2 Corinthians 9: Encouragement to Give

If Paul was confident that the Corinthians had already collected their gift for the church in Jerusalem, what reason did he have to be concerned?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Corinthians 9:1 I don’t really need to write about the gift we are taking to the believers in Jerusalem.
9:2 When I was in Macedonia a year ago, I boasted that you in Achaia were already gathering your gift. Your enthusiasm encouraged the giving of many believers there.
9:3 I’m sending these brethren now because I’m sure my boasting is justified and all the money has already been collected.
9:4 After expressing such confidence in you, I wouldn’t want to arrive with Macedonian believers and be embarrassed seeing your lack of preparation.
King James
2 Corinthians 9:1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:
9:2 For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.
9:3 Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
9:4 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.

Compared to what had already been collected, how much more do you think was received after Titus arrived in Corinth?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Corinthians 9:5 Therefore, I have encouraged Titus and the other men to be sure everything is ready—not so more money can be gathered but for assurance that those who want to give have had the opportunity.
King James
2 Corinthians 9:5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

How important do you think philosophical principles were?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this truism: He who plants a few seeds will have a small harvest. But he who plants many seeds will have a bountiful harvest.
King James
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.

What influence might social pressures have had upon giving?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 5:1 One day, Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold a piece of property
5:2 and kept a portion for themselves while saying they were giving it all to the apostles.
2 Corinthians 9:7 People should decide for themselves what is right, not giving grudgingly because of obligation or social pressure. God respects those who give cheerfully—not just willingly—but eagerly taking advantage of the opportunity.
King James
Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
5:2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
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.

Is there any value in giving grudgingly? Why or why not?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
2 Corinthians 9:7 People should decide for themselves what is right, not giving grudgingly because of obligation or social pressure. God respects those who give cheerfully—not just willingly—but eagerly taking advantage of the opportunity.
King James
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.

How could there be any danger in saving for a rainy day?

Author’s Thoughts
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Exodus 16:18 When the manna was measured out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered much had nothing left over, and those who gathered little had no lack.
Psalm 112:9 When people generously give to those in need, they will be blessed and honored. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
Proverbs 11:24 Give freely and experience true wealth, or be stingy and never have enough, all you have becoming a loss.
Acts 20:35 By my example, you have seen how we should work to help those in need. Remember that Jesus said greater blessing is found in giving, not receiving.
2 Corinthians 9:8 Recognize God as the abundant supplier of all you need when you need it. Don’t hoard extra for a rainy day, but share from your present abundance and God will provide for the rain when it comes. 9
9:9 As the songwriter has said, When people generously give to those in need, they will be blessed and honored. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
King James
Exodus 16:18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
Psalm 112:9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
Proverbs 11:24 There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. (Prov. 11:24 KJV)
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
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:
9:9 As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

In what ways are people blessed by their giving? How are others blessed?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Corinthians 9:10 He who gives seed to the farmer is blessed by the bread on people’s tables. Similarly, your generosity will multiply your resources for blessing others.
9:11 Your lives will be enriched better than anything you can imagine, and those who receive your gift will praise the Lord.
King James
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;
9:11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

How do physical gifts produce spiritual blessings?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Corinthians 9:12 Your giving will do more than meet the needs of believers. It will also prompt abundant praise for all that the Lord is doing.
9:13 Your liberality proves you have surrendered yourselves to the message of Jesus Christ, his unconditional love being expressed through you to others, glorifying God.
King James
2 Corinthians 9:12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
9:13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men.

When we give, what is the return on that investment?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
2 Corinthians 9:14 Because of your generosity, you can be sure they will passionately pray for God to shower you with blessings.
9:15 Praise the Lord for his gifts that are wonderful beyond what words can describe.
King James
2 Corinthians 9:14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.