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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians

 

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,

 

The act of giving will do two things:

-meet the needs of the churches in Judea

-it will cause many to thank God

9:12

For the administration of this service [public service]

The gift of giving is like priestly service (leitourgia). Giving is an act of worship.

not only supplies [replenish] the needs of the saints,   

The Corinthian’s gift will meet the needs of believers in Judea. The word “supplies” is emphatic, carrying the idea of full supply. This word is from three Greek words put in one word: toward, up, to fill. The idea is to fill up to the full. Their gift was very generous.

but also is abounding [overflowing] through many thanksgivings to God,

More than meeting the Judean church’s physical needs, the Corinthian gifts will show Jewish believers in Judea that God would richly meet the needs of His saints, even from a Gentile church. “Abounding” indicates an overflow of thanksgiving; that is, exuberant thanksgiving. These gifts will call forth a great chorus of praise to God invoked by such generous giving.

9:13

while, through the proof [testing] of this ministry,

The service of ministry is the donation from Gentile churches in Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Achaia (Corinthians). Paul and the Judeans would see the “proof” (literally, to test in order to approve) of their love for suffering Jewish saints. God was indeed working among the Gentiles. Grace-giving demonstrates the vitality of the donor’s faith.

they [saints in Judea] glorify God for the obedience [submission] of your confession to the gospel of Christ,

Jews in Judea glorified God because the administration of grace giving was tested and approved through Gentile churches.

Paul knew the Judean believers so well that they would glorify God for Gentiles accepting the gospel and the offering that came their way. The suffering saints saw that the Corinthians agreed to and acknowledged (confessed) the gospel message. These Achaian believers not only professed it in words but in action as well — “obedience.” These actions deepened the unity between believing Jews and Gentiles in the early church.

and for your liberal [generous] sharing with them and all men,

Corinthian believers generously shared their material resources with the Jewish saints in Judea. This was a demonstration of mutual fellowship between the two groups. “Sharing” is one aspect of having things in common with others.

PRINCIPLE:

The glory of God is the goal of grace-giving.

APPLICATION:

God is glorified when His people offer Him the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Grace-givers are enriched by watching God at work in meeting needs, both to the donor and the receiver. God is the source of all these blessings. The abundance of God’s grace spills over to others who also praise God for the Corinthian generosity. God’s abundant grace overflows to the lives of many others if the believer passes it on by grace-giving.

The more God enriches us by giving to others, we can be generous on more occasions. This results in “many thanksgivings to God.” God is glorified in the process. The impact of our giving will go far beyond the intended result. The more we give to others, the more God enriches us.

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