Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #246 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 2nd Corinthians 9 today and our focus is on What the Bible Teaches About Giving, Part 2.. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Accra, Ghana, Kedah, Malaysia, West Bengal, India, Madhya Pradesh, India, Parts unknown Finland and Russia, North Holland, Netherlands, Cincinnati, Ohio, Yakima, Washington, and Bloomington,Illinois. Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Today we continue our discussion from a couple of days ago on principles of biblical giving. The situation in 2nd Corinthians 8 and 9 is that the believers in the church at Corinth had pledged to give a significant offering to a group of churches in Macedonia who were going through a difficult financial hardship of some kind. Paul is writing them to ensure that they are ready to follow through with that gift, and in that context, he talks about giving in general. As a reminder, these two chapters are not specifically focused on tithing, or giving to church – they are more generally focused on giving. See episode 243 for more on the difference between tithing and giving, and whether or not the New Testament commands Christians to tithe.
That said, I would probably say that 2nd Corinthians 9 contains the most important and densest teachings on giving in the Bible, though I might be forgetting a chapter here or there. In this chapter, we learn 3 crucial things about giving:
- God provides for the needs and more for those who give – so that they can keep giving more. Let me be clear here – The Bible doesn’t teach to give in order to get rich. Any ministry, pastor, or church that uses these passages to manipulate you to give to them, with the promise that God will make you wealthy in return, is suspect. Yes, these truths should be taught, but not in a way that is manipulative, and not in a way that implies that the goal of giving is to be blessed and made rich. Let’s read some verses:The point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. 2nd Corinthians 9:68 And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 2nd Corinthians 9:7
10 Now the one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will also provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. 2nd Corinthians 9:10-11
Those are strong promises – God provides for and increases the ability of a giver to give more.
- Giving should never be under compulsion, nor should church/ministry leaders manipulate, as we mentioned already in episode #243. God loves a cheerful giver, and that seems to imply that a reluctant giver should not give. (though, as a reminder, a reluctant giver will miss out on the wonderful promises in this passage.) Here’s what Paul writes:
7 Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. 2nd Corinthians 9:7
In all of our giving – whether it be of our time, talents, money, assistance, or whatever – let us not be reluctant givers, but cheerful and unselfish givers.
- When we give what God has blessed us with, the recipients will not only glorify God and thank Him, but they will also pray blessing on us. Our giving increases the praise and worship of God in the world, and also seems to produce the benefit of having people pray blessings on us.12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the proof provided by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity(N) in sharing with them and with everyone. 14 And as they pray on your behalf, they will have deep affection for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2nd Corinthians 9:12-14
In summary, giving is good because God will provide for our needs and enable us to keep giving, and because it will increase the praise of God throughout the earth and result in prayer on our behalf…but, we should not be compelled to give, or compel others to give in an unbiblical way.
Let’s read our passage.
Here’s pastor David Platt with some closing thoughts:
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” So, the picture is very simple: We reap what we sow. We know this. A farmer, if he harvests small seed, little seed, there will be little harvest; if the farmer plants great seed, then there will be great harvest. So, this is the picture with giving…The picture here is that God gives generously to us as we are giving radically to others. That’s the picture. We think … now this is totally different than the way we think, the way our economics works, so to speak. We think, “You keep more, you have more, right? Hoard more, store it in barns. Keep more, and you’ll have more.” Scripture is teaching, “Give more, and you’ll have more”, and the picture is the generosity of God constantly replenishing the people of God as we’re giving. That’s the picture all the way down to verse 11. Generous giving to God results in greater giving from God. God gives enough for us.
David Platt, “Generosity in Community,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2009), 2090–2091.
Bible Memory verses for the month of September: 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2nd Timothy 3:16-17
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