2 Corinthians 9

9:1 There is no need for me to write to you about this service [ministry] to the saints [needy believers in Jerusalem].

9:2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia [Corinth was in the province of Achaia] were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred [note the power of a good example] most of them to action [read a description of the Macedonians’ giving in 2 Cor. 8:1-5)].

9:3 But I am sending the brothers [Titus and the two representatives mentioned in 8:16-23; their job was to inspire the Corinthians to follow-through on their commitment to give (read Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians in 1 Cor. 9:1-4)] in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow [the Corinthians started their giving before the Macedonian churches, but the Macedonian churches completed their giving before the Corinthians], but that you may be ready [the time had come for their good intentions to result in practical action], as I said you would be.

9:4 For if any Macedonians [representatives of the Macedonian churches (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea)] come with me and find you unprepared [without their offering or not ready to give], we [Paul, in particular, would look like a liar]—not to say anything about you [the Corinthians would be embarrassed because of not living up to Paul’s words about them]—would be ashamed of having been so confident.

9:5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers [Titus and the two representatives mentioned in 8:16-23] to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift [the Corinthians had an abundance out of which to give (cf. 2 Cor. 8:14)] you had promised [the Corinthian Christians had pledged to give a generous gift a year earlier (cf. 2 Cor. 9:2); Paul wanted for them to live up to their commitment]. Then it will be ready as a generous gift [the overflow of a loving and willing heart], not as one grudgingly given [like paying taxes].

9:6 Remember this [the principal of sowing and reaping; cf. Gal. 6:7-8]: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap [spiritual and material blessings] sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap [spiritual and material blessings] generously.

9:7 Each man should give what he has decided [planned or determined; to choose beforehand; intentional rather than impulsive giving (see 1 Cor. 16:1-4)] in his heart to give, not reluctantly [grudgingly or out of grief, regret, sorrow] or under compulsion [the obligation of duty; not because they thought they had to give, but because they wanted to give], for God loves a cheerful [hilarious, glad, or merry (these words indicate the idea of willingness); Paul wanted for the collection for the needy saints to be a happy occasion; proper giving brings joy rather than pain, as in the expression “give until it hurts”] giver.

9:8 And God is able to make all grace [God’s favor] abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need [more than enough], you will abound [have enough left over to help others] in every good work.

9:9 As it is written [cf. Ps. 112:9]: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”

9:10 [cf. Isa. 55:10; Hos. 10:12] Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

9:11 [Paul said that God would bless the Corinthians for their generous giving…] You will be made rich in every way [spiritually and materially] so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

9:12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people [the needy saints in Jerusalem] but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks [for the financial aid; for the evidence that the (uncircumcised) Gentile Christians truly were their brothers and sisters in Christ] to [from the recipients of the offering] God [God would receive praise because of the gift].

9:13 Because of the service [rendered to the poor Christians in Jerusalem] by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God [cf. Matt. 5:16] for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

9:14 And in their [Jewish Christians] prayers [the poor Jewish Christians in Jerusalem would repay the kindness of the Gentile Christians with their prayers for them] for you [Gentile Christians] their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.

9:15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable [word expresses the idea of “wonder beyond description”; or “unspeakable” (this is the only occurrence of this word in the NT)] gift [Jesus Christ]!

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