2 Corinthians 9


Paul Reminds The Corinthians Of Their Responsibility Toward Those In Need

‘There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. 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 were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.’ 2 Corinthians 9:1-2

The ‘service to the Lord’s people’ is the service of helping the needy saints in Jerusalem. The word ‘eagerness’, ‘perissos’ means more than sufficient.

Paul tells the Corinthians that he realizes it is a redundant thing for him to write; however, he wants to make sure that they are ready with the aid. Paul knew and was confident in the Corinthian’s readiness in this matter. Paul was so confident that he ‘boasted about their, (Corinthians) behalf to them of Macedonia.’

The ‘one year’ gives us an idea as to when 1 Corinthians was written in relation to this epistle. Sometime less than two years ago Paul had sent the first letter to the Corinthians. This is important because it helps us understand that God does not tolerate sin.

The Corinthians needed to correct their errors and Paul was filled with anxiety while waiting for news from Titus regarding their spiritual state. A study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians proves the same message.

While Paul commanded the Thessalonians to be patient and admonish the disorderly in the first letter, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, we find him commanding the brethren to withdraw themselves from the disorderly at 2 Thessalonians 3:6.

There is a time when patience and longsuffering run out and the soul must be delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.

‘But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one is grudgingly given.’ 2 Corinthians 9:3-5

Paul explains to the Corinthians that he has sent Titus and the two unnamed brethren of 2 Corinthians 8:18-19 / 2 Corinthians 8:22 back to Corinth to prepare them for the collection for the needy saints. The Macedonians have given beyond that which they were able, 2 Corinthians 8:1ff.

Paul is afraid that as he travelled to Corinth with some of the Macedonians who have given so much that they would be discouraged and think ill of the Corinthian brethren if they did not give to the cause in Jerusalem.

The Corinthians would put Paul and his companions who gloried in the Corinthians to shame if they were to not give for this cause. Paul is telling the Corinthians not to embarrass him in this matter.

Paul sends Titus and the two other brethren to Corinth. Titus’ objective was therefore to make sure that the monies that the Corinthians had previously promised would be ready for collection and delivery. What if Paul came to Corinth and found the brethren lethargic in this service?

They meant to collect the funds, and were willing and ready, however, the matter just simply didn’t get done. Paul would find himself hurriedly politicking for the monies that the Corinthians had promised a year back.

What does this do? When one knows the needs of others, is willing and able to help; however, time slips by and he never does anything due to procrastination.

It says to others that you do not set this activity as a priority in your life. It just does not speak well for such a one in the minds of others and so it shouldn’t. Christians should be willing to help and not delay!

Sometimes we know that a shut-in is lonely and starved for attention. We know that we have the ability to stop by and see them, read some scriptures with them, sing a few songs of praise with them or have prayer with them.

However, we just get ourselves too busy with our own lives. Paul did not want to see this kind of behaviour on the part of the Corinthians and it should not be our behaviour.

‘Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.’ 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

Paul used an illustration of a farmer who sows a few seeds in the field as opposed to the one who sows many seeds in the field by hard labour. The one who sows a few seeds will only reap a few products. The one who labours with purpose and sows much will have much product. Those who work hard and purposefully in the kingdom of God will reap many rewards.

Many needs will be met and souls will come to Christ. The individual who works with little purpose will help few and save few souls. This principle stands true for many areas of life. The hard worker is rewarded with greater outcomes because he is interested, energetic, enthusiastic, and willing to work.

The work that one does to help others is to be done ‘cheerfully’ as opposed to ‘grudgingly.’ Here we see the difference between the apathetic and lethargic brother who has the means and will to help those in need; however, he has not placed their needs at a high priority in his life and thereby the needy go on in need. Such a one has not ‘decided in his heart’ to meet the needs of the needy by giving in the treasury.

‘God loves a cheerful giver’

This is the individual who has a spiritual vision, one who understands the work of the church and is willing to give for that cause in a timely and cheerful manner.

Such a one knows the consequences of such deliberate and purposeful giving. Needs are met! Those needs may be the needy are helped, preachers are supported, and materials for such activities are provided.

Notice that Paul did not impose upon the Corinthians the tithing of the Old Testament. The Jews were required to pay a tenth part or tithe of all their property, grain, vineyards produce, cattle etc., for the support of the system of worship, generally, the fund or supplies went to the priest and Levites who ministered to the service of the tabernacle, Numbers 18:20-24.

When a Jew lived a great distance from Jerusalem, he was permitted to liquidate his product for currency and bring this to Jerusalem at the appointed time, Deuteronomy 14:24-29.

The new covenant in Jesus Christ is one of the heart, Jeremiah 31:31ff. Individuals in the church perform the Lord’s commandments out of earnest love for the Lord and not because they ‘have to do something’ as was the case under the Mosaic Law.

One becomes a Christian voluntarily, we are not born into this relationship. So God desires those who would seek him, Matthew 13, those who have a humble and contrite heart, Isaiah 57:15, those who keep His commands because they want to not because they have to, 1 John 5:3, and those who give into the treasury of the church because they see the need not because it is a tax imposed upon them as saints, 2 Corinthians 9:7. God desires those who desire Him.

When a parent has to make a child do his chores, mow the grass, pick up room, clean house, wash the care etc. even after the child is trained to do so, it grieves the parent, Proverbs 15:20 / Proverbs 17:25. Likewise, those servants of the Lord who must be continuously told what to do are grievous to the Lord and the church.

‘And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” 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. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.’ 2 Corinthians 9:8-11

The ‘bless you’ must be the monetary things mentioned in the context of 2 Corinthians 8-9. Apparently, Paul was saying that God will always take care of us as we do our work in His Kingdom.

To prove this providential care, Paul quoted from Psalms 112:9. As God cared for His people in the Old Testament, so He cares for His people now, Matthew 6:25-34.

The service of giving as one prospers and purposes in their heart with cheerfulness serves two purposes.

First, the needs of the saints are met and secondly, God’s name is glorified and much thanksgiving is given on His behalf.

‘This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!’ 2 Corinthians 9:12-15

All things are well when we are doing God’s commands by choice. We cause others to give God praise through our obedience and relationship to God and His word. We cause others to praise God when we give with a spirit of liberality into the treasury. We cause others to pray for us and love us because of our generosity.

So Paul exclaimed, ‘Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.’ The word ‘indescribable’, ‘anekdiegetos’ means beyond expression, indescribable or unspeakable.

Words cannot convey the gift God has bestowed upon man, the gift of His Son for the forgiveness of our sins. This being said, we ought to do all within our power to show the Father our sincere gratitude.


Most of us are ready and willing to help anyone in need especially those of the household of faith. We want nothing but the best for all our brethren.

We know the shut-ins are lonely, we know that if the work of the church is to be accomplished we must give liberally of our means, we know that some brethren stand in jeopardy of losing their souls, and we know that brethren the world over are in need.

The problem, however, with many of us is that we lack the motivation to meet these needs. Paul knew the Corinthian brethren were ready and willing to help even as far back as a year ago, 2 Corinthians 9:2.

Paul’s concern for the Corinthians was that they would be lax in their promise of helping the needy saints in Jerusalem, 2 Corinthians 9:3. We can have all the good intentions in the world for those in need; however until we do something about their need the need remains.

James said, ‘Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?’ James 2:15-16

The apostle John said, ‘If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?’ 1 John 3:17

Love is to be that motivating factor that moves us to DO! John said, ‘Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.’ 1 John 3:18

James said, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.’ James 2:17.

There are great consequences that result when we help those in need.

1. God will take care of our needs, 2 Corinthians 9:8.

2. God will increase the fruit of your labours, i.e., those who are in need will be helped and those who are lost in sin will regain fellowship through our help, 2 Corinthians 9:10.

3. Those we help will glorify God and offer up prayers of thanksgiving on our behalf, 2 Corinthians 9:14. Suddenly, the name of God will be glorified.

Are you ready and willing but lack the motivation to help? Why not look at 2 Corinthians 9 and realise that simply thinking good thoughts about others is not going to help them out of their poverty or sin. True Bible love depicts the saint motivated to action by love.

What message do we send to God and our fellow man when we know of people’s needs and have the means to help yet we do not?

Procrastination tells others that aiding the needy is not a priority in our lives. Christians should be willing to help and not delay!

Go To 2 Corinthians 10