Corinth’s Christians had made a bold decision. They had chosen, by their gifts, to help the poor Christians in a distant country, Judea.
That was clearly a good and generous act. However, perhaps some of Corinth’s Christians worried about it. If they gave generously for Judea, they might not be able to afford to give other gifts. In particular, God might guide them to help people in their own region, but they might be unable to give.
So Paul reminded Corinth’s Christians that their gifts did not depend on their own resources. Rather, they depended on the grace (kindness) of God, and that grace (kindness) has no limit. It was only because of the kindness of God that they were able to give on this occasion. Whenever God guided them to give, he would give them more of his grace (kindness). So, he would supply what he wanted them to give. By the grace (kindness) of God, they would be able to carry out every good work that he directed them to do.
Paul tells Corinth’s Christians: ‘In everything, you will always have enough’. Paul’s word for ‘enough’ is the same as he uses in Philippians 4:11 and 1 Timothy 6:6. In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul describes his own experience. Sometimes Paul was very poor, sometimes he had plenty. However, in every circumstance, Paul was content. In 1 Timothy 6:6-10, Paul urges Christians to respect God and to be content, even if they can only afford the basic things in life. Paul’s word for ‘content’ is the same as his word for ‘enough’ in 2 Corinthians 9:8. The meaning in all these verses is that God satisfies his people; he provides enough so that they can be content. That is his promise to rich and poor people alike. He does not only provide what they need; he also provides enough so that they can do his work.
Next part: Are my gifts a waste of money? (9:9)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.