Principles of Spiritual Giving
2 Cor. 9:6- 15
We continue our talk about giving. As I have mentioned earlier, chapters 8 and 9 contains the most in detailed instructions from the Lord about giving. Two chapters in the Word of God about a topic means it’s very important. So here we would study it with utmost care. I cannot promise to teach everything, and I may miss some points but I trust the Holy Spirit will enlighten our minds and teach us even to follow His instructions.
Illustration 1: Giving to God
A servant in a house once said to a gentleman visitor who was notoriously mean: “What shall I tell the master that you gave me, sir, when he asks me?” The tight fist was cornered, and though very reluctant to do it, felt compelled to give the servant something. But it is no mere trick when our conscience says: “What shall we say when the Master asks us at the judgment, ‘How much have you given of time and influence, as well as money, for His kingdom and glory?’ ” May we be able to give a satisfactory answer both now and then! Practical Bible Illustrations From Yesterday and Today.
I. The Principle of the Harvest. (2 Cor. 9:6)
A. This is also called the Principle of Sowing and reaping. The Word of God is very clear. He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Giving is actually sowing or in other words, giving is investing.
B. Luke 6:38 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. For me this verse is a promise of blessing. The more you give, the more you receive. The blessings may not always be material. The rewards may be spiritual which in terms of eternity are far more valuable (2 Cor. 9:8-14). Therefore, when we give in abundance, we are not really “giving” but “sowing or investing”.
Illustration 2: The Shovel
Captain Levy, a believer from Philadelphia, was once asked how he could give so much to the Lord’s work and still possess great wealth. The Captain replied, “Oh, as I shovel it out, He shovels it in, and the Lord has a bigger shovel.” Today in the Word, July, 1990, p. 28.
II. The Principle of free will Donation (2 Cor. 9:7)
A. Give cheerfully. 2 Cor. 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.
1. Purposeth- occurs only here in the NT and indicates a premeditated,
predetermined plan of action that is done from the heart voluntarily but not
impulsively. This is an age-old biblical principle of giving (Ex. 25:2, 2 Cor. 8:3).
Exodus 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
Proper motives are essential in Christian service. This is especially true in the
giving of our money. The Lord is more concerned with why we give than with
how much we give. We must have a right heart attitude. Therefore, we should
never give in order to receive the praise of others, but because we love God and
desire to see His name honored and glorified.
2. Not grudgingly – lit. “with grief”, “sorrow”, or “sadness” which indicates an
attitude of depression, regret, and reluctance that accompanies something done strictly out of sense of duty and obligation but not joy
3. Of necessity – or compulsion- this refers to external pressure and coercion, quite possibly accompanied by legalism. Believers are not to give based on the
demands of others, or according to any arbitrary standards or set amounts.
4. God loves a cheerful giver – God has a unique special love for those who are
happily committed to generous giving. The Gk. word for “cheerful” is the word
from which we get “hilarious” which suggest that God loves a heart that is
enthusiastically thrilled with the pleasures of giving.
Illustration 3: Give the Best You Have for Jesus
It does not matter how little your offering is, if it is given in the right spirit. A legend tells us how once a little boy in church had no money to place among the offerings on the altar, so he gave a rosy apple—the only gift he had to offer. Presently, when the pastor emptied the offering plates, he found there an apple of pure gold. The simplest gift in the eyes of God is as pure gold.
Bible Illustrations – Practical Bible Illustrations From Yesterday and Today.
Illustration 4: Giving With Regrets
The story is told of a very wealthy man who, upon the occasion of his daughter’s marriage, sent a check for $5,000.00 to the bridegroom as a wedding present. He sent it by the hand of the bride’s sister and when she returned, the man eagerly asked:
“What did your new brother-in-law say when you gave the check?”
The girl replied. “He didn’t say anything, but when he looked at it he began to cry.”
“And how long did he cry?” was the question.
And she replied, “Oh, I imagine for about a minute.”
“Only a minute?” roared the disappointed giver, “Why, I cried for an hour after I had signed the check!”
—M.R. DeHaan Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
III. The Principle of Grace (2 Cor. 9:8-10)
A. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you…” (2 Cor. 9:8): God is able and willing to bestow all blessings, temporal and spiritual, upon us “so that you may always have sufficient both for yourselves and for giving away to other people.” God can and will see to it that you will not miss the money that you cheerfully give. The person that places their full trust in the Lord will lack nothing. God is able and He is capable of ministering freely to those that depend upon Him. It is much better to give to the Lord and trust Him to make up the difference, than be greedy.
B. “As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad…” (2 Cor. 9:9) We cannot out-give God. The righteous man cannot go wrong in giving to the poor. We will always have the poor with us but that does not mean we are wasting our money by giving to their needs. The intent of Paul here is to assure us that the righteous man will be blessed by God in helping those in need.
C. “Now he that ministereth seed to the sower…” (2 Cor. 9:10): Under grace the Christian can expect a similar experience. This is a definite statement that those who give liberally may usually expect that their opportunities and their means for charity will be increased. They will be enriched on all occasions, so that they can be generous at all times. If the rule is not without exceptions, it is so general as to furnish encouragement in this exercise of this Christian grace of charity. The “cheerful giver” is always spiritually enriched and usually is given increasing ability to exercise this grace.
Illustration 4: Christianity Is Give, Give, Give
A clergyman wrote a wealthy and influential businessman, requesting a subscription to a worthy charity. He promptly received a curt refusal which ended by saying, “As far as I can see, this Christian business is just one continuous give, give, give.”
After a brief interval the clergyman answered, “I wish to thank you for the best definition of the Christian life that I have yet heard.”
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
IV. Principle of Thanksgiving (2 Cor. 9:11-15)
A. “Being enriched in every thing…” (2 Cor. 9:11): This explains how the fruits of righteousness are increased. As they are enriched it tends to “all bountifulness.” The one who gives reaps a harvest in his own life, but his charity evidently bears fruit in the lives of those whom he relieves.
B. “Thanksgiving to God.” A great chorus of praise would be called forth by their liberality. It would result in “many thanksgivings unto God” (verse 12), in addition to “supplying the want of the saints.” Paul is now symbolizing giving to be on the same level as that of a priest offering up sacrifices to God. When we give with the right spirit we are literally laying a monetary sacrifice upon the altar for God. He will recognize it as such and therefore bless us for our giving. It abundantly overflows and it is likened to a form of worshipful thanks. God is glorified on our behalf.
C. “Whiles by the experiment… they glorify God” (2 Cor. 9:13): The liberal spirit in the Corinthians made those in Judea “long after you” (verse 14). Such a gift would tend the open all minds of the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem and remove their prejudices. They would be filled with love for the Corinthian Christians, and “long” for them on account of the proof they had of God’s grace to you. They glorify God by prayer for you!
D. “Thanks, be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15): This refers to the source and inspiration of all Christian benevolence, Jesus Christ. Christ is God’s gift to us (John 3:16), and the source of all Christian grace and benevolence. When we give, remember God’s gift to us. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through hispoverty might be rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). Jesus became a pauper on earth that we might be rich in him, rich in all grace, here and hereafter! “And Jesus saith unto him, the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20). God’s gift broke down the old enmity and bound together Jew and Gentile in love, so that Jewish Christians would pray, thank God for, and long for Gentile Christians like those at Corinth.
Putting it all together, we can say that giving will bring blessings to others, to ourselves, most of all, it will bring glory to God. Because of giving, unity was established between the Gentile churches and the mother church in Jerusalem. The offering was an expression of love. The Gentiles were not obligated to share (though Paul did see the offering as the payment of a “spiritual debt,” Rom 15:25-27), but they did so because of the grace of God. The Jews, in turn, would feel themselves bound to their Gentile brothers and sisters. There’s no reason for us to be selfish but for us to be givers,
Note: The above outline was taken from Unger’s Bible Handbook