Study on the Book of 2nd Corinthians

by Pastor Frank J. Cuozzo

Division 4 — “The Ministry & It’s Financial Collections”

Lesson 3: "The Givers Who Please God" - II Cor 9:1-7

Pastor Frank Cuozzo

II Corinthians 9:1-7, “For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: 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. 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: Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. 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. But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”


-Introduction:

Giving pleases God, for giving is of the very nature of God. God is the very One who has given the supreme gift—the Lord Jesus Christ.


"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).


To repeat the truth, giving pleases God. However, not every giver pleases God. This is clearly seen in this passage. Who, then, are the givers who please God? Four things here,’

          1.  They have a readiness, an eagerness to give (v.1-2).

          2.  They are not caught unprepared to give (v.3-5).

          3.  They give much and reap much: reap what they sow (v.6).

          4.  They give deliberately, not grudgingly, not from compulsion (v.7).


#1) Givers who please God, have a readiness and eagerness to give.

Look again with me at 2 Corinthians 9:1-2, “For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: 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.”


This is seen in four clear statements made by Paul.

          A.  He expected the Corinthians to give. Why? Because some dear "saints" of God needed help. The term "saints" means those who are set apart and devoted to God. It is a term referring to genuine believers. The point is striking. Some fellow believers were in desperate need. The churches in Judea were poor and desperately needed help; therefore the Corinthians believers were expected to help them. In fact, the expectation was so strong there was little need to even say anything about it.


-Thought 1. Christian believers should be so devoted to God that people expect and know that they will give to meet the needs of the world. In fact, as long as a need exists, believers should be giving all they are and have to meet that need.


"Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth" (Luke 12:33).


"I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).


          B.  Paul knew the forwardness, the readiness of their minds to give. How often can this be said of believers? Of a church? Are we honestly forward, reaching out, searching for needs to meet? Can others actually know that our minds are ready, set, and focused to give?


          C.  Paul boasted in the Corinthians, in their readiness to give. It had happened a year earlier. The spirit of the Corinthians had been so committed to ministry, to meeting the needs of their fellow believers, that they had immediately underwritten the mission project to help the churches of Judea. But soon afterward some problems had arisen, and the church backed off its commitment. Before the problem, Paul had boasted in the zeal of the Corinthians, how quickly they had committed themselves to the mission project.


          D.  The zeal and commitment of the Corinthians stirred "many" to help in the mission project.


Thought 1. This is the spirit and testimony needed by the Lord's churches: a zeal for missions so strong that it stirs "many" to make the same commitment.


"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (John 4:34-35).


"I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4).


"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you" (John 20:21).


#2) Givers who please God, are not caught unprepared to give.

2 Corinthians 9:3-5, “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: Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. 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.”


As Paul travelled from place to place, he was always training young disciples in the ministry, and these disciples often travelled with him. In addition to these, Paul was sometimes escorted to the next city by men from the place where he had just completed his ministry. This was soon to be the case: some men from Macedonia were going to escort him to Corinth. This fact is the background for what Paul now says.


          1.  Being unprepared to give causes shame. Paul says that he was sending Titus and the two other men to reactivate the mission project among the Corinthians. He was doing this lest he be ashamed and embarrassed when he and the other Macedonians arrived. He had boasted in the Corinthians a year earlier, using their commitment to missions as a testimony to stir the Macedonians to underwrite the same project. If he and their representatives arrived and the Corinthians had slipped back and failed to follow through, the situation would be a reflection upon Christ, Paul, and the Corinthian church.


          2.  Being prepared shows love, not covetousness. Paul says that he was sending the men ahead of him so that the church could reactivate the mission project and offering. They needed to have the collection ready when he arrived. Note why Paul felt this was necessary: so that the Corinthians would demonstrate love and generosity, not covetousness. If the mission project was still being delayed when he and the Macedonians arrived, the church would seem to be covetous and worldly. They would be failing in their very purpose for being on earth: to minister to those in need.


Thought 1. How terrible covetousness is! Living extravagantly, spending beyond our needs, banking, hoarding, building up estates, constructing larger and larger homes, buying more and more—all to the deprivation and destruction of human life and to the doom of human souls. Covetousness has no place in the Christian's heart nor in the church, much less upon earth. Its results are too devastating. Believers must be prepared to give, demonstrating the very sacrificial love of Christ Himself who gave all to meet the needs of the desperate.


"And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15).

"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (Col. 3:5).


"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).


"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10).


"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth" (Ephes. 4:28).


#3) Givers who please God, give much and reap much.

2 Corinthians 9:6, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”


Note that the picture is that of sowing seed: when a man plants the seed, the same is returned to him; in fact, much more is returned to him—a full harvest. This is one of the great principles of Scripture, but it must be carefully noted: it is not the man who pretends to sacrificially give who shall be greatly blessed by God. It shall be the man who actually does sacrifice all he is and has. This man will never go lacking; God will abundantly provide for him.


"Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine" (Proverbs 3:9-10).


"He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse" (Proverbs 28:27).


"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10).


"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again" (Luke 6:38).


"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).


#4) Givers who please God, give deliberately, not grudgingly and not from compulsion.

2 Corinthians 9:7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”


God expects three things of the person who gives.

          A.  The giver must give as he purposes in his heart. This does not mean that people are not to be encouraged to give nor that they cannot be stirred to give. It means that a person is...

          •  to think about the need.

          •  to think about what he should give sacrificially.

          •  to make a deliberate decision about what he should sacrifice in order to give what he           should.

          •  to give exactly what he should give.


          B.  The giver must not give grudgingly: not out of sorrow, not with reluctance or regret. If the giver is going to be mulling over his gift and regretting that he had given it, his gift is unacceptable to God. The person needs to straighten his heart out with God, for...

          •  he is failing to see the desperate needs of the world.

          •  he is failing to see what Jesus Christ has done for him.


          C.  The giver must not give out of necessity. A person's gift is not acceptable to God when he...

          •  is forced to give.

          •  gives because he fears what others will think.

          •  gives just to please others.

          •  gives to keep others from pestering him.

          •  gives out of a desire for personal honor and recognition.


          D.  The giver must give cheerfully if he wishes God to accept his gift. The word "cheerful" (hilaron) means joyful. The giver is pleased and delighted to give to meet the needs of God's people and of the world. Note that God loves the cheerful giver, for the cheerful giver is just like His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ willingly and cheerfully gave all He was and had to meet the needs of the world.



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