2 Corinthians 9:1-5
2 Cor 9:1 (KJB)
For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:
Touching - Concerning or regarding
Superfluous - Over and above, more than enough
Paul continues to speak on the subject of giving but he places the giving of money for the ministry as the “grace of giving.” Here Paul knows that it would be over and above necessity to continue to write to the Corinthians concerning the gift. He does not only speak of the gift helping the Christians at Jerusalem but he speaks of it as ministry to the Saints. Many times we do not see giving as a ministry but more as an obligation. Giving money to a solid ministry on a steady basis is part of our ministry because many times different ministries can minister in places where we cannot go and since we are commanded to send forth the Gospel, giving helps accomplish that goal.
2 Cor 9:2 (KJB)
For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.
Forwardness - Readiness or willingness
Hath provoked - Rouse up or arouse
Very many - A great number
Paul had boasted to those in Macedonia, which was north of Achaia, that the Corinthian church was ready over one year ago, with great willingness, to collect an offering for the Jerusalem church. The willingness of the Corinthians became well known and their desire of giving had provoked “very many” to give. Paul had given mutual praise to both the Corinthians and the Macedonians. (1 Chr 29:9 KJV) Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. When Solomon was going to start the building of the Temple, he and his father David had begun to raise up all kinds of donations from the people to accomplish the task. We read in 1 Chronicles 29:9 that the people offered willingly with a perfect heart. There was a great spirit of giving among the Israelites to build the temple of God in Solomon’s time. Today we continue to build the temple of God but not a temple made with stone, the New Testament Temple is the body of believers and as we give and people become saved, the temple is closer to completion. As we keep these things in mind, it provokes us into giving to ministry to see people become saved.
2 Cor 9:3 (KJB)
Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
Should be in vain - Nullify or make void
The apostle had desired that the project go forth and should not be hindered, so he sent a delegation to Corinth to expedite the offering. Paul feared that if the offering was collected but never sent, then his boasting of the readiness of the Corinthians would have been nullified. Since Titus and the financial delegation had taken part in making sure the collection was taken and sent, this insured that Paul’s boasting of them was confirmed along with the readiness of the Corinthians to give and dispatch what they collected.
2 Cor 9:4 (KJB)
Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.
Lest haply - Lest perhaps or lest in any way
Confident - Assurance or conviction
Paul had planned to go to Corinth from Macedonia and if some of the Macedonians would accompany him and find that the Corinthian church was unprepared, it would cause Paul to be ashamed because his boasting of the Corinthians was out of the conviction that they were zealous to get the collection done and that they were prepared to dispatch the funds upon the proper time and with the delegation sent by Paul. Paul would have been humiliated if he came to Corinth and found them to be unprepared and he hoped it would not happen. This is the same principle we find in the body of Christ concerning spiritual things. If we boast about a certain teacher or preacher and then others find out that they are really spiritually bankrupt, it would be as much an embarrassment for us as it would have been for Paul if the Corinthians were unprepared.
2 Cor 9:5 (KJB)
Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up before hand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
Exhort - Encourage
Make up before hand - Prepare in advance or should arrange beforehand
Bounty - Blessing
Covetousness - Greediness or avarice
To insure that everything would be in order, Paul had sent his delegation ahead to make sure everything was completed. If it was not, then they would be able to help prepare beforehand the blessing or gift which was being collected. They would be able to arrange to receive the offering before Paul’s arrival. The Corinthians had already received prior notice that there was going to be an offering taken and this notice was to have been sufficient timing to complete the project. Paul was also concerned that the offering was to be one of bounty or a blessing. He did not want it to be an offering of covetousness or miserliness. Covetousness can manifest itself in different ways, not only desiring what another has. It can manifest itself in people who hoard their money and when it comes to giving an offering, they may give very little and grudgingly at that. When we hoard money, we allow that hoarding attitude to come between us and our proper attitude of giving unto the Lord. In fact, that attitude will extend to our entire Christian walk, as we begin to serve the Lord, we will filter everything through the mindset of “how much will it cost me?” Our money will then become the guiding factor in our life. When that happens, we have traded God for the god of money and are no longer serving Him. To get us back on the right road, God may have to bankrupt us to show us who the real God is. (1 Tim 6:17 KJV) Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;