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Chapter IX

Liberal and Cheerful Giving

SummaryThe Reason for Sending Titus to Corinth. Giving a Sowing. An Abundant Harvest to the Cheerful and Liberal Giver. The Unspeakable Gift.

1, 2. The ministering to the saints. Contributions to supply their needs. It is superfluous. They were fully instructed, and had begun the work. Yet he does write and explain why in verse 2. 2. I know the forwardness of your mind. This is why it seemed superfluous to write. Achaia was ready a year ago. The churches of the province of Achaia, of which Corinth was the capital. The province embraced all southern Greece, including Athens and Cenchreæ. They had begun the collection “a year ago” (8:10). 151

3–5. Yet have I sent the brethren. See 8:17, 18, 22. He sent them so that they would surely be prepared when he came. 4. Lest haply if they of Macedonia. Acts 20:4 named certain brethren of Macedonia who did attend him. If these should find Corinth unprepared with the collection when Paul came, after what he had said, it would fill him with shame. 5. Therefore. Hence, he thought it needful to send the brethren that the work might surely be conducted to completion, and the collection ready. As a matter of bounty. As a free gift, cheerfully bestowed; not something extorted from them (see Revision).

6–9. He which soweth bountifully. Giving is not a sacrifice, but rather a sowing. As the farmer gives his seed to the earth, and then reaps as he has sown, so giving is a sowing. If there is a spare sowing there will be spare reaping; if liberal sowing, liberal reaping. See the same principle expressed in Exod. 25:2; 1 Chron. 29:14, 17; Ps. 102:9; Luke 6:38; Acts 20:35. The lesson of this verse is, give generously. The next verse teaches how to give. 7. Every man according as he purposeth. The giving must be cheerful. It is the cheerful giver whom the Lord loves. Where one gives by compulsion, or to secure popular applause, or grudgingly, he is not approved. 8. God is able to make all grace abound towards you. To bestow upon you every blessing, temporal as well as spiritual. He is able to make up all you part with and more. The faithful steward will be trusted with more. 9. As it is written. In Ps. 112:9. It is said there of the man who feareth the Lord: He does not hold tightly but dispenses abroad by giving to the poor. His righteousness, or right doing in giving, remaineth forever. That is, he is supplied with means to keep it up.

10–14. He that ministereth seed to the sower. God, who can, and does, bless charitable giving, 152will do so in the case of the Corinthians. The fruits of their righteousness will be increased, for their means will be increased. 11. Being enriched. This explains how the fruits of righteousnesses are increased. As they are enriched it tends to bountifulness, and this causeth thanksgiving to God. 12. For the administration of the service. Two things result from the bountiful giving. (1) The wants of the saints are supplied. (2) Their thanksgiving for the relief glorifies God. 13. They glorify God. That the Corinthians had become subject to the gospel and God's means of succoring their temporal wants. Some Judaizing Christians at Jerusalem doubted whether the Gentile churches were really churches of Christ. Such a gift would tend to open their minds and remove their prejudices, an object very dear to the heart of Paul. 14. And by their prayer for you. Thus, filled with affection for you, and longing for you on account of the proof they had of God's grace to you, they glorify God by prayer for you.

15. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. The Corinthians were asked to give; they were cited to the example of Christ (8:9); but now Paul bursts out in thanksgiving to God for his gift, which language cannot describe—Jesus Christ and his gospel. It was that gift which broken down the old enmity and bound together Jew and Gentile in love, so that Jewish Christians would pray, thank God for, and long for Gentile Christians like those that Corinth. 152

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