Online Bible Commentary
The Seven Benefits of Giving
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written: "He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever." 10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (NKJV)
On his third missionary journey, after ministering in Ephesus for two years and three months, the Apostle Paul left for Macedonia in May, A.D. 56. Paul was in Macedonia from June to November of that year. It was there that he wrote the letter of 2nd Corinthians, likely in September and October of A.D. 56.
Paul is writing this letter to the church at Corinth, Greece. This is a message directed to those Christians and to all Christians today.
After arriving in Macedonia, Paul was greeted by Titus who had come from Corinth. Titus delivered news of the goings on in Corinth. The church in Corinth had previously been mature in their belief. However, over the past year (2 Corinthians 9:2) they have followed false teachers.
Thankfully, Titus reported that the Corinthian believers had repented and returned to the teachings of Paul. So, it is now time for the Corinthians to complete the task of giving, that they had begun a year ago, a task that was interrupted when they turned away from the teachings of Paul.
As God’s people we are commanded to give our tithes to God (Leviticus 27:30, Malachi 3:9-10). The word tithe literally means “a tenth” in Hebrew.
The Scripture in Leviticus calls for giving a tithe on “first fruits’. This means that we should first pay ten percent of our income to God, and then pay our other obligations. The Scripture in Malachi states that we are “robbing” God, and are “cursed”, if we do not pay our tithe.
Any “abundance” after we pay our tithe and other obligations can be used, if desired, as an offering to God’s work. The tithe refers strictly to money, whereas an offering also refers to our time, talents or other non-monetary gifts.
In this passage, Paul gives the Corinthian Christians, and us, seven benefits of giving our tithes and offerings to God. We are truly blessed when we give to God’s work.
The first benefit of giving is that God will “make all grace abound toward you” (v. 8a). The word “grace”, as used here, means God’s resources. God’s resources will be provided in abundance.
God will give us “all” resources so that we will “always” have “all sufficiency in all things” (v. 8b). We will have a sufficiency to meet our needs.
Also, we will have “an abundance for every good work” (v. 8c). We will have a sufficiency to tithe and an abundance to give offerings.
The second benefit of giving is that our “righteousness endures forever” (v. 9). Here, Paul quotes from Psalm 112:9. Our giving here on earth is storing up treasure for us in the way of Heavenly rewards.
The third benefit of giving is that God, “who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food” will “supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness” (v. 10). As we give, God will “multiply” our resources.
The fourth benefit of giving is that our giving will result in “thanksgiving through us to God” (v. 11). The giving of the Corinthians “supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God” (v. 12). God will be glorified as He is given thanks for our gifts.
The fifth benefit is that our giving is “proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men” (V. 13). The Corinthians’ giving would prove to the Jewish believers in Jerusalem that the gentiles have actually accepted the Gospel. In the same way, our giving serves as proof of our becoming mature in the Gospel.
The sixth benefit is “their prayer for you” (v. 14a). The Jewish believers in Jerusalem receiving the Corinthians’ gifts would be careful to pray for the Corinthian believers. Those who receive your gifts will be called to pray for you.
The seventh benefit of giving is that those Jewish believers would “long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you” (v. 14b). Those who receive your gifts would increase in their affection for you.
After stating these seven benefits of giving, Paul points us to the greatest Giver of all, the One we can never out give, the One who is the ultimate example of giving. Paul gives thanks “to God for His indescribable gift”, the gift of Jesus Christ!. .