2 Corinthians 9 - Generosity

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 - I've heard these verses used many times in many a contribution talk, and they are well suited to that purpose. It's interesting to me to note the context here, though. Paul isn't telling them about generous and cheerful giving to inspire them to give. They had already decided to give (see 2 Corinthians 9:1-5), on their own, prior to this letter. Here he's simply encouraging them to follow through on what they had already decided to do, to make their yes be yes if you will. The comments on generosity and cheerful giving will certainly be helpful to them as they decide how to complete this act of grace, but their purpose was not to prompt giving where there was none planned.

Which makes me thing about what had prompted them to give in the first place? Did Paul tell them to give? No, the clear impression here is the gift was their own idea, born simply out of their concern for those in need. And that concern was not from themselves, as he said in 2 Corinthians 8:9, they saw this sacrifice in Jesus first.

So, it seems to me that any talk about contribution should go back to the gospel. Look at Jesus, who for our sake sacrificed his wealth that we might be brought out of spiritual poverty. Since He has done this for us spiritually, we ought to be quick to do the same physically. There are no shortage of verses that encourage generosity, but they all come back to the gospel. Jesus gave up everything that we might gain everything, giving us an example to follow. Having been blessed in such a way, how can you not be generous?

2 Corinthians 9:12 - The purpose of this giving is not only to supply those in need but to proclaim many thanks to God.

2 Corinthians 9:15 - The gift that Paul is thankful for isn't the gift that they will give, but the gift to be able to give, the opportunity to provide for others.

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