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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible
2 Corinthians 9

 

 

Verses 1-15

Paul does not stress the rightness of their ministering to the saints: this would be superfluous, for of this they were already persuaded, and so expressed themselves, so that Paul had boasted to the Macedonians of them. It seems the repetition here is because Paul is concerned that there be no misunderstanding by the Corinthians as to the basic principles in this matter. And he assures them that their zeal had stirred many others in the same spirit of liberality.

Paul is sending the brethren in order that the zeal of the Corinthians and the confidence of the apostles in them might not prove in vain, but that they might show themselves ready. For if some from Macedonia were to come with Paul, and find that the Corinthians were unprepared to supply what they had promised, Paul himself would be ashamed, and how much more ought they to be!

For this reason Paul had exhorted the three brethren to go beforehand to Corinth, to be sure their gift was made up and ready to be taken to Jerusalem. Again, he insists that it is a matter of bounty, or "blessing," that which is given in a thankful, happy spirit, not as being prevailed upon by the covetousness of others.

The last matter now of which he speaks, and which is so necessary to be pressed upon saints, is found in verses 6 to 15. It is the question of the lasting results of present conduct. Paul is concerned about that which is for their own eternal good. It seems the people of God need constant, pressing reminders of this, or they quickly forget. The one who sows sparingly cannot expect to reap otherwise. It is not either that the reaping will be realized only in eternity: such results are often seen in our lives too. As to sowing "bountifully," it has been observed that this specially emphasizes the liberality of the spirit shown in giving, the individual glad to give as unto the Lord. The reaping will be that of true blessing also.

And each is called upon to purpose in his own heart as to the amount he gives. If Paul presses upon them to give from a right and godly motive, willingly; yet absolutely no pressure must be used in reference to the amount given. What one can give totally ungrudgingly, let him give, not because he feels it incumbent, but rejoicingly. For God loves a cheerful giver. Indeed, this is God's own character.

Let us remember too that if we restrict our affections and our liberality, God can very easily restrict our very means of livelihood. On the other hand, if in a gracious spirit we show appreciation of His grace, He can make that grace abound toward us, giving us no lack, so that we may be able the more to abound in goodness toward others.

Psalms 112:9 is quoted in verse 9 as to the liberality of one who is in that Psalm called "a good man." It will be the character of the godly in Israel, brought into identification with their Messiah in a future day, and their hearts expanded by grace toward others. The results abide forever. And Paul desires that God, the Source of all fruitfulness, will both supply the daily needs of the Corinthians, and multiply the seed of their giving, increasing the fruits of their righteous self-sacrifice beyond what they have considered. The enrichment in everything that he desires for them is of course with the object of their free-hearted liberality, which would cause on the part of others, through the apostles, "thanksgiving to God."

For it is not only that the need of the poor saints was supplied by the administration of this provision, but also it would draw forth "many thanksgivings to God." Is this not an excellent reason for our liberality? Others would glorify God on account of this precious proof of their subjection to the truth of the gospel of Christ, in the freehearted communication of their means for the Lord's sake. So there are not only results in blessings to the giver, but results in glory being given to God. And besides, the prayers of those receiving would be drawn out more ardently for the givers, not a small consideration, for the reality of the grace of God in some draws out the affections of others.

The subject is closed now by an ascription of thanksgiving to God "for His unspeakable gift." Who can doubt that he speaks of the Lord Jesus in all that He is and all He has done? What child of God can fail to echo such thanksgiving from the depths of his heart?

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/2-corinthians-9.html. 1897-1910.


Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 16th, 2018
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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