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).

Outline - Note the proposed outline:

A. The Collection for the Saints 2 Corinthians 8:1 to 2 Corinthians 9:15

1. The Example of Christian Giving 2 Corinthians 8:1-6

2. The Exhortation to Give 2 Corinthians 8:7-15

3. The Arrangement to Give 2 Corinthians 8:16 to 2 Corinthians 9:5

4. The Benefits of Christian Giving 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

B. Paul Exercises Apostolic Authority 2 Corinthians 10:1 to 2 Corinthians 13:10

1. Paul Declares His Authority 2 Corinthians 10:1-18

a) Paul’s Defense Against False Charges 2 Corinthians 10:1-11

b) Paul’s Claim to Apostleship 2 Corinthians 10:12-18

2. Paul Boasts of His Credentials 2 Corinthians 11:1 to 2 Corinthians 12:21

a) Mental: A Godly Lifestyle 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

b) Physical: Jewish Ancestry & Christian Suffering 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

c) Spiritual: Revelations & Miracles 2 Corinthians 12:1-13

Verses 6-15

The Benefits of Christian Giving In 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 Paul explains to the Corinthians the benefits and divine laws of giving. He explains that manner in which they are to give unto the Lord, that it is better to give bountifully rather than sparingly (2 Corinthians 9:6), to give cheerfully rather than grudgingly (2 Corinthians 9:7). God would make His grace abound in their lives (2 Corinthians 9:8). He then quotes from the Old Testament in order to support his claim of God’s blessings (2 Corinthians 9:9-10). Their bountifulness will cause thanksgiving towards God (2 Corinthians 9:11) as others glorify God for their sacrificial giving (2 Corinthians 9:12-14). Paul closes by thanking God for His unspeakable gift of grace (2 Corinthians 9:15).

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

2 Corinthians 9:6 “But this I say” Comments - The Greek phrase τοῦτο δέ , translated in the KJV as “but this I say” means that Paul is going to now explain to the Corinthians the divine laws of sowing and reaping (2 Corinthians 9:6-9), after having exhorted them to give in 2 Corinthians 8:16 to 2 Corinthians 9:5. Paul has praised them for their willingness to give generously and not grudgingly (2 Corinthians 9:1-5). Now he wants to explain to them the divine laws that will operate in their lives when they do give, assuring them that God will bless them for giving.

2 Corinthians 9:6 “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly” - Word Study on “sparingly” Strong says the Greek word “sparingly” ( φειδομένως ) (G5340) means, “abstemiously, i.e. stingily,” and it comes from the Greek word ( φείδομαι ) (G5339), which means, “to abstain.”

Comments - Thus, we can imagine this person abstaining from the offering plate when it is passed in church.

2 Corinthians 9:6 Comments - Note these insightful words from Frances J. Roberts:

“Whatsoever ye sow in your secret thought-life, that shall ye reap. Sow love and kindness, and ye shall be rewarded openly. Sow charity and forgiveness, and ye shall reap in kind. Sow generosity and gratitude, and ye shall never feel poor. Sow hope, and ye shall reap fulfillment. Sow praise, and ye shall reap joy and well-being and a strong faith. Sow bountifully, and ye shall reap bountifully. Sow! Ye shall see your seed and be satisfied.” [75]

[75] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 93.

Oral Roberts says, “If you have a need, plant a seed,” and again, “Plant a seed out of your need.” [76]

[76] Oral Roberts, interviewed by Benny Hinn, This is Your Day, on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

2 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.

2 Corinthians 9:7 “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart” Comments - Every man is to give according to his faith. For his faith will determine how much he purposes to give.

2 Corinthians 9:7 “not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” Comments - Paul wanted the believers at Corinth to give willingly and cheerfully, and not because they felt forced to do so. Paul uses a similar expression in Philemon 1:14 when he asked Philemon to receive his servant back willfully, and not because he felt compelled by Paul to do so. Thus, the phrase “a cheerful giver” is equivalent to “a willful giver.” Since the office and ministry of the Holy Spirit is emphasized in 2 Corinthians, we understand that cheerfulness is the emotion that comes from the heart of a willful giver. The Mosaic Law required Jews to tithe and make a number of sacrificial offerings. Such giving was mandatory and the Jews would have easily given out of necessity and grudgingly, rather than cheerfully.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Comments God examines the motive of a person’s heart. The one who sows sparingly (2 Corinthians 9:6) is the one who gives grudgingly and by compulsion (2 Corinthians 9:7); but the one who gives generously (2 Corinthians 9:6) also gives generously (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Paul’s advanced preparation for this offering was designed to relieve the Corinthians from having to give impulsively, and grudgingly. These believers had the time to decide that they wanted to give willing, and therefore, cheerfully.

2 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:

2 Corinthians 9:8 Comments The phrase “God is able” reveals to us that it is indeed God’s will and intent to give us more than we need. It also means that we, as His children, play a role in receiving His abundance. As Paul has just said, we can choose to give sparingly and grudgingly (2 Corinthians 9:6-7), or we can choose to give generously with cheer (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). God is able to make all grace about as we participate by giving cheerfully. When His grace abounds, we have all sufficiency in all things so that we can give to every good work. In other words, God abounds His prosperity upon us so that we can abound in good works; that is, we are divinely blessed so that we can bless others (Genesis 12:2).

Genesis 12:2, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:”

2 Corinthians 9:7-8 Comments - Note these words from Frances J. Roberts:

“But see that thy giving is with joyfulness for God delighteth in a cheerful giver otherwise thou grievest the Spirit, for has He not been given to thee without measure? Therefore, as ye have received freely (for God hath always a generous heart) even so it is required of thee that thou give without grudging, nor be mindful of any sacrifice. They giving seems sacrificial only when viewed in the light of what other use ye could have made of the money. I say unto thee, give freely to the work of My Kingdom and I will add unto thee such other things as ye have need of. Be My agents of righteousness and good will, and I shall prove Myself to thee as thy loving Heavenly Father, supplying they needs out of the riches of My own treasury and this, too, shall be to thee an exciting adventure in thy walk in the Spirit.” [77]

[77] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 57.

2 Corinthians 9:9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

2 Corinthians 9:9 Comments - Paraphrasing 2 Corinthians 9:9, Paul is saying, “For example, a man who abounds always unto every good work is characterized by the person described in Psalms 112:0.” This person who abounds with God’s abundance is able to “disperse abroad.” In other words, he is able to give generously on all occasions.

2 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;)

2 Corinthians 9:10 Comments God gives seed to those who will sow. God does not give seed to those who are not sowers. In other words, God does not necessarily give to those in need. He gives to those who will sow a seed. Just because we have a need does not mean that it will be automatically with a prayer. With our prayer, God will give us a seed in order that we can sow it and reap a harvest to meet our need. The wisdom is to recognize this seed and learn how to sow it in faith believing that it will bring in our need. Sowers are able to create their future, while keepers do not. This is the principle that Paul teaches to the church at Philippi.

Todd Coontz said the Lord spoke to him saying, “Your seed is the only voice that the earth responds to.” [78]

[78] Todd Coontz, “Benny Hinn Fire Conference,” Miracle Center Cathedral, Kampala, Uganda, 5-6 June 2009.

In the Garden of Eden the Lord gave Adam plants bearing seed so that he could learn the principle of receiving some as bread for food and receive some as seed for sowing. Another good example of 2 Corinthians 9:10 in the Scriptures is found in the book of Exodus. God took the children of Israel out of bondage with silver and gold. They had spoiled the Egyptians when the Lord gave them favor (Exodus 12:35-36). A few months later, God asked them to give of a willing heart for the building of the Tabernacle. God blessed the children of Israel in order that they might also learn to give willingly and abundantly. He gave Israel this wealth from Egypt so that they could sow part of it and use part of it.

Exodus 12:35-36, “And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.”

Exodus 25:1-2, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.”

2 Corinthians 9:15 Word Study on “thanks be unto God” The Greek construction χάριν ἔχω τῷ Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ , or χάρις τῷ θεῷ , [79] or some variation of this phrase is found no less than thirteen times in the Greek New Testament (Luke 17:9, Romans 6:17; Romans 7:25, 1 Corinthians 10:30; 1Co 15:57 , 2 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 8:16; 2 Corinthians 9:15, Colossians 3:16, 1 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:3, Philemon 1:7 [t.r.], Hebrews 12:28). It is properly translated in a variety of ways; “I am grateful to God,” or “I thank God,” “Let’s give thanks,” or “with thanks to the Lord.”

[79] Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, The Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology) (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993, 2006), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 2 Corinthians 9:15.

2 Corinthians 9:15 Comments Paul has exhorted the Corinthians to give in 2 Corinthians 8-9, and he closes with the reminder that God first gave to us; therefore, we should to give back to Him.

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/2-corinthians-9.html. 2013.