2 Corinthians 9

2Co 9:1-5     Why was it superfluous for Paul to write to the Corinthians about the collection he was taking up for the poor saints in Judea?  See 2Co 9:2.  In spite of it being superfluous, why did he do so to such an extent (this is the longest exposition on Christian giving in the NT), and in fact also send a delegation ahead of him?  See 2Co 9:3-5. What do Paul’s actions here teach us about the need to leave nothing to chance when it comes to doing the Lord’s work?  How might a gift be affected by covetousness (2Co 9:5)?

2Co 9:6          What must a farmer do first if he expects to reap a bountiful harvest?  Can he expect to reap bountifully if he has sown sparingly?  What does this teach us about what we as Christians must do first in order to reap a bountiful spiritual harvest?  Does sowing bountifully apply only to the seed of God’s word?  To what does Paul apply it here?

2Co 9:7          What does this verse say should be the guiding force in our Christian giving?  How was this different from giving under the old covenant?  See Deut 14:22.

2Co 9:8-11   What truths does Paul point out in these verses for why Christians should have faith and not be afraid to give generously?  When a farmer reaps a bountiful harvest he then has an abundance of seed; how is that helpful for a future harvest?  Likewise, when Christians sow bountifully and reap a bountiful harvest they too have an abundance (“always having all sufficiency in everything”, 2Co 9:8).  For what purpose does Paul say God is able to multiply the Corinthians’ seed and increase their fruits so that they are enriched for everything?  See 2Co 9:8 & 11.

2Co 9:12-15 Although it was unlikely that the poor saints in Judea could ever repay in kind the generous financial gift of the Gentile churches, what benefit could the Corinthians expect “for the liberality of [their] contribution to them”?  See 2Co 9:13-14.  One of the great mysteries of the gospel to which Paul was especially entrusted was the revelation that through Christ the Gentiles were, along with the Jews, “fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise” (see Ephesians 3:3-9, 2:11-16)—an idea completely reprehensible to most Jews (recall the reaction Peter himself received when he returned to Jerusalem from ministering the gospel to Cornelius in Acts 11:2-3).  How do Paul’s words in 2Co 9:13-14 reveal that the collection Paul was taking up was designed not only to help the poor saints in Judea, but also to make this mystery more understandable to the Jewish believers in Christ by making the Gentile Christians more acceptable to them?  Considering the opposition Paul faced nearly everywhere he went from the Judaizers, what is the added significance that the saints in Judea would “glorify God for [their] obedience to [their] confession of the gospel of Christ” and even “yearn for [them] because of the surpassing grace of God in [them]”?  How were Paul’s actions here an application of Jesus’ command in Luke 6:27?  See also Acts 21:20-22, 24:17.

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