Archive for May 13th, 2020

2 Corinthians 9:11-15

In 2 Corinthians 9:11-15 Paul makes clear that the Corinthian Christians would be enriched by their giving, both materially and spiritually. And then he goes on to explain the why: the reason the Corinthian Christians would be enriched in everything was not for their own riches or lavish lifestyles but for their generosity – that is, for all generous giving. “You will be enriched in every way for all your generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” And after the giving is done there is an outcome that happens – thanksgiving to God who enables and provides all that we have and are able to give freely.

First, on the most practical level, the giving of the Corinthian Christians will supply the needs of the saints. This is a good thing in and of itself, but their giving did far more than that. “For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.” Secondly, their gifts also caused thanksgiving to God. They were giving more than money for food; they were giving people a reason to thank God. As we give generously, God is able to use those gifts to impact people and cause them to overflow with thanks to God.

The impact continues. The giving of the Corinthian Christians was evidence of God’s work in them. When those in need received the gift, they would glorify God for the obedience of the church to give generously. “By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.” If a person does not have a generous heart, there is a sense in which they are not obedient to the Gospel. Giving is part of being filled with the Spirit.

The ancient Greek word translated sharing (generosity in the ESV) is koinania. This is the same word used for the ideas of fellowship and communion – it means the sharing of things in common.

  • When we share our lives, koinania is called fellowship
  • When we share remembrance of Jesus’ work for us through the Lord’s Supper, koinania is called communion
  • When we share our resources so none would be destitute, koinania is called sharing

The fourth benefit from the gift of the Corinthian Christians was that it would prompt the Jerusalem Christians to pray for them. Gratitude often translates to prayer and when we give the return is often that the receiver is not only thankful for the gift but also the giver. We need to also be appreciative of the opportunity God gives us to give. “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” Paul wants to leave the discussion of giving by reminding us again that God is the greatest giver. He gives the gift beyond description in Jesus Christ and we have the opportunity to share the great news of that gift with all in our patch!

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