2 Corinthians Chapter Nine
2 Corinthians 9
In the next chapter the apostle (being on his way to Judea) exhorts the Corinthians to prepare relief for the poor of Israel; sending Titus that all might be ready as of a willing mind-a disposition of which he had spoken on his journey as existing among these Christians, so that others had been stirred up to give likewise. And now, while reckoning upon their goodwill, and knowing that they had begun a year before. he would run no risk of finding that facts gave the lie to what he had said of them. Not that he would burden the Corinthians and ease those of Judea, but that the rich should provide for the need of the poor brethren, in order that none should be in want. Every one, if his will were in it, should be accepted of God according to his ability. He loved a cheerful giver. Only they should reap according as they sowed. Titus, happy at the result of his first visit, and attached to the Corinthians, was ready to go again and gather this fruit also for their own blessing. With him went the messengers of the other churches, charged with the collection made among them for the same purpose-a brother known to all the churches, and another of approved diligence, stimulated by Paul's confidence in the Corinthians. The apostle would not take charge of the money without having companions whose charge it should also be, avoiding all possibility of reproach in affairs of this kind, taking care that everything should be honest before men as well as before God. Nevertheless he did not speak by commandment in all this, but on account of the zeal of other churches, and to prove the sincerity of their love.
It will be remembered that it was this collection which occasioned all that happened to Paul at Jerusalem-that which put an end to his ministry, stopped him on his way into Spain, and perhaps other places; and which, on the other hand, gave occasion to write the epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, and, it may be, to the Hebrews. How little we know the bearing of the circumstances we enter upon, happy that we are led by Him who knows the end from the beginning, and who makes all things work for good to those who love Him!
In closing those exhortations to give according to their ability, he commends them to the rich goodness of God, who was able to make them abound in all things, so that they should be in circumstances to multiply their good works, enriched to all bountifulness, so as to produce in others (by means of the apostle's services in this respect) thanksgiving unto God. For, he adds, the happy effect of your practical charity, exercised in the name of Christ, would not only supply the want of the saints (through his administration of the collection made at Corinth) but abound also in thanksgiving to God; for, those who received it blessed God that their benefactors had been brought to confess the name of Christ, and to act with this practical liberality to them and to all. And this thought stirred them up to pray with fervent desire for those who provided in this way for their need, because of the grace of God manifested in them. Thus the bonds of eternal charity were strengthened on both sides, and glory redounded to God. Thanks be to God, says the apostle, for His unspeakable gift; for whatsoever may be the fruits of grace, we have the proof and the power in that which God has given. Here ends the matter of the epistle properly so called.
── John Darby《Synopsis of 2 Corinthians》
2 Corinthians 9
The reason for sending Titus to collect their alms. (1-5) The Corinthians to be liberal and cheerful, The apostle thanks God for his unspeakable gift. (6-15)
Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:1-5
(Read 2 Corinthians 9:1-5)
When we would have others do good, we must act toward them prudently and tenderly, and give them time. Christians should consider what is for the credit of their profession, and endeavour to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. The duty of ministering to the saints is so plain, that there would seem no need to exhort Christians to it; yet self-love contends so powerfully against the love of Christ, that it is often necessary to stir up their minds by way of remembrance.
Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
(Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
Money bestowed in charity, may to the carnal mind seem thrown away, but when given from proper principles, it is seed sown, from which a valuable increase may be expected. It should be given carefully. Works of charity, like other good works, should be done with thought and design. Due thought, as to our circumstances, and those we are about to relieve, will direct our gifts for charitable uses. Help should be given freely, be it more or less; not grudgingly, but cheerfully. While some scatter, and yet increase; others withhold more than is meet, and it tends to poverty. If we had more faith and love, we should waste less on ourselves, and sow more in hope of a plentiful increase. Can a man lose by doing that with which God is pleased? He is able to make all grace abound towards us, and to abound in us; to give a large increase of spiritual and of temporal good things. He can make us to have enough in all things; and to be content with what we have. God gives not only enough for ourselves, but that also wherewith we may supply the wants of others, and this should be as seed to be sown. We must show the reality of our subjection to the gospel, by works of charity. This will be for the credit of our profession, and to the praise and glory of God. Let us endeavour to copy the example of Christ, being unwearied in doing good, and deeming it more blessed to give than to receive. Blessed be God for the unspeakable gift of his grace, whereby he enables and inclines some of his people to bestow upon others, and others to be grateful for it; and blessed be his glorious name to all eternity, for Jesus Christ, that inestimable gift of his love, through whom this and every other good thing, pertaining to life and godliness, are freely given unto us, beyond all expression, measure, or bounds.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on 2 Corinthians》
2 Corinthians 9
 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:
To write to you — Largely.
 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.
I boast to them of Macedonia — With whom he then was.
 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:
I have sent the above mentioned brethren before me.
 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.
Spoken of before — By me, to the Macedonians.
Not as a matter of covetousness — As wrung by importunity from covetous persons.
 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
He that soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly; he that soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully — A general rule. God will proportion the reward to the work, and the temper whence it proceeds.
 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Of necessity — Because he cannot tell how to refuse.
 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:
How remarkable are these words! Each is loaded with matter and increases all the way it goes.
All grace — Every kind of blessing.
That ye may abound to every good work — God gives us everything, that we may do good therewith, and so receive more blessings. All things in this life, even rewards, are, to the faithful, seeds in order to a future harvest. Proverbs 22:9
 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
He hath scattered abroad — (A generous word.) With a full hand, without any anxious thought which way each grain falls.
His righteousness — His beneficence, with the blessed effects of it.
Remaineth for ever — Unexhausted, God still renewing his store. Psalms 112:9
 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;)
And he who supplieth seed — Opportunity and ability to help others.
And bread — All things needful for your own souls and bodies. Will continually supply you with that seed, yea, multiply it to you more and more.
And increase the fruits of your righteousness — The happy effects of your love to God and man. Isaiah 55:10
 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
Which worketh by us thanksgiving to God — Both from us who distribute, and them who receive, your bounty.
 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;
Your avowed subjection — Openly testified by your actions.
To all men — Who stand in need of it.
 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
His unspeakable gift — His outward and inward blessings, the number and excellence of which cannot he uttered.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on 2 Corinthians》
Chapter 9. The Effect of Generous Offering
Sparingly Will Also Reap Sparingly
Whoever Sows Generously Will Also Reap Generously
I. There Should be Real Action
II. God's Abounding Grace
III. Indescribable Gift
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Chapter Nine General Review
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER
1) To see how Paul had used the Corinthians' zeal to motivate the
Macedonians in their giving (whose sacrificial giving had been used
in chapter eight to motivate the Corinthians)
2) To appreciate what kind of giving is pleasing to God
3) To see the relation between sowing and reaping, and what is the
proper use of what we have reaped
4) To observe what a collection like this was designed to produce
As he continues his discussion about the collection for the needy
saints, Paul confesses that his writing may be superfluous. That is
because he knows their willingness of which he boasted to the
Macedonians, who in turn were stirred up by the zeal of the
Corinthians. Yet Paul felt it necessary to send the messengers to
ensure that the Corinthians had their gift ready, and that it was one
of true generosity and not out of a grudging obligation. To find them
unprepared would be embarrassing to both Paul and the Corinthians
That they might give liberally, Paul reminds them of the principle of
sowing and reaping, and that God loves a cheerful giver. He also
writes of God's ability to give them an abundance for every good work,
and prays that God will multiply the seed they have sown so they will
be enriched in all things for even more liberality on their part
He concludes this section by pointing out the effect this collection
will have. It not only supplies the needs of the saints, it will
abound in thanksgiving and praise to God, and produce prayers and
longing in the hearts of the recipients for their benefactors. This
prompts Paul to give thanks to God, for it is He who makes these things
I. PURPOSE OF THE MESSENGERS (1-5)
A. PAUL'S WRITING MAY BE SUPERFLUOUS (1-2)
1. For he knows their willingness, of which he boasted to the
2. Their zeal had stirred up the majority (2b)
B. BUT PAUL STILL BELIEVED THE MESSENGERS WERE NECESSARY (3-5)
1. Lest his boasting of them be in vain (3-4)
2. To make sure the Corinthians were prepared with their gift
3. To ensure that their gift was one of generosity, and not of a
grudging obligation (5b)
II. ENCOURAGEMENT TO GIVE LIBERALLY (6-15)
A. FOR ONE REAPS WHAT THEY SOW (6)
1. He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly (
2. He who sows bountifully will reap bountifully (6b)
B. FOR GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER (7)
1. Each one must give as they have purposed in their heart (
2. Not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves cheerful giving
C. FOR GOD WILL INCREASE THEIR ABILITY TO DO GOOD (8-11)
1. God is able to give an abundance for every good work (8-9)
2. A prayer that God will supply and increase the fruits of their
3. So that their enrichment will produce more liberality, leading
many to give thanks (11)
D. FOR THE EFFECT IT HAS (12-15)
1. It supplies the needs of the saints (
2. It produces many thanksgivings to God (12b)
3. It causes people to glorify God for the Corinthians' obedience
to the gospel and their liberal sharing (13)
4. It creates prayer and longing for the Corinthians by the
recipients of the gift (14)
-- All this prompting Paul to thank God for this wonderful gift!
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
- Purpose of the messengers (1-5)
- Encouragement to give liberally (6-15)
2) Why was Paul's writing to the Corinthians about this collection
- For he knew of their willingness, of which he boasted to the
- Their zeal had stirred up the majority
3) Why were the messengers being sent? (3-5)
- Lest Paul's boasting about the Corinthians be in vain
- That their gift might be ready, and one of generosity
4) What is the relation between sowing and reaping? (6)
- As you sow, so shall you reap (cf. Ga 6:7)
5) What kind of giving pleases God? (7)
- Cheerful giving, not grudgingly or of necessity
6) What is God able to do? (
- Make all grace abound toward us, that we might have all
sufficiency in all things
7) What is the purpose of the abundance we receive from God? (8b)
- For every good work
8) Why did Paul pray that God supply and multiply the seed sown by the
- To increase the fruits of their righteousness
9) When one is enriched in everything, for what purpose is it? (11)
- For all liberality
10) What four things did the administration of this service (the
collection) supply? (12-14)
- The needs of the saints
- Many thanksgivings to God
- Glory to God for the givers' obedience to the gospel and their
- Prayer and longing for the givers in the hearts of the recipients
Becoming A Cheerful Giver (9:6-15)
1. In the NT, Jesus and His apostles call us to a high standard of
a. The teaching of Jesus - Lk 6:30,34-36; 14:12-14
b. The example of Paul - Ac 20:33-35; Ga 2:9-10
c. The teaching of Paul - Ga 6:9-10; Ep 4:28; 1 Ti 6:17-19
2. The NT is also filled with notable examples of liberal giving...
a. Churches in
Jerusalem, , etc. Antioch, Macedonia
b. Individuals like Barnabas, Dorcas, etc.
3. Today, however, it is common for people to give "sparingly", and
even then, it is often "begrudgingly"...
a. But Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive - Ac
b. I.e., giving can be a joyful experience, even when one is poor
himself - cf. 2 Co 8:1-5
4. What is the secret to giving joyfully and willingly? I.e., how can
we truly become "cheerful givers"?
a. In 2 Co 9:6-15 Paul discusses the matter of giving to help
b. In this passage, we find several principles and truths which,
when kept in mind, can help us become "cheerful givers".
[The first principle to remember is...]
I. GOD "LOVES" A CHEERFUL GIVER (2 Co 9:7)
A. SINCE THIS IS TRUE...
1. A "cheerful giver" can rest assured that God will watch over
him and provide for his own needs!
2. Note how God cares for the one who gives to others...
a. As David taught in Psa 41:1-3
b. As the LORD spoke through Isaiah in Isa 58:6-11
B. SINCE THIS IS TRUE...
1. One who gives in service to God need not worry - Mt 6:30-33
2. For "God loves a cheerful giver", and watches over those He
loves! - cf. Lk 12:6-7
[Understanding this principle should certainly encourage us to give
more cheerfully! Here is another principle to keep in mind...]
II. GOD PROVIDES SEED FOR THE SOWER (2 Co 9:6,8
A. VERSE 6 IS OFTEN MISUSED...
1. By those who teach "the gospel of health and wealth"
2. Who seek to motivate people to give (sow) more by saying this
passage teaches they will receive (reap) more
3. Implying that if you give more so you can have more for your
B. THE CONTEXT TEACHES OTHERWISE...
1. What's the purpose of reaping "bountifully"?
a. Look carefully at verse 8...
1) To have all sufficiency (what you need), yes...
2) But then to "have an abundance for EVERY GOOD WORK"!
-- I.e., not to spend the abundance on one's self, but to
b. Now consider verse 9...
1) This quotation is from Ps 112:9; yet note the context
- Ps 112:5-9
2) Paul uses this verse to further confirm that the
abundance would be for every good work (not self-
2. And so in verses 10 and 11...
a. Paul prays that God will supply and multiply the seed sown
1) Supply the seed to SOW to begin with
2) And multiply (REAP bountifully) the seed
1) To increase the fruits of their righteousness (to
increase their good works!)
2) To be enriched in everything "FOR ALL LIBERALITY" (so
they can give even more to others!)
C. HERE IS THE POINT...
1. We ought to be willing to give cheerfully...
a. Because the more we give...
b. ...the more God will enable us to give!
2. Now bear in mind that giving is not limited to money
a. It may be that God may empower us to give, not financially,
but in other ways
b. Such as with our talents, time, etc.
3. But the point remains the same...
a. The more we give ourselves to others in the service of God
b. The more He will bless us to be even more useful!
[Indeed, the ability to give (because we have been materially blessed)
is a gift from God, one that should be used liberally (Ro 12:6-8).
Knowing that those who give liberally will be blessed to give even more
should help us become "cheerful givers"!
Here is something else that ought to encourage us...]
III. GIVING PRODUCES THANKSGIVING & GLORY TO GOD (2 Co 9:11b-15)
A. OFFERED BY THOSE WHOSE NEEDS ARE BEING MET...
1. Not only thanking God, that their own needs were supplied
2. But also glorifying God, because of His grace at work in the
lives of the givers
a. Note that "cheerful giving" is an indication the grace of
God has been active in one's life
b. This is point stressed by Paul repeatedly - cf. 2 Co 9:8,
-- Thus the people we help will be moved to thank God and praise
Him for His working in our lives!
B. SHOULDN'T THIS HELP US TO GIVE MORE CHEERFULLY?
1. For what disciple is there who does not want to give glory and
thanksgiving to God?
2. Like any good work, we can bring glory to God by our giving!
- cf. Mt 5:16
[Another thing to remember to be a "cheerful giver" is that...]
IV. GIVING INCREASES AFFECTION (2 Co 9:14)
A. ESPECIALLY WHEN GIVING TO HELP YOUR BRETHREN...
1. They understand that your giving is a sign of God's grace in
2. And this causes them to love you and long for you even more
3. As a case in point, consider Paul and the Philippians - Ph 1:
B. BUT IT CAN ALSO HAVE THE SAME AFFECT AMONG NON-CHRISTIANS...
1. They see the truth of what you teach by your example
a. We teach a gospel concerning One Who became poor, that we
might become rich - cf. 2 Co 8:9
b. Who would believe such a story? Perhaps those who have
seen it illustrated in the lives of His disciples, that's
who! - e.g. 2 Co 8:1-2
2. They may be more receptive to the gospel when they hear it,
even though they may first ridicule you - cf. 1 Pe 2:12
[One last point I wish to glean from our text as to how we can become
V. PURPOSEFUL GIVING LEADS TO CHEERFUL GIVING (2 Co 9:7)
A. PLANNING ONE'S GIVING IS KEY TO GIVING CHEERFULLY...
1. They are less likely to give "grudgingly or of necessity"
a. Because they have already set aside what they want to give
b. They are not caught off guard when someone asks them to
2. This is how Paul instructed the Corinthians in their giving
a. To lay by in store on the first day of the week - 1 Co 16:
b. To prepare their gift beforehand, so when it was time to
give, the resources were ready - cf. 2 Co 9:5
3. An early Christian apologist, Aristides, wrote of how even
slaves were able to give cheerfully through purposeful
planning: "And if there is any that is a slave or a poor man,
they fast two or three days and what they were going to set
before themselves they send to them (Christians in prison),
considering themselves to give good cheer even as they were
called to give good cheer." (Apology 15)
-- So plan your giving if you wish to give cheerfully!
B. A PRACTICAL SUGGESTION FOR PLANNED GIVING...
1. Plan your giving to help needy people the same way we plan our
giving to provide for the collection for the saints
2. As you prosper, set so much aside for "individual benevolence"
a. E.g., start a separate account into which you put aside a
certain amount each pay period
c. E.g., or send that amount to some charitable organization
-- However you plan your giving, it is much easier to give when
you are PREPARED to give!
1. In our text, then, we find the key to "Becoming A Cheerful Giver";
it involves keeping in mind that...
a. God loves a cheerful giver
b. God provides seed for the sower
c. Giving provides thanksgiving and glory to God
d. Giving increases affection between giver and recipient
e. Giving becomes one of generosity when it is planned
2. I hope that I have challenged your thinking in regards to your own
giving, and how we can become "cheerful givers"
3. To a great extent, what kind of givers we are depends upon what kind
of recipients we are!
a. For unless we receive the grace of God in our own lives, we will
be unlikely to give gracefully to others
b. With that thought in mind, please remember this warning:
We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to
receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: "In an acceptable
time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped
you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of
salvation. (2 Co 6:1-2)
Have we received the grace of God "in vain"? Have you received the
grace of God "at all"? - cf. Ac 22:16
The Effect of Generous Offering
Whoever Sows Sparingly Will Also Reap Sparingly
Whoever Sows Generously Will Also Reap Generously
I. There Should be Real Action
1. Eagerness to Help
2. Ready Since Last Year
3. Stir Most People
II.God’s Abounding Grace
1. Abound in Every Good Work
2. Abound in Seeds
3. Generous in Giving
III. Indescribable Gift
1. Filled with Thanks
2. The Abundance of God’s Grace
3. Glory be to God
－－ Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》