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Grace

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1. Grace and Generosity II (2 Corinthians 9:6-15)

INTRO- In last week’s sermon we looked into the previous chapter, where Paul begins his plea with the Corinthian church to follow Jesus the way the Macedonians had followed in generosity.

In last week’s sermon we heard the what, why and how’s of generosity. This week the point, the price and, the promises of generosity.

It’s very important to understand that generosity goes beyond just giving your money (v.11). Keep that in your back burner as we dig into this text and address this issue once more.

I- THE POINT OF GENEROSITY

A) v. 12 - According to Paul generosity is a crucial ministry of the church that all believers should take part of for a twofold purpose.

1. Meet the needs of people - Paul talks about the “saints” here. “Saints” is what sinners are called when they believe in Jesus. So, the principle is to first take care of those within the spiritual family. Then of course, the needs of all. Early Christians did both. We must do it as well.

2. Lead people to praise God - Generosity is a means by which God himself has appointed to exercise his providence. When there is an acknowledgement in the part of the giver that God gave to supply and then the gift is offered up in his name, the one that receives is able to see God as a loving and a caring Father. This moves people to worship God.

a. What the church can do is not simply to feed people but lead them to praise God. b. The fact is, unless you got something to praise you got no meaning in your life and, a full stomach is not enough.

c. Where ever the church moves in the NT it changes everything because it addresses both the body and the soul. Only the church can do that. There would be nothing better for Miami than to have 1000+ churches planted.

II- THE PRICE OF GENEROSITY

A) Generosity in the Christian framework is not cheap. What does it cost?

#1 It costs the giving up of our will (v. 13) - Giving is about obedience. Even though Paul says in v.7 that no one ought to give “reluctantly and out of compulsion” he does say that the reason why one gives is because of submission to the gospel.

2. God desires that our external behavior demonstrate what’s going on inside of us. When it doesn’t (negatively or positively) there’s a problem.. As John Calvin once said, "The Christian obeys God, because it is necessary, and yet they do it willingly."

3. It costs the giving up our comfort and security in exchange for the comfort and security you can receive in him.

a. Generosity is also about trust. Paul here is challenging the church to trust God with its resource. It’s often hard to trust God with what we have because what we have is often to us a source of trust. b. However, when we give up in these two ways, we submit ourselves to the way of the gospel. Why? Because it costed Christ these two things as well. c. Christ in voluntary obedience exchanged his heavenly comfort and security for our comfort and security. On the cross, he became utterly poor as he poured out all of his resources in order to pay our debt and make us spiritually wealthy.

d. In light of that, Paul calls what Jesus did “inexpressible”, inconceivable, incomprehensible... that’s the gospel (v.15). e. You may be thinking, that’s a lot to ask from me? Jesus never asks us to pay a price that he was not willing to pay himself.

III- THE PROMISES OF GENEROSITY

A) Notice that there are clear benefits in being generous. I know some preachers have exaggerated and truncated this teaching by turning these blessings the main motivation for one to give. In Phil 2, Christ gave and was exalted but that was not the main motivation why he gave. He gave out of love and so must we. Nevertheless, God does give back to those who give. Paul almost seems redundant in making this point.

“In all of my years of service to my Lord, I have discovered a truth that has never failed and has never been compromised. That truth is that it is beyond the realm of possibilities that one has the ability to out give God. Even if I give the whole of my worth to Him, He will find a way to give back to me much more than I gave.”

—Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92), English Preacher

The promises of rewards are the following...

#1 Multiplication - “enriched in every way to be generous in every way (v.11)”
#2 Sufficiency - “all grace abound to you... all sufficiency in all things at all times.
#3 Contentment/ Satisfaction - what do I need to be more generous? I do not need more stuff. I need more joy.
#4 Participation in his inexpressible gift. One of the great things about Christian generosity is that by investing in the preaching of the gospel (God’s Word will last forever) we get to reap in eternity. Michael Wilcox said: “Use your money so you make friends forever. Use your money to create a fellowship of friends that will survive beyond death”

Why is there a reward?

Because you never lose what you give if the perception of what you have is always in his hands. (Its eternal)
For In Sowing, the seed is cast forth by the hand, is scattered upon the ground on this side and on that, is harrowed, and at length rots; and thus it seems as good as lost. The case is similar as to alms giving. What goes from you to some other quarter seems as if it were a diminishing of what you have, but the season of harvest will come, when the fruit will be gathered. For as the Lord reckons everything that is laid out upon the poor as given to himself, so he afterwards requites it with large interest. “John Calvin”
(Prov. 19:7) Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

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