2 Corinthians 9:12-14   This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.  Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.  And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.

The Apostle Paul’s pastoral heart is a very helpful and powerful example to us as we serve the Lord.  Trained as a Pharisee in Orthodox Judaism, he had a clear and well-defined understanding of God’s truths revealed in the Scriptures.  But, rather than its making him an arrogant dogmatist, he knew how to support and encourage believers in their ongoing sanctification.

He is in the process of getting the believers in Corinth to recognise the importance of GENEROSITY as the fitting response to God’s grace in Christ, and of remaining faithful to commitments/promises made.

In today’s verses he points out a number of reasons for, and benefits of, Christian charity.

Firstly, the needs of fellow-believers are met.

Secondly, because it is God himself who provides for all our needs, the recipients will give thanks to God for using them as the ‘channels’ of his blessing.

Thirdly, their generosity will ‘prove’ that their faith is genuine, and not just lip-service’ (cf James 2:14-19 – “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.  You believe that there is one God.  Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder”).

Fourthly, praise will come to God because of their good example of faithful obedience.

Fifthly, all this will lead to increased mutual, meaningful prayerfulness throughout the whole Church.

In the light of all this, let us always be looking out for ways in which we can express greater generosity in our Kingdom work.
– Bruce Christian