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2 Corinthians 9:13–15

“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (v. 15).

In today’s passage, Paul concludes his exhortation for the Corinthians to fulfill their pledge to give funds to assist the impoverished church in Jerusalem. As we have seen in this section, which stretches all the way back to 2 Corinthians 8:1, the believers in Corinth had freely chosen to participate in this collection, an act of benevolence that Paul mentions also in Romans 15:22–33 and 1 Corinthians 16:1–4. They had fallen short in their contributions, so Paul has encouraged the Corinthian Christians to keep their promise to show that his confidence in their generosity was properly placed, to benefit themselves spiritually, to show love for other believers, and to give the church in Jerusalem an opportunity to thank and worship God for His provision. The Apostle expands on this last point in 2 Corinthians 9:13–15, noting the reasons for the Corinthians’ worship.

With respect to the Jerusalemite Christians, Paul says that by receiving the monies he is collecting, they will glorify God for His provision and for the Corinthians’ “submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ” (v. 13). In other words, the Jerusalemites will praise God for the Corinthians’ obedience in caring for needy brothers and sisters in Christ and the way that generosity demonstrates the truth of their Christian profession. Again, in one sense the Corinthians’ giving was free in that there was no absolute obligation to give to Paul’s collection. However, it was not free in that believers must care for other believers (1 John 3:17). The Corinthian Christians could have chosen to help suffering believers in another way, but once they committed to Paul’s collection, they had to follow through (see Num. 30:1–2). True Christians demonstrate the truth of their confession by supporting other believers, the Corinthians chose freely to fulfill this obligation by giving to Paul’s collection, and when the believers in Jerusalem received it they would see a proof of the Corinthians’ faith and offer praise for God’s work in Corinth.

Yet, the Christians in Corinth would not be the only ones giving and the Jerusalemite believers the only ones receiving in this exchange. The Jerusalemite Christians would give love and prayer for the Corinthians (2 Cor. 9:14). God’s abounding grace creates a new unity wherein all parties give and all parties receive. Christ brings us into true union with others that is marked by mutual giving and receiving. The beauty of this union is indescribable, which is why Paul thanks God for His gift in Christ (v. 15).

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

The gift mentioned in 2 Corinthians 9:15 is Christ Himself. Jesus, the supreme gift of God’s grace, brings people into a union with Himself and others that results in a mutual giving and receiving. He loves us, and we love Him in return. We love others in the church, and they love us in return. This finds expression in our supporting one another financially, praying for one another, thanking one another, and so forth. In this, we see the beauty of Christ’s church.

For Further Study
  • Proverbs 27:17
  • Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
  • Romans 1:11–12
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The Twofold Result of the Corinthians’ Service

God’s Call to Stewardship

Keep Reading The Kingdom of God

From the November 2021 Issue
Nov 2021 Issue