Administering the Gift

Now concerning (A)the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; for I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a (B)year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority. (C)Yet I have sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this respect, that, as I said, you may be ready; lest if some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you!) should be ashamed of this [a]confident boasting. Therefore I thought it necessary to [b]exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a [c]grudging obligation.

The Cheerful Giver

(D)But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows [d]bountifully will also reap [e]bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, (E)not grudgingly or of [f]necessity; for (F)God loves a cheerful giver. (G)And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:

(H)“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”

10 Now [g]may He who (I)supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, [h]supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your (J)righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, (K)which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only (L)supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they (M)glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal (N)sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding (O)grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God (P)for His indescribable gift!

The Spiritual War

10 Now (Q)I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—(R)who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you (S)that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. (T)For the weapons (U)of our warfare are not [i]carnal but (V)mighty in God (W)for pulling down strongholds, (X)casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, (Y)and being ready to punish all disobedience when (Z)your obedience is fulfilled.

Reality of Paul’s Authority

(AA)Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? (AB)If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even [j]so (AC)we are Christ’s. For even if I should boast somewhat more (AD)about our authority, which the Lord gave [k]us for [l]edification and not for your destruction, (AE)I shall not be ashamed— lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but (AF)his bodily presence is weak, and his (AG)speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

Limits of Paul’s Authority

12 (AH)For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 13 (AI)We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), (AJ)for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; 15 not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, (AK)in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, 16 to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment.

17 But (AL)“he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 18 For (AM)not he who commends himself is approved, but (AN)whom the Lord commends.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 9:4 NU confidence.
  2. 2 Corinthians 9:5 encourage
  3. 2 Corinthians 9:5 Lit. covetousness
  4. 2 Corinthians 9:6 with blessings
  5. 2 Corinthians 9:6 with blessings
  6. 2 Corinthians 9:7 compulsion
  7. 2 Corinthians 9:10 NU omits may
  8. 2 Corinthians 9:10 NU will supply
  9. 2 Corinthians 10:4 of the flesh
  10. 2 Corinthians 10:7 NU as we are.
  11. 2 Corinthians 10:8 NU omits us
  12. 2 Corinthians 10:8 building up